Welcome to Francis Academic Press

Frontiers in Art Research, 2021, 3(5); doi: 10.25236/FAR.2021.030512.

An Interpretation of M. Butterfly from Homi Bhabba’s Hybridity Theory


He Yuhan

Corresponding Author:
He Yuhan

Southwest Minzu University, Chengdu, 610041, China


Henry David Hwang’s M. Butterfly is regarded as a successful reverse to the classic Italian opera Madame Butterfly. This thesis aims to interpret M. Butterfly from Homi Bhabba’s hybridity theory to explain the process of this reverse. The imperial western culture represented by Rene Gallimard meets with the oriental culture represented by Song Liling. In a seemingly conquered and assimilated environment, the latter constantly mimicries, hybridizes and penetrates the front to create slippage and rupture, dissolving its authority.


M.Butterfly; heterogeneity; mimicry; hybridity; dissolution; Orientalism

Cite This Paper

He Yuhan. An Interpretation of M. Butterfly from Homi Bhabba’s Hybridity Theory. Frontiers in Art Research (2021) Vol. 3, Issue 5: 68-75. https://doi.org/10.25236/FAR.2021.030512.


[1] Back, K.W. (1987) Social Psychology. Tianjin: Nankai University Press.

[2] Bhabha, K. (1994) The Location of Culture. London: Routledge

[3] Han Ziman. (2002) Literary Translation and Hybridity. China Translation, 2, 54.

[4] Huang Sheng, Cai rongshou. (2009) Deconstruction of Gender and Race in Butterfly King. Journal of Anhui Agricultural University (SOCIAL SCIENCE EDITION), 1, 82-84.

[5] Hwang, H. (1989) M. Butterfly. London: Penguin Books Ltd.

[6] Jenkins, R. (1996) Social Identity. London and New York: Routledge, 1996. 

[7] Ji Xiuming. (2012) On Heterogeneous Space in Contemporary Western Ecological Literature. Contemporary Foreign Literature, 1, 50-56.

[8] Kondo, K. M. (1990) Butterfly: Orientalism, Gender, and a Critique of Essentialist Identity. Cultural Critique, 16, 15-17.

[9] Liu Beicheng. (2001) Foucault's Ideological Portrait. Shanghai: Shanghai Translation Publishing House.

[10] Lu Wei. (2005) Deconstruction and Reconstruction in Infiltration: Chinese American literature from the Perspective of Postcolonial Theory. Beijing: Beijing Language and Culture University.

[11] Lu Wei. (2004) Simulation, ambiguity and hybridity -- a Postcolonial Interpretation from Mrs. Butterfly to Mr. Butterfly. Foreign Literature, 4, 86-91.

[12] Massey, D. (1994) Space, Place and Gender. Cambridge: Polity Press.

[13] Parry, B. (1987) Problems in Current Theories of Colonial Discourse. The Oxford Literary Review, 9, 43.

[14] Ricoeur, P. (1994) Oneself as Another. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

[15] Said, E. (1978) Orientalism. New York: Random House.

[16] Sheng Anfeng. (2005) Post Colonialism, Identity and Minority Humanization - An Interview with Homi Bhabha. Foreign Literature, 6, 56-61.

[17] Shimakawa, K. (1993) “Who’s to say?” or, Making Space for Gender and Ethnicity in M. Butterfly. Theatre Journal,3, 349-362. 

[18] Straub, D. (1997) Asian American Voices. New York: Gale.

[19] Sunner, W. (1998) Postmodern double cross: Reading David Cronenberg’s M. Butterfly as a horror story. Cinema Journal, 2, 53-54.

[20] Wang Lixia. (2020) Construction of Cross-cultural Identity - Based on Homi Bhabha's hybrid theory. English Square, 16, 73-76.

[21] Wang Ning. (2002) Narration, Cultural Orientation and Identity - Homi Bhabha's Postcolonial Criticism Theory. Foreign Literature, 6, 49-53.

[22] Wang Yuechuan. (1999) Literary Theory of Post Colonialism and New Historicism. Jinan: Shandong Education Press.

[23] Xu Ben. (1996) Towards Postmodernism and Postcolonial. Beijing: China Social Sciences Press.