M. Butterfly

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Manuel Toulon Character Analysis

The French ambassador to China, and Gallimard’s superior at the embassy in Beijing. Toulon promotes Gallimard to vice-consul and charges him with collecting information to aid the American war in Vietnam. He shares Gallimard’s belief that the “natural” relationship between Asia and the West is one of humble submission and benevolent domination. Toulon also plays the judge who hears Song’s testimony at Gallimard’s trial.
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Manuel Toulon Character Timeline in M. Butterfly

The timeline below shows where the character Manuel Toulon appears in M. Butterfly. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Act 1, Scene 12
Orientalism, Imperialism, and Cultural Conflict Theme Icon
...day he receives Song’s heartbroken letter, Gallimard attends a party at the home of Monsieur Toulon, another French diplomat and Gallimard’s superior at the embassy. Toulon pulls Gallimard aside for a... (full context)
Love and Cruelty Theme Icon
Toulon reveals that Gallimard’s boss, Vice-Consul LeBon, will be transferred out of China as a result... (full context)
Femininity and Male Ego Theme Icon
Toulon tells Gallimard that, had this shift happened a year earlier, he would have lost his... (full context)
Act 1, Scene 13
Orientalism, Imperialism, and Cultural Conflict Theme Icon
Femininity and Male Ego Theme Icon
Love and Cruelty Theme Icon
Gallimard arrives at Song’s apartment, having just left Toulon’s party. Song seems angry, but Gallimard pays no attention as she chastises him for arriving... (full context)
Act 2, Scene 3
Memory, Imagination, and Self-Deception Theme Icon
Toulon appears onstage, and Gallimard goes to meet him. Toulon is not in Gallimard and Song’s... (full context)
Orientalism, Imperialism, and Cultural Conflict Theme Icon
Memory, Imagination, and Self-Deception Theme Icon
Toulon is telling Gallimard that the Americans have made plans to begin bombing Vietnam. Since there... (full context)
Orientalism, Imperialism, and Cultural Conflict Theme Icon
Femininity and Male Ego Theme Icon
Toulon complains about the American’s swooping in to seize control over Vietnam, when they refused to... (full context)
Orientalism, Imperialism, and Cultural Conflict Theme Icon
Femininity and Male Ego Theme Icon
Toulon makes a joke about Gallimard’s intimate knowledge of the Chinese, and reveals that he has... (full context)
Orientalism, Imperialism, and Cultural Conflict Theme Icon
Femininity and Male Ego Theme Icon
Memory, Imagination, and Self-Deception Theme Icon
Toulon asks Gallimard again for “inside” information about Chinese popular opinion of the West. Gallimard tells... (full context)
Femininity and Male Ego Theme Icon
As Toulon prepares to leave, Gallimard asks him how many people have heard the rumors about his... (full context)
Act 2, Scene 6
Orientalism, Imperialism, and Cultural Conflict Theme Icon
Femininity and Male Ego Theme Icon
Memory, Imagination, and Self-Deception Theme Icon
Love and Cruelty Theme Icon
Toulon appears onstage. He tells Gallimard that the American military has plans to assassinate Ngo Dinh... (full context)
Love and Cruelty Theme Icon
Gallimard is furious to learn that Toulon does not plan to stand beside him if the assassination yields bad results. After leaving... (full context)
Act 2, Scene 9
Memory, Imagination, and Self-Deception Theme Icon
Toulon appears onstage, and informs Gallimard he is being sent back to France because his poor... (full context)
Act 3, Scene 1
Femininity and Male Ego Theme Icon
Love and Cruelty Theme Icon
As Song tells his story, the scene changes. The same actor who plays Toulon appears onstage, wearing a judge’s robe and wig. He and Song sit next to each... (full context)