2017 | 65 | 11: Anglica | 123-135
Article title

The Power of Gaze: Some Remarks on the Orientalizing Perspective in Bharati Mukherjee’s Jasmine

Title variants
Siła spojrzenia – kilka uwag o orientalizmie w powieści Bharati Mukherjee Jasmine
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Bharati Mukherjee’s novel Jasmine has been frequently criticized for the Orientalizing representations of Indian women and India, which can perpetuate the stereotypical dichotomy between the East and West (violence and barbarism vs. peace and modernity). However, the analysis of the bidirectionality of gaze in the narrative, that is, the Westerners’ Orientalizing gaze cast on the protagonist (female immigrant from India) and, more importantly, the protagonist’s gaze back on Americans, can lead to a conclusion that reading the novel in terms of binary oppositions is not valid. In the very act of looking critically at American reality the protagonist denies the stereotypical image of an Oriental female (passive, silent, obedient). Moreover, a variety of representations of India and America are brought to the fore with a particular focus on how the image of America as the Promised Land is challenged.
Powieść Bharati Mukherjee Jasmine krytykowano wielokrotnie za orientalistyczne przedstawienie Hindusek i Indii, które może utrwalać stereotypowy podział na Wschód i Zachód i utwierdzać w postrzeganiu ich za pomocą opozycji — przemoc i prymitywność kontra ład i nowoczesność. Analiza dwukierunkowości spojrzenia w powieści, czyli orientalistycznego spojrzenia Amerykanów skierowanego na główną bohaterkę (imigrantkę z Indii) i, co ważniejsze, jej spojrzenia zwróconego na Amerykanów, może prowadzić do konkluzji, że odczytywanie powieści przez pryzmat binarnych opozycji nie jest trafne. Sam akt krytycznego spojrzenia na amerykańską rzeczywistość podważa status bohaterki jako kobiety Orientu (biernej, posłusznej). Ponadto w powieści kwestionowane jest wyobrażenie Ameryki jako Ziemi Obiecanej.
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