Orientalism Book Summary (PDF) by Edward W. Said

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Ready to learn the most important takeaways from Orientalism in less than two minutes? Keep reading!

Why This Book Matters:

Orientalism aims to examine how Western civilization thinks, feels, and acts toward Eastern civilization.

The Big Takeaways:

  1. Western images painted the entirety of the East based on a tiny portion of it.
    1. If These images, though outdated, offensive, and inaccurate, continue to circulate in Western ads.
  2. Expansion in both economics and politics fueled inaccurate images of the East being passed off by Orientalists (scholars claiming to have vast knowledge of the Orient).
    1. If the East is rambunctious and erotic, the West appears more elite.
  3. Orientalism was controlled by those who had financial stakes and governmental ties.
    1. Some people tried to make it seem like they had some inside knowledge of the Orient just to put themselves in a favorable position.
  4. The picture Orientalists painted of the Orient were false.
    1. The ideas of the Orient were painted one way and experienced in another, forcing Orientalists to reexamine what they once believed as truth.
  5. Orientalism is still alive in the US.
    1. Several characteristics point out the existence of Orientalism within the United States today.

Want To Keep Reading?

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