Why is Gallimard so susceptible to song's deceit in the play M. Butterfly?

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Jamie Wheeler | College Teacher | eNotes Employee

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Gallimard has a pretty severe inferiority complex. At school, he is teased, even being voted ‘‘least likely to be invited to a party.’’ He is uncomfortable in his relations with the opposite sex, and has had little success in romance. He married for practical reasons rather than for love. However, he still longs for a beautiful woman who will be completely devoted to him.

When he thinks he has found such a woman in Song, he gains pleasure in dominating her, and behaves arrogantly and cruelly towards her. This makes him feel for the first time that he is a real man. Eventually, however, he does develop a genuine love for Song.

These traits, longing, vulnerability, inferiority, and dissatisfaction in his marriage are contribute to Song's success in manipulating Gallimard. Blinded by her attentions and beauty, Gallimard lets his guard down and Song is able to deceive him into turning over the classified documents.

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