Analysis Of Orientalism, Criticizes And Confronts The Ideas Of Truth And Representation, By Edward Said

1642 WordsOct 17, 20177 Pages
Edward Said in his book Orientalism, criticizes and confronts the ideas of truth and representation, “it is not ‘truth’ but representation” (p. 29). Our representations of the world do not always hold truth. Western countries, such as the US, have sculpted a media in which the enemy of the East, is at the forefront and represents an entire population and geographical location as something to fear. Said explains this as an “us vs. them” scenario “On the one hand there are Westerners, and on the other there are Arab Orientals, the former are (in no particular order) rational, peaceful, liberal, logical, capable of holding real values, without natural suspicion; the later are none of those things” (p. 57). Misrepresentation of Arabs and…show more content…
Specifically, I observed how these three themes are shown in the protagonist, Aladdin, and the antagonist, Jafar. During the second viewing, I looked for quotes, physical characteristics, and personal goals of these two characters in terms of my themes. Most of my findings came from quotes by characters commenting on how the three themes are seen in both Aladdin and Jafar. Finally, I compared the two characters, looking for how Edward Said’s themes of “us vs. them” and “truth and representation” appear between our protagonist and antagonist. Findings Multiple examples of the three themes and how they relate to Edward Said’s ideas of “truth and representation” and “us vs. them” were found in the film. One major finding is that the protagonist, Aladdin, shows many characteristics of what Said explained as “us” or Western characteristics, “rational, peaceful, liberal, logical, capable of holding real thought” (p. 57), while the antagonist, Jafar, was “none of those things” (p. 57), showing characteristics of “them”, Arab Orientals. Appearance. How the two characters are portrayed in terms of appearance starts the difference in representation. In the opening scene, the narrator sets the stage by describing Jafar, “a dark man waits with a dark purpose” (Clements & Musker, 1992), while he sits on a dark horse in the desert. Right from the start, Jafar is

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