Essay on Napoleon in Egypt

Essay on Napoleon in Egypt

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When first looking at the Chronicle of the French Occupation, it looks as if it is merely a depiction of Napoleon's time in Egypt, however there is much more to this article than meets the eye. The article being written by an Egyptian and not a European provides an alternative viewpoint to the events that happened in Egypt as opposed to the accounts that have been read and taught by Europeans. Although the article is a different perspective it does show strong cultural bias and ethnocentrism towards the French people from the eyes of the Egyptians. The article shows bias in the tone it is written, the unkindness used to mock the French and the incomplete tales of the battles that took place.

The writings of Al-Jabarti show significance cultural bias in many forms, first being the way in which he describes the French. Al-Jabarti describes the French as if they were savages and uncultured and frequently mocks them. Al-Jabarti infers their savageries when he comments on things such as the European women and the way in which they are liberated and more open sexually. "They have intercourse with any woman who pleases them and vise versa." (Al-Jabarti, 29) This however contrasts with the paintings done by the American and European artists in this time, an example being The Turkish Bath where women bathed together. This is a depiction of how the Europeans saw this part of the world and its people in this time; so saying that the women are more open is simply biased because the Europeans could have said the same thing about the women in Egypt. He comments on how the women are not veiled and have no modesty, as they are nude openly which reflects them as uncultured compared to the Egyptians.

Al-Jabarti shows ethnocentrism here,...


... middle of paper ...


...rated the western channel and appeared behind the entrenchments, firing cannons." (Al-Jabarti, 37) The Egyptians were simply outmatched by Napoleon's well-trained and well-equipped army, however Al-Jabarti's bias shows that it was other factors and they did not lose as badly as other accounts have made it out to be.

Bias is in every piece of writing and this is no exception, with the writings of Al-Jabarti we see bias take many shapes. The bias in Al-Jabarti's writings is predominant whether it be the tone in which he writes, in his mocking of Napoleon, the criticism of the way the women act or the way he writes about the battles. Although it is culturally biased we still see things that we did not before as we are given a different perspective at the French occupation in Egypt than that of the Europeans, which could shed new light on what happened back then.

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