David Henry Hwang Writing Styles in M. Butterfly

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Point of View

“M. Butterfly” is a dramatic work written in dialogue, or the exchange between actors onstage. In addition to dialogue, the author includes stage directions and notes regarding specific characters, the setting, and the general mood of the play. Unlike dramatic plays in the naturalist style, “M. Butterfly” has a surreal quality, blending reality and non-reality. Rene Gallimard uses direct address throughout the narrative to discuss his thoughts with the audience. In this way, the point of view of the play is almost entirely Gallimard’s—from his direct statements to the audience to the flashback scenes in which memories from Gallimard’s perspective are projected.

The character of Marc serves as an inner sounding board for the protagonist. Marc represents decadence and self-confidence, two qualities Gallimard is sorely lacking in the beginning of his story. However, as the narrative progresses, Gallimard begins to evolve into...

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This section contains 825 words
(approx. 3 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the M. Butterfly Study Guide
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