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Unformatted text preview: Estee Ward MESA 201 9/17/07 1. The purpose of Saids essay is what its title would suggest: to shatter western myths surrounding Arab society. Said starts by stating that there are over a hundred million Arabs and at least a dozen different [Arab] societiesanyone who believes the Middle East can be studied as a single monolith is mistaken (Said, 89). People who attempt to study the Middle East in such a way are called Orientalists, their school of thought Orientalism. Said criticizes Orientalism for focusing too much on the past (ancient texts and the etymology of Arabic language) rather than real, current events. For example, many Western Universities offer a Near Eastern Studies major, where a student examines the Middle East during the classical period. The student learns to mechanically rehash sociopolitical clichs about the Arab without asking why things are this way (Said, 101). Throughout his essay, Said shows disgust for the way in which Orientalists discard Arabs as unregenerate savages driven by sexuality and madness (Said,...
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This note was uploaded on 04/07/2008 for the course MESA MESA201 taught by Professor Bowen/schulthies during the Fall '07 term at BYU.
- Fall '07