Tragic end for Madam Butterfly | South China Morning Post
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Tragic end for Madam Butterfly

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 12 October, 2004, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 12 October, 2004, 12:00am

Read the PASSAGE and fill in the blanks with the given words.


It is the 19th [1] ______________ and Japan has recently opened its [2] _____________ to the Americans. An American naval [3] ____________________ , Lieutenant Pinkerton, is going to be in Nagasaki for some [4] _____________ , so he [5]________________ to buy a house and a 'wife'. For him the arrangement is [6] ______________________ and he knows he will go back home later and marry an American [7] ________________. The poor girl, however, who [8] _________________ to marry him in [9] _________________ to help her mother, takes the marriage very [10] _______________. She wants to do her [11] ______________ to please her husband, and even becomes a Christian. This is too [12] _______________ for her uncle who comes to the house just as the marriage is taking [13] _______________. He shouts [14] ______________ at her, and her family, feeling [15] ___________ of her, and leaves.


agrees; ashamed; doors; order; temporary; angrily; best; much; place; time; arranges; century; officer; seriously; woman


So begins the story of Madam Butterfly, which with all its strong [16] ______________, was very suitable to be turned [17] _______________ an opera by Puccini (poo-chee-nee).


The first part of the opera ends with Pinkerton and Butterfly singing love songs to one [18] __________________ in the garden, but the [19] _______________ part opens three years [20] ______________ with Butterfly's maid telling her their money is all [21] ______________ and that Pinkerton will never come back. Butterfly, however, remains loyal. She [22] _________________ him and insists he will return. A [23] ___________ Japanese man arrives asking for her [24] ____________ in marriage, but she turns him [25] ____________. As if to prove she is right, a letter from Pinkerton [26] ____________________ at that moment. Actually, it is a good-bye letter, but Butterfly does not know this and the [27] _________________ who is [28] ______________ it to her dares not translate it properly, but he does tell her she should marry the Japanese man. In reply, Butterfly hurries inside and [29] _________________ out a baby, Pinkerton's son whom he does not even know [30] _________. Shocked, the Consul rushes off.


about; carries; down; hand; reading; another; Consul; emotions; into; rich; arrives; defends; gone; after; second


Then a gun announces the [31] ____________ of an American warship, Pinkerton's ship. A trusting Butterfly starts to [32] ___________ the house with flowers for the return of her [33] __________________. She even puts on her wedding [34] _________________, and sits waiting in the moonlight.


It is a long wait and when Pinkerton arrives, Butterfly is [35] _________________ with the child. Pinkerton brings his wife and the Consul [36] ______________ him. He now knows about the boy and his wife is [37] ___________________ to take him to America with [38] ________________. Pinkerton is afraid to see Butterfly and leaves. Butterfly [39] _______________ believe it when Mrs Pinkerton introduces herself and asks for the [40] _____________________. Her dreams [41] ______________been smashed.


Then comes the [42] ______________________ final scene. Butterfly prepares the baby for his father, [43] _______________ herself and dies as Pinkerton arrives. You can imagine how sad the [44] _______________ is as the tragic opera ends and the audience wipe away their [45] _________________.


arrival; child; have; music; them; beloved;


decorate; heart-breaking; stabs; willing; cannot; dress; indoors; tears; with


Extra activities:


Talk about why people like sad love stories.


Do you think women take relationships more seriously than men?


Role-play part of the story.


Listen to some of the opera music and see if it fits the mood.


What sort of ending would you like for


Pinkerton?


Answers


1. century; 2. doors; 3. officer; 4. time; 5. arranges; 6. temporary; 7. woman; 8. agrees; 9. order; 10. seriously; 11. best; 12. much; 13. place; 14. angrily; 15. ashamed; 16. emotions; 17. into; 18. another; 19. second; 20. later; 21. gone; 22. defends; 23. rich; 24. hand; 25. down; 26. arrives; 27. Consul; 28. reading; 29. carries; 30. about; 31. arrival; 32. decorate; 33. beloved; 34. dress; 35. indoors; 36. with; 37. willing; 38. them; 39. cannot; 40. child; 41. have; 42. heart-breaking; 43. stabs; 44. music; 45. tears


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