Edward Said’s concept of Orientalism is divided into six sections and each of them is summarized below:
The Repertory of Orientalism: According to Edward Said there exists an organized form of writing that permeate ‘a kind of repertory of images’ where the East has been depicted as “a kind of mysterious place full of secrets and monsters” (Said). Historians very often used to refer to “the Marvels of the East”. These representations have nothing to do with the actual reality. Thus, said argues that one can never find realistic representations of the Orient whether it is in painting, literature, music or in any other art forms. Similarly, the descriptions of the Arabs by experts in books spread the same images whether they are written in the nineteenth or twentieth century. Thus, it can be observed that there is a misconception that the Arabs and the people in the Middle East do not develop like the Westerners. These writings thus portray “a kind of image of the timeless Orient, as if the Orient, unlike the West, doesnt develop, it stays the same” (Said). One can clearly observe that these representations of the orient contradict themselves with history and can be understood as the mere creation of Europeans.
Orientalism & Empire: For Said, Orientalism is constructed within ‘the history of imperial conquest’ and for him Napoleons conquest of Egypt in 1798 has paved the way for a ‘new kind of imperial and colonial conquest, that inaugurates the project of Orientalism” (Said). It can be seen that the imperialists who conquered colonies in the East recorded a so-called history of those nations designed for the Europeans rather for the native colonists. On the other hand, one cannot find a Western history that is pioneered or written by the orients.