Edward Said on Orientalism Based on Saids Own Discussion

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Orientalism and empire, American Orientalism, Orientalism today: the demonization of Islam in the news and popular media, Oklahoma City bombing, and Orientalism and the Palestinian question. Considering instability and chaos throughout the world, the paper strongly recommends everyone to watch the movie and summarizes Said’s discussion and my personal opinion about American Orientalism, and Orientalism today.Repertory of Orientalism is huge, Said explains that it was impossible to study Orient in an unbiased manner during 1850-60s. The huge volumes of works were organized in a particular scientific way which Said regard as Orientalist. Huge and repetitive attribution of Orient with sensual women, mystery and monster kept coming not only in images but from painting, literature and arts. This was not the realistic representation of Middle Eastern people. Being a resident of region for a long time, Said could not relate to any of such images. Unfortunate misrepresentation does not end here, as the idea extended even further in the writings of famous authors and novelists. Said identifies shocking similarity in the description of Egyptians between Gerard de Nerval’s Journey of the Orient and Edward William Lane’s book wrote in the early 1830s. The comparison implies that this nation is not changed even in two centuries in their mannerism and customs. Believing in the theory that Orient is the same whether you find them in India or Egypt. It connects Orient with a kind of timelessness which plants the idea that it does not develop and change with time, thus makes underdeveloped and backward nations. For Said, the whole idea of such representation is contradictory with history.Locating the roots of Orientalism, Said argues about the reasons behind Orientalism. In doing so, he reveals that Orientalism originated during the imperial conquest. Imperial powers conquered the nations in a political and ideological manner as well.