Civilization and Barbarism: Imperial Patterns of History

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In stories like Dracula and "The Sloan Men", the racial and ethnic 'Other' represents exoticism and sensuality as well as danger, especially to white womanhood. This is a very common pattern in imperial history, including the wars against the Native peoples, the treatment of African slaves by the white settle states and the colonial occupations in Asia, Africa and Latin America. Non-white and alien 'Others' were at once both seductive and menacing, both as a threat to European identity and notions of racial purity. Their culture and technology were considered primitive, backward and savage, and would have to give way to white civilization or face total destruction and extermination. At best, they could expect paternalistic guidance and control from colonial officials and reservation agents, who would forcibly teach them to give up their 'savage' propensities, and at worst they would be dealt with through genocide. Symbolically, at least Mrs. Sloan represents the type of white tourist and amateur anthropologist who is both attracted and repulsed by the racial and ethnic 'Other'. She feels hatred and disgust toward them as well as sexual desire, and at the same time catalogues and photographs their bodies and mating habits. In the end, though, she simply decides they should all be exterminated. Dracula, of course, was another alien from Eastern Europe who invaded England and started preying on 'pure' white women, until he was driven out of the country and then finally tracked

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