What Is Orientalism? Essay

530 words - 2 pages

Said made a clear analogy between orientalism and colonialism.They are both set with the same binary opposition.white/ non whiteoccidental/ non occidentalIn a very detailed and structured study of the orient (behavior, habit,tradition ...) we document a large amount of fact and data. All compile ina general study they produce the illusion of a well understood andobjectively constructed knowledge.These are, in fact, mere observations and purely subjective entities (seenonly with the western eyes) which do not explain nor reflect the true natureof the object.We then generalize from theses singles observations, set up categories andlabels. We are now able to answer questions very simply creating this illusionof knowledge.We witness the realization of cliches; single sided beliefsthat fuels themselves upon their own ignorance.SAID then explains how this technique empowers his creator. The rigorousdiscourse, the elaboration of thought and ideas, subjectively authenticateditself. The content is no longer address and leaves the victim of thediscourse reduced to plain and pure denial. The content has become a setof prejudicial belief (cliches).To remind you of the famous aphorism: 'the pen is mightier than the sword'He writes:'Orientalism is fundamentally a political doctrine willed over the orientbecause the orient was weaker than the west.'Though injustice has already been served and the political establishmentis capitalizing on those cliches, it is interesting to notice that SAIDhimself already looks at the orient with orientalism (western eye).Was the orient really weaker than the west?Could it be simply that the orient was just farther? May be notinterested? Had no curiosity towards the western world?Could it be that the orient was to busy and...

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