M. Butterfly Setting & Symbolism

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Paris Prison

This is the location where the audience first finds Rene Gallimard in his cell. Theoretically, the entire action of “M. Butterfly” takes place here, and in M. Gallimard’s mind as illustrated through flashback. "The sparsely furnished cell contains a wooden crate upon which sits a hot plate with a kettle, and a portable tape recorder" (Act One, Scene 1).

Ecole Nationale

This is the location where Gallimard attended university along with Marc, his roommate and friend.

Girlie Magazines

Gallimard uses pornographic magazines to illustrate the difference between fantasy and reality. In girlie magazines, the girl fulfills a fantasy, wherein real life, Gallimard has not yet found such satisfaction until he meets Song.

Hara-kiri Knife

In the opera “Madame Butterfly”, Butterfly uses this knife to kill herself when she realizes she's been abandoned by her lover, Pinkerton. Likewise, Gallimard uses a hara-kiri knife to commit suicide at...

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This section contains 383 words
(approx. 1 page at 400 words per page)
Buy the M. Butterfly Study Guide
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