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Paper 1 - Woo 1 Kristie Woo Antonieta Mercado DOC 3...

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Woo 1 Kristie Woo Antonieta Mercado DOC 3: Imagination, B17 26 April 2010 Tainted Love Throughout history, people from all cultures and backgrounds have gone through time and space to create beautiful romance—a true love that is real and lasting. Yet for some, time and space are not enough to cultivate true love. Serving as an example would be Rene Gallimard and Song Liling’s affair of 20 years. Rene Gallimard is a French diplomat posted in China in the post-World War II era, and Song is a Chinese “woman” and undercover spy working for the Chinese government to gather information about American military plans in Vietnam. A relationship begins to blossom as Gallimard mimics Naval Officer Pinkerton from the opera Madame Butterfly and obsesses over having Song as his “Perfect” wife—submissive, mysterious, and modest. Realizing that Gallimard has fallen for her cover as the stereotypical “Oriental” envisioned by many Westerners, Song takes advantage of Gallimard’s love to accomplish her mission for the Chinese government. As Gallimard falls harder and harder for Song who “passionately listens” and “pleasure[s] [him]”, their relationship takes darker and darker turns, until it reaches a tragic dead end (Hwang 40). In the final scene of his play M. Butterfly (Act III, Scene III), David Henry Hwang uses Gallimard’s final words on Earth to reveal the physical and mental danger of placing one’s hope in essentialized ideas. Hwang uses Gallimard’s worship of “Western power” in Orientalism, Song’s artifice and Gallimard’s willingness to be fooled, and Gallimard’s ultimate insanity to warn his audiences of the severe consequences of choosing to believe in representations rather than reality.
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Woo 2 For most of his life, Gallimard had been infatuated with Orientalism—the ideology that gives him, a Western man, dominance over a modest Asian woman who would give up everything for him. At the early age of twelve, Gallimard’s discovered his lust for power, and his great excitement over “women—a shelfful—who would do exactly as I wanted” (14). Gallimard had probably come across some adult magazines used to sexually arouse the reader through its scantily clothed women in suggestive poses. Yet, Gallimard tells us that he focused not on their apparent sexual appeal, but the fact that he could do whatever he wanted to these two- dimensional women plastered across the magazine pages. The fact that Gallimard gives no description of the women in the magazines indicates that he Gallimard has no care for their
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Paper 1 - Woo 1 Kristie Woo Antonieta Mercado DOC 3...

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