Free Essay


In: English and Literature

Submitted By jberardino
Words 3505
Pages 15

James Berardino

Canon Formation 2B: Orientalism

Final Copy

Orientalism can be best defined as an ill-conceived notion that befalls the ignorant and misconstrues their perception of most, if not all, people belonging to a race or ethnic group that is different than their own. It does so in a manner that perpetuates the perception of individuals from different races, cultures or ethnicities as grotesque, frightening or somehow inferior in the eyes of individuals who have already completely assimilated themselves culturally into the pre-existing social strata of the region in which they inhabit. In other words, orientalism is a social “virus” that is often perpetuated, or “spread”, by fear of the unknown; a virus which insidiously promotes discrimination and segregation based off differences in both culture and appearance, flourishes amongst the ignorant and is prevalent throughout both America’s distant and recent history, as well as in the archives of world history. A parent to ignorance and the culprit to the divisive vices of racial prejudice of all creeds, a lack of sufficient education, along with blatant disregard for one’s global community, is the underlying reason why Orientalism is a recurring theme in history that has yet to be abolished entirely. However, there exist scholars and filmmakers, such as Le Espiritu, Sucheng Chan, Wakako Yamauchi, etcetera, who give hope to the fight against such ignorance by using their work to inform and educate the public in order to challenge such stereotypes and atrocious ways of thinking. In order to effectively and efficiently push against orientalism in today’s age of information, and secure a future for future generations in which no one racially profiles one another, discriminates against anyone else based on racial profiling, or constructs social barriers that belittle and segregate others, it is necessary to build that future on a strong foundation, education. People around the world need to begin to educate themselves about the countless other ethnic groups, cultures, dialects and histories of countries that inhabit this Earth along with their own. These subjects are key to learn about in order to become a more culturally aware and tolerant person, as well as to avoid repeating the mistakes of the past that could’ve been avoided otherwise. In addition to education, it is imperative that people of all colors and creeds from around the globe begin to adopt a more secular perspective of the world around them while staying true to themselves and their roots. Once such a perspective is adopted, one can obtain newfound concern and consideration for the everyday occurrences and tragedies across the globe and can officially call themselves a responsible citizen to both their global and local communities. One of the more prominent ways in which orientalism can misconstrue one’s perception of a different ethnic group is by immediately highlighting, or exaggerating, the differences in physical attributes and characteristics between oneself and a member of a different ethnic group, if any, and using those differences to generalize, or define, the entire ethnic group. These differences are then often embellished upon in an attempt to victimize and belittle people of different ethnicities or cultures. Such treatment can, often times, rob an entire race of their pride and sense of cultural identity, ultimately causing them to deny themselves and their ancestry. For example, propaganda generated during World War II following the attack on Pearl Harbor often depicted the Japanese with sinister eyes intent on ruthlessly killing Americans. These images dehumanized the Japanese and led to years of cultural and racial hatred. These portrayals created assumptions that the Japanese people are incapable of having separate personalities, beliefs, ideas or any sort of individuality of their own whatsoever which caused them to, in some cases, deny their cultural identity by introducing themselves to new people as Chinese-Americans, rather than Japanese-Americans. Even the Western media is guilty of Orientalism by misrepresenting members of foreign ethnic groups in images, photographs and news stories. During World War II, according to Jean Yu-Wen Shen Wu and Min Song in their essay, “Asian American Studies Reader: Introduction”, images of Asian-Americans were often insultingly distorted in an attempt to rationalize the mistreatment of these people in the United States. Although misrepresentations such as these were, at times, outrageously inaccurate and could be easily dispelled upon a first encounter with any Asian-American, they were used to build on the fear that people had in response to the Japanese bombing of Pearl Harbor. Unfortunately, this created severe social barriers between Americans and Asian Americans that persisted for many years. Orientalism allows perceptions about particular races or ethnicities to run amok in society, creating short-term and long-term negative consequences for all parties involved, whether it be the oppressed or the oppressor. The first notable short-term effect that the victim is likely to experience after being exposed to such complete and utter discrimination is mistreatment which could be in the form of either verbal or physical abuse. This may also lead to attempts to segregate or isolate these individuals from society. If, for any reason, tensions heighten between ethnic groups, as it did when the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor in 1941, then verbal and physical abuse of individuals from victimized ethnic groups are likely to spike in both frequency and malevolence without warning. Oftentimes, this increase in verbal and physical abuse is tolerated by society, as it was during World War II. This hostility can also be used to justify the revocation of the human rights of individuals from a different race or ethnic group, as it was when Japanese-Americans were sentenced to internment camps for detainment, or to federal prison for questioning, until the tension had been quelled to a certain degree. These human rights violations depict the plight of Yuri Kochiyama’s family when the American government came to her home and detained her along with her brother and mother, just after the death of her father, as discussed by Yuri Kochiyama in her book, “Passing It On – A Memoir”. Her father had been released slightly over a month after being incarcerated and died the day after his release due to the lack of medical attention during his incarceration. This memoir is a painful reminder of how prejudice can be used to justify the mistreatment of people based on their race or ethnicity, even in a country that prides itself as a melting pot. Although the harsh mistreatment and segregation of individuals from a different race or ethnic group can be considered long-term ailments, such actions can be abruptly implemented in the short-run without warning. Such wrongdoings are witnessed around the globe on a frequent basis. For example, tension towards Muslim-Americans has grown rapidly in the United States following 9/11. Prejudice and hatred against Arab Americans and Muslims escalated quickly and many continue to be detained in airports for questioning because of their ethnicity. As difficult as the mistreatment and internment of individuals is, the writings of Asian Americans remind us how certain effects and consequences only take effect after the victim has suffered past their breaking point. The loss of self that so often occurs to those who have had their spirits broken, typically during, or proceeding, long periods of time spent in internment camps, is painfully recounted in some of the stories of the literary canon. These actions breed distrust and ill feelings between both citizens of different races and ethnic groups that create strife and conflict within our societies. Such divides could result in the implementation of sanctions or military involvement between countries and, as a result, negatively affect quality of life for citizens for generations. A stellar example of a worst case scenario that exemplifies such consequences lies in the Americans spike in discrimination towards Japanese-Americans immediately following Pearl Harbor, as previously depicted by the example of Yuri Kochiyama’s family’s detainment proceeding her father’s incarceration. However, Yen Le Espiritu describes the conflict in greater detail in his essay, “Changing Lives: World War II and the Postwar Years” in which he portrays that directly following the bombing of Pearl Harbor, Japanese-Americans began to be taken into custody left and right by security agencies such as the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Things went from bad to worse for the incarcerated Japanese-Americans when President Franklin Delano Roosevelt signed Executive Order 9066, which essentially stripped all Japanese American citizens of their civil rights and authorized the “evacuation” of 120,000 Japanese into concentration camps. The literary works of Asian American writers give us a deeper understanding of how these actions affected the Japanese people. The balance of power among Japanese families shifted in the concentration camps, the undisputed authority that the Issei man once held over his wife and children had waned and his purpose in life went from breadwinner and decision maker to having no rights, no home and no control over his own life. As a result, after three years in the internment camps, most Issei men had fallen victim to a crippling depression. Richard Schaefer’s, “Chinese Americans and Japanese Americans” goes on to discuss Japanese American life upon being released from the internment camps after three long years. The road ahead of them was an arduous one. Schaefer writes, “The immediate postwar climate was not pro-Japanese American. Whites terrorized returning evacuees in attacks similar to those against Blacks a generation earlier. Labor unions called for work stoppages when Japanese Americans reported for work. Fortunately, the most blatant expression of anti-Japanese feeling disappeared rather quickly. Japan stopped being a threat as the atomic bomb blasts destroyed Nagasaki and Hiroshima. For the many evacuees who lost relatives and friends in the bombings, however, it must have been a high price to pay for marginal acceptance.” This account reminds us of the impact of the war on Japanese Americans on both an economic and a human level. Some of the stories of Asian Americans during this time inspire all of us and demonstrate how resilience and passion can help people overcome the injustices and hardships created by racial and ethnic divides. “Passion for Justice”, a documentary by Yuri Kochiyama, follows her dramatic, life-long plight as a Japanese-American and an activist, who was held in an internment camp during World War II. In the film, Kochiyama shares what it was like to live in an internment camp and the hardships she faced, as well as follows her journey from the internment camp to living in Harlem, New York. In Harlem, Kochiyama meets Malcolm X, an African American human rights leader who was so taken with Kochiyama’s story that he visited her in her apartment. Kochiyama overcomes the hardship of living in an internment camp and facing intense prejudice to become a leading human rights activist herself. This documentary is a shining example of how film and art can be used to inspire people and help them understand the need to stand up for basic human rights. If orientalism, which creates misconceptions about individuals from different races or ethnic groups, is a recurring problem in our society, then why hasn’t our government or society recognized this and taken steps to prevent it from occurring again? Has the government reacted differently to Arab-Americans following 9/11 than it did to Japanese-Americans following Pearl Harbor? Has society? Following Pearl Harbor, Asian Americans were subject to numerous laws that severely discriminated against Asian Americans during this time period. For example, the alien land laws, as discussed in Sucheng Chan’s “Hostility and Conflict”, were first passed in California in 1913 and rendered aliens ineligible for citizenship. In addition, under the Alien Land Laws, Asian Americans could no longer buy or lease agricultural land for more than three years, severely limiting the ability of Chinese, Japanese, Korean, and Asian Indian immigrants to earn a living in agricultural areas. The government justified these actions in the name of national security. Following 9/11, hostility against Arab-Americans escalated. However, the government did not take actions to intern people of Middle Eastern descent or impose other sanctions on them by limiting economic opportunities. Concerns that the government was profiling people of Middle Eastern descent by detaining them in airports for questioning led to changes by the government in this policy. However, although the government did not enact laws affecting the rights of people of Middle Eastern descent, nor did they intern anyone following 9/11, there is certainly a significant amount of hostility and resentment between certain members of the public which has resulted in acts of violence and verbal abuse, as well as discrimination in the workplace. In his book, “On Orientalism”, Edward Said explores Western perceptions and attitudes towards the Middle East and discusses how Americans have come to view the Middle East as a strange country full of villains and terrorists. Said points out how these misconceptions blind people to the true nature and beliefs of Middle Eastern people, creating serious cultural divides. Apart from the physical misrepresentations of Middle Eastern people that are perpetuated in everything from popular children’s books to television commercials and movies, there are subtler forms of Orientalism that exist amongst America’s current social strata to this day. Are you familiar with the popular, yet horrifically misconceived notion that Islam is a religion that prescribes the death and absolute demise of all who refuse to convert and worship Allah? Or that Muslims promise young men that they will die a hero’s death and be greeted by virgins in the afterlife if they become a suicide bomber? This is an example of how Orientalism is used to exaggerate a perspective to tarnish the image of everyone in a particular ethnic group or race. This type of exaggeration has proven to be commonplace time and time again, despite efforts to address prejudice and knock down stereotypes. It distorts the reality that, despite the extraneous and violent efforts of a handful of radicals whose image the American media loves to perpetuate in order to get media attention; Islam is a respectable religion which has many parallels to the teachings of Christianity. Yet, sadly enough, people refuse to research much further than whatever the popular opinion is before they formulate their own opinion or take a stance on a controversial subject. Unfortunately, due to today’s electronic media, misinformation travels quickly and perpetuates such ignorance, which is why Orientalism still exists in our society today. Fortunately, there are scholars whose writings have helped repair the hatred and hostility and tear down the facades of Orientalism to inform people about the realities of Asian American life and culture. One of these short stories is Hisaye Yamamoto’s “The Brown House”, which tells the story of a Chinese immigrants who come to California to find a better life. “The Brown House” allows the reader to step into the shoes of an average Asian American father who is turns to gambling to try to win money to support his family. His disapproving wife ends up taking half of their children away with her for a week while he reevaluates his life and tries to overcome his gambling problem. The manner in which this story pushes against the concept of Orientalism is that by placing the reader in this Asian American father’s shoes, the reader suddenly realizes that the father’s problems are no different from that of any other man with the responsibility of providing for his family. The father certainly didn’t practice any strange or grotesque family traditions or fit the description of any physical or social distortions which a white man of that time period certainly may have expected. He was just a run-of-the-mill father who faced the same challenges in providing for his family, trying to overcome a gambling addiction and in interacting with people from different races as other men. By putting a human face on the struggles of Asian American families, this story helps people develop compassion and understanding for Asian Americans. One of the most persistent stereotypes of Asian Americans is the way that Asian American women are portrayed in the media and in movies. The compelling documentary, “Slaying the Dragon,” examines how Asian and Asian American women are portrayed in movies since the 1920s and 1930s. For example, the character Anna May Wong epitomized the classic dragon lady that many people continue to assume is a realistic portrayal of an Asian American woman. The documentary also features movies depicting Japanese geisha girls who are trained to wait on men hand and foot and attend to their every need. In more recent media, Asian American television news anchors are shown, required to confirm to a particular “look” that has become a stereotype of the modern Asian American woman. The problem with these stereotypes is that they make it difficult for people to have a realistic understanding of Asian American women. Another informational scholar, Wakako Yamauchi, combats the misrepresentation that Orientalism has cast upon Asian American women in her story, “That Was All”. In this story, Yamauchi clearly depicts and documents all of the romanticized, intimate emotions and butterfly-like jitters that an Asian American woman experiences for her father’s bachelor friend at the adolescent, young adult and middle-age periods of her life. This story completely dispels the western notion that Asian women are exotic “dragon-ladies” who are the epitome of erotic, sexual beings that make it their undying duty to cater to their man’s each and every need, as if they were for hire. By depicting the woman as an awkward teenager with a crush on an older man and as an older woman who continues to have deep yet unrequited feelings for the same man, Yamauchi helps invalidate the cultural stereotypes that persist regarding Asian American women. Her awkwardness and difficulty in understanding her attraction to this man are very different than the stereotype of a Japanese geisha girl who is trained in the ways of love. These stories and films have helped dismantle the misconceptions associated with Orientalism. But is it enough? Unfortunately, information about how the U.S. government took actions to discriminate and take away the rights of Asian Americans is not always taught in our school systems. The Chinese Exclusion Act, for example, is no longer included in many school curriculums or commonly taught in schools in America in an attempt to conceal politically-incorrect government actions from recent American history. Adding such information to school curriculums around the globe would ensure that future generations are thoroughly educated about the tragedies that have happened as a result of such misinformed ways of thinking and encourage people to develop a deeper understanding of different races and cultures before forming an opinion. The day that racially intolerant thoughts and words cease to be acknowledged by the majority is the day that racial intolerance and prejudice will cease to be able to affect anyone. In conclusion, the Asian American literary canon is a powerful tool in combatting racial and ethnic prejudices in today’s society. Breaking down stereotypes in the way that Yamamoto and Yamauchi did by pouring their hearts and souls into stories that pushed back against Orientalism and acquainted the world with an honest and accurate portrayal of Asians is vital. However, as a society, we must do more. We must be vigilant in educating future generations regarding the insidious nature of Orientalism and how it perpetuates ugly stereotypes that prevent us from creating strong bonds and relationships of trust with individuals from different races and ethnicities. We must ensure that our schools encourage students to read and view the literary works of Asian American writers and filmmakers to understand how Orientalism and the prejudice it invokes has resulted in the inhumane or unfair treatment of Asian Americans in the United States. We must provide students with accurate historical information about how Asian Americans were treated in this country. And, we must take steps to ensure that our news media is more accountable for portraying people from different races and cultures accurately. Through education, we can fight back against the ridiculous, misconstrued notions created by Orientalism to become a more racially tolerant – and stronger - society.


1. Chan, Sucheng. "Hostility and Conflict" New Jersey - Rutgers University Press. 2000.

2. Munson, Espiritu. “Asian American Studies Reader: Executive Order 9066”

3. Said, Edward W, Sut Jhally, and Edward W. Said. Edward Said on Orientalism. Northampton, MA: Media Education Foundation, 1998.

4. Schaefer, Richard. "Chinese Americans and Japanese Americans" Pearson .Prentice Hall. 5thEdition.

5. “Slaying the Dragon: Asian Women in U.S. Television and Film.” Dir. Deborah Gee.

6. Yamamoto, Hisaye. “The Brown House.” Charlie Chan is Dead 2. Ed. Jessica Hagedorn, 2004. 525-532. Print.

7. Yamauchi, Wakako. “That Was All.” Charlie Chan is Dead 2. Ed. Jessica Hagedorn, 2004. 555-560. Print.

8. Yu-Wen, Jean, Shen Wu, Ming Song. “Asian American Studies Reader: Introduction”.

9. “Yuri Kochiyama: Passion for Justice." Dir. Rea Tajiri. 1999. Documetary. Asian American Movement. Web. 11 May 2014.


Similar Documents

Free Essay

Characteristics of Orientalism, Prejudice and Discrimination

...Characteristics of Orientalism, Prejudice and Discrimination ETH/125 January 24, 2012 Nola Veazie Characteristics of Orientalism, Prejudice and Discrimination * Explain the difference between Muslims and Arabs. The difference between Muslims and Arabs are that Arabs are an ethnic group coming from Arabic countries that speak Arabic. Muslims are a religious group; Islam is the faith Muslims follow. * Explain the deficit model of ethnic identity found in chapter 11 (Shaefer, 2006). Why are some Arab Americans viewed as less Arabs than other? Explain in your own words. The deficit of ethnic identity means that your ethnic characteristics are lessened depending on your affiliation to your ethnic group, for example, if you speak the language, if you marry someone other than your ethnic background and if you have visited or lived in the country of your background. Some Arab Americans are viewed as less than Arab because of the factors listed above, including the factor of being too Americanized. * List two to three characteristics of Orientalism. How many Orientalism and prejudice contribute to hate crimes against these groups? Some examples of characteristic associated with Orientalism are that the eastern culture is eccentric, backward and their progress with comparison with western culture is inferior and conquerable. This includes the blockage of Mosques being built because of a belief of a foreign threat being posed. The ignorance and myths of the......

Words: 323 - Pages: 2

Free Essay

Characteristics of Orientalism, Prejudice, and Discrimination

...Characteristics of Orientalism, Prejudice, and Discrimination Muslims and Arabs over the years have been placed in each other’s groups, but they are similar, but different. Muslims are a people embracing the religion, Islam, which means Muslims are part of a religious sector. Arabs are people who dwell or own the Arabian or Arab regions. This makes Arabs a nationality, where they speak Arabic and is free to choose whatever faith or religion they plan to follow. Muslims can have a native tongue or speak any language in the world; who knew these two groups were this different. After the terrorist’s attacks of 9/11, the United States placed policies that have targeted Arabs and Muslims. One new policy that was put in place was by the Department of State. The policy mandated that at 20-day hold be placed on all non-immigrant visa applications by men between the ages of 18-45 from 26 countries. All such applicants were subject to special security clearances. Another policy that was put in place was the changes in issuance of visitor’s visas. The policy awarded persons from special registration such as Iran, Iraq, Algeria, etc., visitor’s visas. The date indicates a 39% percent drop for these countries in 2002, and significant decreases for all special registration countries except Eritrea. No recognition of change over time in this groups and power relations are two characteristics of Orientalism. Orientalism and prejudice contribute to hate crimes against these groups......

Words: 397 - Pages: 2

Premium Essay

The Other: Orientalism, Colonialism, and Children's Literature

...Discuss "The Other: Orientalism, Colonialism, and Children's Literature" article Answer the following questions*: 1. What is orientalism? 2. How does the author connect orientalism to children? 3. What does this tell us about the children's literature discourse community that this class is a part of? 1. “Orientalism an area of study that can be pursued only by outsiders, but what defines them as outside of their subject is, exactly, their ability to study it: "the Orientalist is outside the Orient, both as an existential and as a moral fact" Orientalism is taken the Eastern cultures and meshing them with the literature of the western culture. It is the accumulation of the two cultures creating a melting pot of the two. It is incorporating he Orient culture with Western literature. 2. Orientals are a very stable culture; they are very constant in their beliefs. To them home is the quietest safest place on earth. Their customs are very standard and they remain constant. This is a lot like children. Childhood is equally as stable. They remain generally constant in how they grow up. They have the same general constraints on how they age and the same typical problems that they go through. 3. Most of the stories contain generic problems that children have to go through on a general basis. They are the typical constraints on childhood. The Orientalism shows how you can combine the two cultures into our literature. Our discourse community is viewing the children’s literature......

Words: 266 - Pages: 2

Free Essay

Esponse to “Edaward Said on Orientalism”

...Response to “Edaward Said on Orientalism” The documentary on Orientalism, talks about how most westerners has developed a preconceived notion of what kind of people live, what they believe and how they act in the eastern part of the world. The documentary focuses on the work of writer Edward Said and his ideas on Orientalism. According to Said the west and Europe look through a lens that distorts the actually reality of the eastern people. He labels this lens through which the westerners view as Orientalism. This documentary on orientalism also suggests that the knowledge acquired by the west is not objective, but it actually serves a certain interest. Edward Said in the documentary argues that the Europeans divided the world into two parts; the east and the west or the occident and the orient or the civilized and the uncivilized. This was totally an artificial boundary; and it was laid on the basis of the concept of them and us or theirs and ours. The Europeans used orientalism to define themselves. Some particular attributes were associated with the orientals, and whatever the orientals weren’t the occidents were. The Europeans defined themselves as the superior race compared to the orientals; and they justified their colonization by this concept. They said that it was their duty towards the world to civilize the uncivilized world. Said lays out an argumentation that consists of attempting to show that people of the West hold an inherent and profoundly......

Words: 455 - Pages: 2

Premium Essay

Orientalism in Pocahontas

...Orientalism in Disney’s Pocahontas While the name suggests an allusion to only Eastern Asia, or the Orient, Orientalism is a branch of Cultural Studies, an area of literary criticism that has applications in various mediums. The school of critical theory, created by Edward Said, is applicable to novels, essays, social situations, films, and epics alike. One film, to which Orientalism is applicable, is Disney’s Pocahontas. To understand how Orientalism is applicable to a film that takes place in the Western world, far away from the Orient, a foundation detailing the components of Orientalism must be constructed. Traditionally, Orientalism’s focus is the depiction of Eastern cultures, or places considered a part of the Orient, such as India, China, and the Middle East by western writers, or writers from the Occident. Defined, Orientalism is “a style of thought based upon ontological and epistemological distinctions made between ‘the Orient’ and (most of the time) ‘the Occident’” (1867). Based upon this definition, many people “have accepted the basic distinction between the East and West as the starting point for elaborate theories, epics, novels, social descriptions and political accounts covering the Orient, its people, customs, ‘mind,’ destiny, and so on”(1867). With the acceptance of distinctions between the East and the West, came a theory of literary criticism that “deals” with the Orient. Orientalism, in short, is a “Western style for dominating,......

Words: 971 - Pages: 4

Premium Essay

Film and Orientalism

...Film Final Evaluation Essay By Armando Khan Orientalism is something that has shaped the world. It has created the way we see culture. More than that it has placed culture in boxes and has probably led to the awareness of culture. By saying this I mean that the only reason we hold culture in such importance is because of difference. And that difference is caused by the wonder of orientalism. Orientalism is the portrayal off something mostly in a cultural context, in order to show a difference as well as to display something exotic. It overlooks similarities and is used to attract. This attraction comes from the exoticness for we are always attracted to something that seems distant from the mundaneness of our existences. With that being said, what also contributes to the attractiveness of orientalism is that orientalism can be seen by many as an escape. A place where taboos do not exist and one can break free of the shackles of society. Orientalism seemed to be most striking when depicted visually. Whether it be the nubile young boy on the cover of a book. Or a nude Chinese women on a placard , it was a subject of visual intrigue and something ,many in the west could not resist. This is probably why it was used in film which is what I shall get into later. Orientalism first came about with depictions of Arabic and Islamic regions. It became the norm as how this particular culture was to be viewed. This however overlooked the fact that there might have been styles that......

Words: 2984 - Pages: 12

Free Essay

Orientalism Film Essay

...Orientalism in Films There have been many uses and abuses in Western view of the Eastern cultural and social concept of orientalism. This paper discusses how orientalism relates to the three films namely M. Butterfly, Madame Butterfly, and Lost in Translation. Like the title, "M. Butterfly" basically was playing about transformation. This is the first of the Giacomo Puccini opera metamorphosis that was famous, in which "Madame Butterfly" became the modern geopolitical argument to understand the culture. In this film, through love relations that really did not make sense between a French diplomat and the Chinese opera singer he believed the man became the woman, how could the failure for the wish to be separated from reality result in the deception and the tragedy. Gallimard changed Sole from "only humankind" in the "Perfect Woman". Due to his insecurity about his own masculinity, Gallimard needs to create Song in the image of the perfect Asian woman, which is exotic, sensual, and acquiescent, in order to feel wholly male. Although he seeks to confine Sole within the context of his fantasy, Gallimard poster vulnerability and need actually free Sole by providing her with an outlet to flee the Orientalist representation of Asian people. Gallimard transforms Sole into a butterfly, boots instead of transforming him into one of the butterfly. Whereas Gallimard, is actually the one who eventually ends up trapped by his own fantasy. Through an analysis of Gallimard practice......

Words: 2090 - Pages: 9

Premium Essay

Southeast Asian Region and Orientalism

...indigenous history background, their environmental and physical differences, their religious tolerance, as well as their current political and economical status. The characteristic of this region can be described as: diversity (K Danielson, 2009). In my research paper, I will draw Indonesia as a representation of the whole Southeast Asia region. The reason for doing so is due to Indonesia’s diverse characteristic, which I believe is very representative of the region as a whole. By analyzing President Barack Obama’s speech: “Indonesia’s Example to the World”, I will discuss how Obama portrays Indonesia as a Southeast Asia country in five areas: environment, people, economic, politics, and religion. Further, I will bring up the ideas of Orientalism and Othering and discuss whether Obama’s speech reveals these two concepts and how these concepts helped illustrate Indonesia as well as the Southeast Asia region. Indonesia in Obama’s Speech In the first place, with regards to the environmental issue, Obama mentioned about the “tsunami and the volcanic eruptions” (B Obama, 2010). Truly, these are the life threatening environmental problems in not only Indonesia, but also the whole Southeast Asia area. I will cite the most recent event, Typhoon Haiyan in Philippine, as an example (The Guardian, 2013). The frequently bring up of these environmental problems, both in Obama’s speech and 1 Minyue Xu 1364917 other media sources, illustrates......

Words: 2429 - Pages: 10

Premium Essay

Characteristics of Orientalism, Prejudice and Discrimination

...Characteristics of Orientalism, Prejudice, and Discrimination Many people confuse Arab and Muslims. Arabs are an ethnic group and Muslims are a religious group. Muslims are believers of the Islam faith. Most Arabs are not Muslims and most Muslims are not Arabs. Muslims cannot be identified by their nationality alone. Being an Arab does not mean that you are a follower of the Islam religion. An Arab is generally from the countries that are now the Arab world. This area is made up of 22 nations of North Africa and what is called the Middle East. Orientalism is defined by our text as the simplistic view of the people and history of the Orient with no recognition of change over time or the diversity within its many cultures (Schaefer, 2006, p. 284). An example of orientalism is that many people in the United States see a mosque as a foreign threat and not as a sign of religious freedom or diversity. Another example is the suggestion that there is a conflict between Christians and Muslims. After the 9/11 attack, the Department of Justice (DOJ) called in many Arab and Muslim immigrants for questioning. They also started a special registration program that targeted visitors from Arab and Muslim countries. These programs caused much suspicion towards Arabs and Muslims by the American citizens. There was a lot of racial profiling that went on towards Arabs and Muslims because of their ethnicity and religious preferences. They also caused the decline in the number......

Words: 334 - Pages: 2

Premium Essay

Characteristics of Orientalism, Prejudice, and Discrimination Checkpoint

...Characteristics of Orientalism, Prejudice, and Discrimination Checkpoint Muslims and Arabs are two completely different groups of people. Muslims refer to a religion; someone who follows the Islamic faith. Arabs are people who live in the Middle East, like: Africa and Arabia. Even though Arabs are associated with the Islamic faith, all Arabs are not Muslims and all Muslims are not Arabs. For instance, Muslims can be a person of many ethnicities: Americans, Asians, or Africans to name a few. Unfortunately, there were so many Islamic terrorist organizations in the world, where their violent attacks or threats on different nations made a lot of people discriminate against anyone who appeared to be Arab or Muslim. The United States has made many changes since the September 11, 2001 terrorist attack. The government made it harder for Muslims and Arabs to immigrate to the States, and also made it difficult to apply for citizenship or permanent residence. I agree with the changes that has been made because, I live in West Haven, Ct, which is 15 minutes away from where they found the terrorist group in Bridgeport, Ct in May of this year. It was a little too close for comfort. There was no telling what kind of damage would have happened if they didn’t get caught. If people want to immigrant to this country, it has to be for the right reasons and not for criminal activity. I feel individuals should educate themselves in different faiths and different......

Words: 252 - Pages: 2

Premium Essay


...Characteristic of Orientalism, Prejudice, and Discrimination March 13, 2011 Explain the difference between Muslims and Arabs? The difference between Muslims and Arabs is that Muslims believe and follow the Islamic religion while Arabs are a group of people united by a single tongue, but are part of different ethnic groups. Muslims are the name give to those who believe in the prophet Mohammed, and follow the Islamic religions and encompass Islamic fundamentals. Arabs are a group of individuals who speak a common language but have no single religion. They are Christian Arabs, Islamic Arabs and even Jews Arabs. The reason why most people intertwine Muslims and Arabs is because most of Arabic territories have large population of Muslims. according to research and news reports within the past 2 years, what are some of the changes the United States has made to policies concerning the treatment of Muslim and Arabic members of society? The United State policy changes in regards to Muslims and Arabs are somewhat controversial. Since 911, the United State have establish policies that would allow the FBI to conduct investigations on any Muslims or Arabs living in the Unite State; if there is a fear that they are tied to terrorist. The policies have put innocent Muslims and Arabs on the FBI watch list and have made Muslims and Arabs a target for suspicion. List two to three characteristics of Orientalism. How may Orientalism and prejudice contribute to hate...

Words: 440 - Pages: 2

Free Essay

Characteristics of Orientalism

...Characteristics of Orientalism, Prejudice, and Discrimination Arabs and Muslims are the highest groups in numbers that migrate to the United States. A lot of people confuse the Arabs and Muslims as the same when in fact they have different characteristics. By researching more into Arabs and Muslims it is known that Arabs are an ethnic or cultural group and Muslims are a religious group. Both the Arabs and Muslims come from the Middle East and are subject to hate crimes and disapproving actions especially due to the events on 9/11. These people are subject to harassing atmospheres and discrimination. These people are discriminated in the working environment, airlines, and in publics’ eye. An example of this discrimination is the Patriotic Act our Government put in place. The measures created a fear that gripped the Muslim community I California and elsewhere following federal sweeps, round-ups, detentions of innocent Muslims, who had neither terrorist intentions nor any connection to terrorist organizations, said the report, drawn up at the request of Senator Liz Figeuroa (U.S. muslims took brunt of patriot act – senate report, n.d). The characteristics of Orientalism such as racial profiling and stereotyping can lead to hate crimes. Orientalism is defined as the simplistic view of the people and history of the Orient with no recognition of change over time or the diversity within its many cultures (Schafer, 2006). Hate crimes toward these people are very common because...

Words: 388 - Pages: 2

Free Essay

Characterisitcs of Orientalism Prejudice

...Characteristics of Orientalism, Prejudice, and Discrimination Tammy Johnson-Hall ETH/125 February 23, 2012 Brian Steinberg 2 The terms Muslims and Arabs are two unique demographic identifiers. A Muslim, also spelled Moslem, is the Islamic faith, a monotheistic Abrahamic religion that is based on the Qur'an ( There are many Muslims who are not Arabs - there are Muslim Indonesians, Muslim Chinese, and Muslim Americans. Arabs are an ethnic group of people who speak the Arabic language, and follow different religions. Many are Muslims, but some are Christians. Arab people are also known as Arabs and primarily live in the Arab World, which is located in Western Asia or North Africa. They are identified as such on one or more of genealogical, linguistic, or cultural grounds, with tribal affiliations, and intra- tribal relationships playing an important part of Arab identity ( In terms of changes to United States policy, The Civil Rights Division holds a bimonthly interagency meeting that brings together top officials from federal agencies and leaders of the Muslim, Arab, Sikh and South Asian communities to address civil rights issues ( There have also been some signs of reverse in the backlash that Muslims and Arabs have......

Words: 609 - Pages: 3

Free Essay

Checkpoint on Orientalism

...2012 Checkpoint Characteristics of Orientalism, Prejudice and Discrimination Nicci Eth/125 Cultural Diversity 2012 Checkpoint Characteristics of Orientalism, Prejudice and Discrimination Nicci Eth/125 Cultural Diversity Let’s think- What is the true difference? This to me is hard; I don’t like to distinguish all the differences between different races- because to me everyone is the same. The true difference between Muslims and Arabs is that Muslims are people who follow Islam, the religion and Arabs are people from Arabia typically. In my own opinion I would say Arabs are the ethnicity or race and Muslim is a religion. In the past 2 years, the policy changes that have occurred would be that the justice department policy change that would allow the FBI to investigate Americans without evidence of wrongdoing, relying instead on a terrorist profile that could single out Muslims and Arabs. Under this new guideline the FBI would be permitted to consider race and ethnicity when opening an investigation. This to me sometimes is still unfair and people are judgmental of Arabs and Muslims ever since 9/11. Which to me is sad and unfortunate because not everyone is a terrorist and just because of their religion or culture they are discriminated against more I believe. Two characteristics of Orientalism are Spirituality and its diversity in terms of people. These things create stereotypes amongst different people. Hate crimes stem from ignorance about a different......

Words: 424 - Pages: 2

Free Essay

Characteristics of Orientalism

...Characteristics of Orientalism, Prejudice, and Discrimination Cultural Diversity June 10, 2011 Characteristics of Orientalism, Prejudice, and Discrimination The difference between Muslims and Arabs is ethnicity and religion. Arab defines the ethnic group and Muslim defines the religion practiced by an individual devoted to that particular belief. Arab people do not always practice the Muslim religion and not all Muslims are Arab. According to research and news reports within the past 2 years, the only policy I found pertained to racial profiling that announced citizens of countries considered terrorist active countries would undergo additional screening at airports (Voice of America, 2010). President Obama has been involved in discussions with Arab and Muslim American groups, but no true progress has occurred to limit or stop the discrimination. Two characteristics of Orientalism are lumping Arab & Muslim people into the same category with no distinction for the ethnic and religious differences and the general stereotype that Arab and Muslim people are not modern. Orientalism and prejudice contributes to hate crimes against these people because of the misunderstanding of the difference between the distinct differences in the cultures of the ethnic group and the religious beliefs of the ethnic groups. Such a vague definition of people living in the Orient can lead to confusion about the different fanatical religious groups inhabiting land in the......

Words: 354 - Pages: 2