Edward Said on Orientalism
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The paper explains Edward Said's argument that by discussing the Orient, the west had only one agenda in mind and that was to subjugate all identities and nationalities other than its own. The paper shows how Said tried to shatter the mythical construction of the Orient and the Oriental by explaining how western discourse had intentionally worked to maintain its dominance and superiority through fabricated accounts of the Oriental world.
From the Paper:"By discussing the Orient, the west had only one agenda in mind and that was to subjugate all identities and nationalities other than its own. This was done by various means and especially by constructing a poor mythical picture of the Orient and then forcing all Oriental societies to fit that image. The same treatment was meted out to Japanese societies and other societies of the East. India was the land of snake-charmers and spices for as long as we can remember until India burst out with a brand-new identity by becoming a leader in science and technology. However to this day, many people would connect India with its Oriental image and those who visit the land usually do so because of the mythical picture they have constructed in their minds. India is no such place and it never was. But presenting it as an exotic and mythical land the West had no desire to accentuate the beauty or charm of the land but instead it simply wanted to develop an unmistakable contrast between East and West so the latter would always be able to maintain its dominance by presenting itself as the more enlightened and educated of the two societies. The same treatment was then accorded to the Arab societies. And with Muslims, westerners did even more than simply construct a mythical image. They also gave a negative tone."
Sample of Sources Used:
- Edward Said. Orientalism. Vintage Books. 1979
- Edward Said, Orientalism Once More (2003). [Lecture delivered on the 50th Anniversary of the Institute of Social Studies, The Hague, The Netherlands, 21 May, 2003]
Cite this Term Paper:
Edward Said on Orientalism (2012, June 24) Retrieved May 23, 2013, from http://www.academon.com/term-paper/edward-said-on-orientalism-151532/
"Edward Said on Orientalism" 24 June 2012. Web. 23 May. 2013. <http://www.academon.com/term-paper/edward-said-on-orientalism-151532/>