Act I, Scenes 7-13: Summary and Analysis
Ambassador Toulon: Gallimard’s boss at the Beijing embassy.
Scene 7 opens with Gallimard and his wife discussing the arrogance of the Chinese in general and specifically Gallimard’s recollections of Song.. Helga points out the contradiction in this woman performing as a character she hates and believes false.
His curiosity piqued by his wife’s questions, Gallimard attends a Chinese opera in which Song is performing in scene 8. He is the only Westerner in the opera house, and Song addresses him derisively. The two exchange aggressive, straightforward dialogue. Gradually the conversation turns towards what white (imperialists) want....
(The entire section is 1447 words.)