Orientalism a very interesting reading by Edward W said was written in 1978 and published only in 1994 by the vintage. The book seem to have been written during the time of colonization. I believe that Said wrote this for the post colonial studies, European studies or the study of Orientals themselves. This reading by Said portrays the ideology of the Orients ( Mostly East Asian and middle Eastern) in the European world mostly French and the British. Said starts by defining the Orient and Orientalism in different context.
Orientals is the name used for the east Asian or the people from the middle east. The people studying the orient is known as the Orientalism in the European context. The European found the orients culture, civilization and nature very exotic and they were very interested in learning the livelihood of this innocent human decent who were far from the advancement and development from the rest of the western world. According to Said the world was divided into East and West based on civilization by the Europeans during this time. Said mostly talks about the Orientalism if the late 19th and the 20th century. This division based on civilization seems mostly imaginary and artificial. European colonization basically started from the least developing counties of the orients. The Westerners ( Europeans) considered themselves more superior and the orientals as the inferior group of people. They also thought that it was somehow their duty to colonize the East and teach them more about the western world. Orientals were considered to be lazy, crude, irrational and uncivilized as they had a simple living. Henceforth, European marked their superiority by colonizing and using their authoritative rule by living with the Orientals. East and the West mostly hold accounts on Social and Political affiliation in relation to costume, culture and lifestyle of the orients. And Said finds it very crucial to use Michel Foucault’s notion of a discourse, which states “The Archaeology of Knowledge and in Discipline and Punish”, to explain in order to identify Orientalism.
The Orientals seemed too be constantly judged based on their culture, religion and way of living by the European . This conceptualization somehow seem has created a false image on the orientals. As we see how the world sees the Muslim as the terrorist till today. This kind of discrimination as the oriental and occident has created biases among human kind throughout history and it continues to prevail.
Said states that European gained power and self image through the orientals. Orient which was vastly ruled and dominated by the British and in the french was ruled by the American after the world war II. The main purpose of this reading is to state that the the Orient world or group was not created by anyone in particular. Orient according to Said based on my understanding is the land with its own geographical boundaries, culture and history which the Western world found amusing to learn and rule on to gain power!!!!
Well let me know if you guys think that i had made a good point on understanding the reading by Said and if you guys agree or disagree on any points that i have made..