Orientian Figures In Aladdin

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Another topic that comes into question is the gendered body, especially when analysing the Oriental figure. As Pugliese states, 'Orientalist discourses invariably represent the Orient as phallocentrically “feminine” contrasting the “masculine” West’ (2008: 209). In Aladdin, the oriental antagonist Jafar carries feminine attributes such as thin wrists, and it could be implied that his mannerisms are effeminate. His use of large hand gestures is inherently female, and his possession of jewellery carry female undertones. This characterisation of the 'feminine' oriental is intentional as it asserts inferiority and weakness of the East in contrast to the 'masculine' West. It could even be argued that Jafar is desexualised. The 'masculine' West is represented through Aladdin, who contrasts with the thin 'feminine' oriental Jafar as the strong, muscular 'masculine' West. It should also be mentioned that throughout Aladdin all males are seen wearing trousers except Jafar, (the Eastern antagonist) who is recognised wearing a long dress robe. The Middle Eastern appearance is distinctively different from the Western appearance, and with the West’s limited understanding of Middle Eastern culture, the attempt at putting Jafar in a 'dress' can be seen as a way of emasculating him as a male. The emasculation of the male character also addresses his sexuality, and in the case of the oriental figure, sexuality has always been controversial, yet prevalent in Western society. Princess Jasmine

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