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In Culture and Imperialism Edward Said focuses on the power and ideology that "form and maintain [the] system of domination" of imperialism through analyses of a collection of works that are built upon the language, symbols and imagination of the oppressed, which form and illuminate the interactions between the oppressor and the oppressed, who are mutually participating in imperialism, in order to argue that narratives of the colonized peoples have conceptualized the idea of the "other," which itself has undergirded the Western concept of its "obligation to rule" (Harvard Educational Review). Literary works analyzed by Said include:
Jane Austen's Mansfield's Park: Sir Bertram sails to Antigua to attend to problems on his plantation, which presents implied imperialism and slavery.
Joseph Conrad's Heart of Darkness: Conrad gives a tacit critique of the "obligation to rule" while detailing an unattractive contrast of the oppressor compared to the oppressed through Marlow and Kurtz.
Albert Casmus' L'Etranger, or The Stranger: Meursault is a French citizen living and working in Algeria who, in the blazing heat of life (after his mother's death) and of an Algerian summer, kills an Arab, in a storyline that includes a trial that may be seen as a metaphoric condemnation of the apathetic disregard of the oppressor for the oppressed, since it is the oppressed who provide the life sustaining nourishment of wealth and goods.
Giuseppe Verdi's Aida: Set is Egypt's Old Kingdom, the French oppressor Verdi tells the story of the Egyptian enslavement of the Ethiopian princess Aida. Thus the opera of ancient oppression is told by a then present oppressor.
Rudyard Kipling's Kim: The story of the abandoned son of an Irish soldier living a orphan's life in the streets of India, Kipling mixes the destinies of the oppressor and the oppressed as Kim lives dual realities.
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