Summary : ' Snake Charmer And The Turkish Embassy Letters ' Essay

2114 Words Oct 18th, 2016 9 Pages
As explorers such as Ferdinand Magellan and Christopher Columbus discovered exciting new lands throughout much of human history, the vastness and diversity of the known world continued to increase. However, thanks to significant advances in transportation and communication, planet earth has, in effect, gotten “smaller” over the past few centuries. Air travel now allows inhabitants of all parts of the earth to fly from one side of the globe to the other in less than a day. Simply by pressing a button on a touchscreen, individuals separated by the span of an ocean can instantly be connected with a text, call, or even a video chat. Many immigrants travel thousands of miles to seek a life in a society into which they were not born. All people, including immigrants, travelers, and distant communicators have deep roots in their respective cultures that shape their worldview and act as a barrier to fully understanding and identifying with the natives of another society. Although both Jean-Leon Gerome’s Snake Charmer and The Turkish Embassy Letters by Lady Mary Montagu are examples of privileged individuals attempting to speak for the people of the subalterns of the “Orient” culture, Gerome uses his painting to perpetuate traditional “orientalist” notions while Lady Mary attempts to utilize her residence in Turkey to disprove some of these same ideas. Unfortunately, Lady Mary’s obvious lingering class and cultural bias imply that no individual can hope to speak for the…

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