Butterfly," by David Henry Hwang I believe to be a central theme of East versus West. During the whole play we have a visible conflict between the major characters in the play, Gallimard and Song. Also at the time of the play there is war taking place on the front of Vietnam. Gallimard and Song in a way are linked to the fighting going on in Vietnam and are explained as follows.
The play takes place from the 1940s all the way to the 1980s, and was a crucial time for everyone in the world, especially those countries involved or near the country of Vietnam. Fighting began on November 1946 between Vietnamese and French troops in Haiphong, and French ships attacked the city and killed over 6,000 Vietnamese. In response, the Viet Minh attacked the French at Hanoi within the next month. The guerilla tactic fight became known as the French Indochina War. The Vietnamese were finally victorious of the French Indochina War in 1954 where the French were defeated by the Vietnamese at Dienbienphu. The Geneva Conference took place shortly after where the French had to accept an armistice on the terms of the Vietnamese. After the Geneva Conference, which separated Vietnam into the Republic of Vietnam, South Vietnam, and the Democratic Republic of Vietnam, North Vietnam, there was much tension between the two new formed countries because of political differences. Eventually, this lead to a civil war and then into an international war where the United States was involved. Now the Vietnam War, the United States tried pushing its political ideals on a communist nation and the U.S. took several causalities. Due to the amount of money and casualties lost, the U.S. withdrew from the War in 1973 with the Southeast Asia Treaty. .
This tension between the East, representing Communism: Vietnam and China, and the West, representing Democracy: France and the United States, becomes the central theme of the play "M.