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This paper explains that exoticism in non-fiction is not inherent in things, places or people but rather reflects a quality projected upon them by writers using various approaches. Next, the author shows that Jean Dumont in his "A New Voyage to the Levant" presented the East as being foreign and exotic by showing how it differs from the West and uses typical stereotypes of orientalism, which is itself a form of the exotic. Whereas, Lady Mary Wortley Montagu's in her "Letters " compares the newness of the East to the West letting her readers get a sense of what it is like and tries to break down the stereotypes of orientalism. The paper concludes that these differences in presentation are due to their genders and the genders of their target audience.
From the Paper:"It is obvious that Dumont is less sympathetic and accepting of the differences he perceives in Turkey than Montagu appears to be in her Letters. Dumont s descriptions often appear to be hostile and racist, yet are typical of someone writing about a land he believes is in need of further colonisation: the East is different and therefore it needs to be saved. However despite this there is one aspect of Eastern life which though different he would gladly accept. This comes in the form of the customs surrounding Turkish women, where a man is "permitted to marry four lawful wives... [or] twenty concubines if they please... not to mention the pretty slaves whom they buy and sell. Those weary of their wives may turn "em away when they please" . Dumont goes on to ask his reader "Is it not pleasant and commodious? Tis a pity that we have not such a fashion..." . Through his descriptions of the following Dumont gives his reader a representation of a world unlike their own, and through his use of giving explanations which are completely opposite to his Western culture and society, he is successful in constructing an exotic piece of writing."
Sample of Sources Used:
- Dumont, Jean. A New Voyage to the Levant (London, 1696)
- Heffernan, Teresa. Feminism Against the East/West Divide: Lady Mary's Turkish Embassy Letters. (Eighteenth-Century Studies, vol. 33, no. 2. 1990-00)
- Huggan, Graham. The Postcolonial Exotic (Routledge, London 2003)
- Montagu, Lady Mary Wortley. From Letters (1724). ENGL210, The Essay and Beyond: Learn website. University of Canterbury, 2011. Web. 1-14 September 2011.
- Said, Edward. Orientalism (Vintage Books, New York 1979)
Cite this Comparison Essay:
Exoticism in Non-Fiction Literature (2012, February 09) Retrieved May 26, 2013, from http://www.academon.com/comparison-essay/exoticism-in-non-fiction-literature-150395/
"Exoticism in Non-Fiction Literature" 09 February 2012. Web. 26 May. 2013. <http://www.academon.com/comparison-essay/exoticism-in-non-fiction-literature-150395/>