A Short Response to The Projection of Images in M. Butterfly and Queen’s Garden
Hwang’s M.Butterfly presents its image projections within two ways, first directly through the voice of the character;
GALLIMARD. … This Chinese diva- this unwilling Butterfly- what did she do to make her so proud? The room was hot, and full of smoke. Wrinkled faces, old women, teeth missing – a man with a growth on his neck, like a human toad. All smiling, pipes falling from their mouths, cracking nuts between their teeth, a live chicken pecking at my foot-all looking, screaming, gawking … at her (20).
Second, the image which is projected through stage direction which is presented following character’s part above;
(The U.S. area is suddenly hit with a harsh white light. It has become the stage for the Chinese opera performance. Two dancers enter, along with Song. Gallimard stands apart, watching. Song glides gracefully amidst the two dancers. Drums suddenly slam to a halt. Song strikes a pose, looking straight at Gallimard. Dancers exit. Light change. Pause, then Song walks right off the stage and straight up to Gallimard.) (20).
Those two images are presented separately, and continuously being projected by ‘the head’ of Gallimard as the projector of the images in M.Butterfly. Those two distinct images have been projected not only in a separation but also in a compartmentalization. Each of the projected image’s worlds is not able to affect another world’s image or even to recognize each other although they both are literary projected on the same stage. They have been compartmentalized.
Hwang’s M. Butterfly is in a bit contrast with Aoki’s The Queen’s Garden in projecting its images. In Queen’s Garden the images have not been totally compartmentalized-projected. The projected images are only separated. One of the projected images is under control by another one. The images which are constructed as Narrator’s imagination are projected somehow as similar as how it is done by Gallimard in M.Butterfly which is projected separately into parts by the ‘head’ of narrator but the Narrator in this play also takes another important role in regulating the drama’s image projection; she (as Brenda, female main character) has the privilege to regulate the story. Narrator in Aoki’s Queen’s Garden is given a very exclusive power related to that regulating role. It is possible for Narrator, if only Aoki let her be, to disturb the world of another projection outside her (Narrator). It is because she is presented to recognize everything about the story, because the image is totally constructed and projected only through her head, through her voice (Narrator’s dialogue) in the drama. Narrator’s world can be regarded as the first world while the other part is the second world. The whole play consists of two worlds where the first world, Narrator’s fantasy and imagination which is presented in the play, controlling the second world outside Narrator’s.