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Madame Butterfly, Essay Example

Pages: 1

Words: 291

Essay

Madame Butterfly is an opera that is used to reinforce constructs of gender association in society. Women are portrayed as docile individuals that should submit themselves to men, while men are portrayed as the caretaker and dominant individual in the relationship. When Cho-Cho-San attempts to commit suicide at the end of the story, she is showing that she is fully committed to her gender role, to the point that she would take her life for it. However, she recognizes that her wound is not fatal and that she simply needs to dress the wound and continue attending her business as usual. This perspective is interesting because it shows that, despite the power that women have, they should channel this power to support their families and confirm to their stereotypical gender roles.

While Cho-Cho-San is worried about her well-being, she shows her strength by attempting to stay in her expected situation. She understands that she is responsible to take care of her child even though this means escaping her current life. The story is setup to show the struggles that women must face in a men dominated society. Because Cho-Cho-San realizes that no one can help her or her baby, she must escape this role in order to survive. By doing so, she violates what is expected of women in both her own society and American society as well. As such, her actions could be said to be a marker of bravery. She must fight against the expectations that American society has of the stereotypical and docile Japanese woman in order to be able to start on a journey to find her own happiness, even though we cannot be sure about the final outcome.

Works Cited

Grosset, Dunlap. Digital Version. 1903.

Long, JL. Madame Butterfly. 1898.

 

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