A Street in Marrakech Review Essay

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To detach from the familiar and to immerse into the unknown is a familiar process to human beings. From leaving a mothers womb to attending college, human beings are constantly confronted with change. However, persistent change does not facilitate the process required to assimilate. In the novel, A Street in Marrakech, Elizabeth Fernea embarks on a journey to Morocco and is met with resentment and belligerence. Her tale as an outsider, searching for the essence of Marrakech that is concealed to most Westerners, exemplifies immersing oneself into the unknown. Elizabeth Fernea and husband Bob Fernea travel to Marrakech, Morocco because Mr. Fernea receives a scholarship grant to study anthropology in Morocco. From the start of the book, it…show more content…
He defines Orientalism as the pattern of the misrepresentations of the non-western world. Said believes that Westerners have the ability to romanticize the East into anything because it is more able to write travel books and accounts, skewing the publics opinions of the East. However, Fernea is far from corroborating Said’s argument because she does not hold herself on a higher pedestal than the people of Morocco in any way. She does not romanticize the Middle East by claiming that her travel was a life-altering experience, yet she manages to capture the West’s understanding of the Middle East through her narrative. This book reminds me a lot of Paul Theroux’s Dark Star Safari because it chronicles an Americans experience in the Middle East, yet Paul Theroux lacks the elegance that Fernea displays because he makes the people of Egypt out to be barbaric like Said proves in his theory. For example, in the families visit to the public square Djemaa el Fna, Laila wonders why her mother gives the beggar a coin and Fernea has the opportunity to delineate the way in which the West and the East handle poverty differently. She does so by neither bolstering nor denouncing either culture but by making the differences apparent. As an Indian child born in America, I understand the importance in accurately portraying a culture because absurd notions can be easily formed from the strong convictions of writers.

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