The book is set in a gulf country that is never actually named, but is suspected to be Jordan around the time of the 1930s. In the novel, the Bedouin residents of a little oasis and community called Wadi al-Uyoun have their lives forever changed when Americans come to their tiny area and discover that there is oil there (Munif, 1989). Instead of having just one person in this community relate what has happened because of this, there is a large and diverse cast of Bedouin individuals that are used in the story, so that it can be seen through the eyes of many and given various perspectives.
There are many different manifestations that are created from the upheaval that is seen when the Americans arrive, and the author of the novel believed that it was important to see the issues from many sets of eyes and from many different opinions (Munif, 1989). The Americans basically come in and colonize the small oasis community, and the novel moves from the first contact with the Americans through the suspicions and other problems that their technology causes, and moves at a good pace to keep the reader not only interested in the story, but interested as well in what is happening to the politics and the society that has been changed through the arrival of foreigners and their beliefs.
The technology that the Americans bring is a problem for the Bedouin residents, because they have never seen it before and do not understand it. Because of this, they are very suspicious of the Americans and the equipment, which includes telephones, automobiles, bulldozers, and radios, among other things. Many of the residents see these items working off of 'magic' and this makes them frightened and confused (Munif, 1989). This is one of the ways that the author shows how the clash of cultures and societies can cause problems and misunderstandings, and is therefore very important to the central theme of the novel.
The book has been banned in several countries in the Middle East, most notably in Saudi Arabia, but is only the first volume in what is expected to be a trilogy. It is likely that the other two books in the series will be banned in many Middle Eastern countries as well. There is no serious discussion as to why some Middle Eastern countries have...
The vantage point of the novel is very unique, because readers of the English language generally do not get to see the situation through the eyes of those that are actually involved in that situation. This provides different insight and perception than what would be seen from an outsider looking in.
Lewis' Critique of Said
Lewis criticizes Said because he believes that Said has 'poisoned' the term Orientalism by changing the meaning of it (Lewis, 1982). Originally it was more involved with painting and artwork - as a style, not a specific opinion about an individual or a group of them (Lewis, 1982). Naturally, Said disagrees with this and states that there was no change in the definition of Orientalism; it is what it has always been, and he was just bringing it to light and discussing it (Said, 1978). Both men are 'right' to some extent in their definitions of the word. Orientalism is a style of artwork, and it is also a way that people categorize or stereotype other people. Not everyone may realize that they are even doing this, but it teaches that Orientalism cannot be easily defined or put into a box by one person or one group of people. It can have many different meanings and there are a lot of varied opinions about it.
Lewis, Bernard. (1982). The attack on Orientalism. The New York Review of Books. https://eee.uci.edu/09w/28230/home/lewis-nyrb+said+critique.pdf
Munif, Abdelrahman. (1989). Vintage Books: Vintage International Edition.
Said, Edward W. (1978). Orientalism. New York: Vintage Books, a Division of Random House.
Orientalism The work of Edward Said and Thomas Mitchell provides a unified insight into the way that the Occidental mind has succeeded in 'othering' and marginalizing the reality of the Orient. Orientalism, as suggested by Said is a form of representation that interprets and re-presents the other in a way that distorts and liminalizes the meaning of the Orient, creating a false mystique rather than reality. In his work Orientalism Said points
This was done by various means and especially by constructing a poor mythical picture of the Orient and then forcing all Oriental societies to fit that image. The same treatment was meted out to Japanese societies and other societies of the East. India was the land of snake-charmers and spices for as long as we can remember until India burst out with a brand-new identity by becoming a leader
This statement is about how they are surpassing cultural barriers. From this point-of-view their gesture is one against racism. Other then that it is safe to say that the lovers of belly dancing are performing the act in an area which has absolutely nothing to do with politics. Women may view it as an art and a cultural manifestation, but as they perform it they most likely do think about
These perceptions form the basis of various ideological stances that are translated into policy and action. In the modern context therefore there is a dangerous continuation of the myth that has grown up around the stereotypical discourse of Orientalism. The link between the construction of Orientalism and contemporary politics is clearly referred to in the book: My contention is that Orientalism is fundamentally a political doctrine willed over the Orient
It is true that while Kingston can use irony against the stereotypes of passivity imposed upon Chinese femininity, at other times she seems to use these stereotypes less self-consciously. Her portrayal of her mother calling white people 'ghosts,' and her decision to name her mother Brave Orchid, seem to reflect cultural construction of Oriental women and Asians in general as superstitious and somewhat primitive in their understanding of the world.
Western Imperialisim and Orientalsim in Saudi Arabia Is Western Imperialism more prevailing than Orientalism in Saudi Arabia? From ancient times in Saudi Arabia and other regions of the globe, civilization has seen the rise and fall of Empires. This spectrum of Empires in relation to Saudi Arabia concentrates on royal families. The government of this country has been under the rule of the monarch family for a long time. Their rule, therefore,