The concept of Orientalism is a European created mirror reflecting itself. The Orientalist described himself by defining the Oriental and this helped him be superior. The representation of the Orient through arts and literature empower the thought of Orientalism, and whereas people at large will write their own history, i feel this distorts the facts and results in misconceptions about the Orient.
On the topic of “orientalism”, Edward Said is certainly not lacking in opinions. His understanding is that when the Europeans created a division between the western and eastern worlds, the western, civilized nations came to be called the occident, and the eastern, less civilized nations were thus referred to as the orient. Said saw a concern however, when the Europeans began generalizing those attributes which they associated with the orient, and then including them in scientific findings and media which would be seen by and thus influence the ideas of the western world. As a result of his understanding of orientalism and his strong arguments against the Western bias, Said is often seen as either a powerful corrective to this bias or a hindrance to open discussion on the topic. Though I cannot say that I wholly agree with either side, I would argue that Edward Said does more to hinder open discussion than he does to correct the bias, which is both evidenced in his own writings as well as those of his dissenting contemporaries.
Orientalism "Two great themes dominate his remarks here and in what will follow: Knowledge and power, the Baconian theme. As Blafour justifies the necessity for British occupation of Egypt, supremacy in his mind is associated with "our" knowledge of Egypt and not principally with military or economic power." He describes the desire for knowledge about the orient as being spawned from the desire to colonialise effectively not to decipher the complex nature of a society which is inherently different, thus bound to do things a little differently. By comprehending the Orient, the West justified a position of ownership. The Orient became the subject, the seen, the observed, the studied; Orientalist philosophers were the apprentices, the overseers, the observers.
Since before the start of World War I, there was a great Western presence in the area we know today as the Arab world. Britsh and French forces occupied Northern Africa since 1882; British occupied Egypt, at the request of Sultan in Constantinople, and the region we today call the Mahgreb: Morocco, Tunisia, and Algeria. In addition, to its presence in Egypt, Britain also kept the Gulf states under her protection and held Aden as a colony. According to the “version of events one hears in the Middle East, is that British and French policy at the time was a straightforward betrayal of the Arabs”(Field 28). Because of the Ottoman rule in the Middle East, the Europeans began to persuade the Arab leaders to revolt by promising them their independence.
Religion, race, and profit all played a pivotal part in western nations (the USA alongside Europe) increasing role as the dominant imperialist powers of the world. Profit, however, was the leading factor in these western nations’ mission of dominating the world. Religion and race were factors that were used to justify the imperialization of foreign territories no doubt, but the ultimate driving force behind imperialization was profit and power. Profit ultimately compelled the western armies into marching through Cairo, Manila, and Hong Kong. Western elites undoubtedly maintained views of racial and religious supremacy over non-whites, denoting them as savages, uncivilized, and unfit to rule themselves.
He comprehends that hostile to colonialism can't simply take the manifestation of dismissing everything British, yet rather, ought to be pointed at synthesising all that is great in western social orders with that of the East. He contends, much as Tagore was to in his talks and addresses, most essentially in his gathering, Nationalism (1917) that "opportunity" is political flexibility from the British, as well as rather the capability in all honesty and truthful with oneself, without which guideline toward oneself loses all significance. These plans, obviously, were later to turn into the foundation of the rationality of an alternate patriot pioneer, Mahatma Gandhi.
Through its association with England, America had made enemies with nations who had done them no wrong. Moreover, Paine reiterates that England’s association with America causes more harm than good to America’s trade whenever England goes to war. This is because the alliances with which England quarrels refuse to purchase produce from America on the basis of the relationship between America and England. Accordingly, Paine argues that it would be more profitable for America if they had good relations with other European nations, as it would encourage trading activities and increase America’s prosperity. Paine is starkly critical of England, the king and the entire m... ... middle of paper ... ...,” (Paine 125).
Eurocentricism is the idea that the world revolves around Europe and western civilization. This idea has been the focus point of Achebe and has driven him to prove the universe does not revolve around European culture and it is equal to all other cultures. The idea of Eurocentricism pushed the nations toward imperialism by saying that it was the ruling continents job to go out and make others like them. This idea was shown in “The White Man’s Burden”. Achebe negates the idea of Eurocentricism.
The World We're In by Will Hutton If you're American, you probably haven't heard of this book. "The World We're In," by British author Will Hutton, is aimed at Britons with the goal of convincing them to join the European Union as full members. As such, it pits positive "European" democracy and capitalism against the less positive "American" versions. (Specifically, Hutton is attacking conservative American ideology, but in the end, this doesn't matter so much; see below). I'll give the book a "+", but for rather complicated reasons.
The Tempest endorses the inequitable relationships between races based upon the belief of European superiority. The representation of race and ethnicity in The Tempest reveals a text that is awash with imperialist European ideologies. In a play which usurpation is a dominant theme, Shakespeare endorses Prospero’s appropriation of the island and it’s aboriginal population. The representation of Caliban and his brother Sycorax reveals the extent to which racist and sexist ideologies function to maintain the balance of power in the hands of a small, ruling, elite. Indeed, it should be noted that The Tempest is more than a simple play.