Politics at this time and place did not portray oriental women as individuals differentiated by their ethnicities, but rather, they were thought to be collectively mysterious and exotic figures. The vague geography in the poem signifies the irrelevance of differences among the orients. Coleridge portrays an Abyssinian maid, a damsel with a dulcimer, and a woman wailing for her demon-lover—women with different ethnicities—all within his pleasure-dome. Furthermore, when he mentions these women, they are incorporated into the background scenery of the poem; the women aren’t given any character. For example, in the lines “As e’er beneath a waning moon was haunted/By a woman wailing f...
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... each other’s stories (Smith, Lecture 1).
Coleridge’s temporary inhabitance of Kubla Khan’s mind has given him access to power that he never had before. The power not only exists in the poem, but it also exists as a form of poetic imagination. Through his utilization of both forms of authority, he creates a masterful depiction of a flawless nature incorporating the objectification of women to heighten the beauty of his dream. Objectification carries along with it negative aspects such as stereotypes, but he was able to use it in such a way that it created beauty. His portrayal of contrasting images in the poem, such as the overpowering male figure against the subtle, fairy-like female figures, suggests a balance between reality and dreams. In “A Vision in a Dream: A Fragment”, Coleridge uses the power of imagination to seek a much wanted reality within his dream.
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