Sample Essay on Racial Prejudice in Movies

Orientalism deals particularly with the perception of the Wests’ and the “Orient” creation of the Middle East. It is common with cultural theories being applied in many subjects. The West are seen to uphold their identity through misrepresentation of other countries outside their borders. The common false creation in the movie is that between the East and the West. For instance, the definitions used in a cartoon series that has run for a long time in the television, The Simpsons, stereotypes of other cultures are evident representing people from the South Asian. The theories of Said proposes that the manner in which Apu turn out to be the “Orient” according to the “Occident” judgement, happens during the hegemonic state’s exercise of delineation power. It uses its voice in an artistic symbol to identify other cultures amidst dominant group.

In some occasions generalization of other cultures is seen not to cause any harm. For instance, Apu is regarded as a comedian, rather than a stereotype who damages. In real sense, the deeply rooted discrimination from this practice leads to long-time institutional oppressions. From the past, the West and India relationship has been characterized with a series of violence due to colonialization undergone by French and British. The representation of Apu is important in signifying that concepts of literature are evolving.  Apu is viewed as a submissive actor in the eyes of the Simpson clan, who later assumes the status as an American citizen. According to Said, Orientalism does not necessarily imply to the essential factor of differences between cultural, national, and racial bodies, but an outcome of conversations that bring about the differences. The narrative that portray the Indians is a creation of institutions whose aim is to deal with the Orient through statements of prejudice making them to be their subjects.

In the past decades, authors used to deal with Indian by making him a subordinate character whereas their colonial masters were the central character. This was aimed at humiliating the Indian to feel he is inferior as compared to the West. Even in the modern day, we might be thinking prejudice was a thing of the past but still it continues to be evident in many literature works. As The Simpsonsbecame famous, reductionist use it to portray the Indian culture, making the name Apu to be used a synonym word for the Indian culture. Thus, Apu has resulted to signify ethnic insult against the South Asian. Recently, a similar portrayal of the South Asian was seen in a North American TV embodying Apu’s image.  The belittled subject emerges from a narrative which shows that racism being used as an artistic tool.

Stereotypes and Orientalism as a whole lead to generalization which targets certain cultures, nations, and races. An important thing is that in the movie, Apu is not given a specific heritage, he is only said to come from India. This is done intentionally to cover any link to a particular identity. Thus, Orientalism can be seen as a process which mythologizes practice. Said works tries to identify the relationship between myth and fact and why it was engrained in hegemonic authority. He notes that authority is not natural nor mysterious, it is just a ways of establishing rules that add value to certain ideas of truth, perceptions, judgements, and traditions. The works imply that culture uniformity is essential to Orientalism process, since the less truth those referred to as Occident know about the Orient, will help India preserve its myth. An episode called Much Apu about Nothinggives the viewers a sight of Apu’s background. This is used so as to develop an Indian character. Thus, stereotyping of culture is still common in the major institutions.

On his pronouncement that he came from India, many started to imagine of the notion, reinforce the thought of India. The hegemonic authority structure of those who are seen dominant speak for the minor in relation to cultural narrative. The minor groups are seen to know nothing and regarded to be primitive thus cannot be given a chance to explain themselves. Orientalism is seen to thrive on the generalization of cultural/racial subject. Inia is a big nation, with diverse cultural, traditional and religious practices that cannot be merged into a lone identity declaration. However, Apu accepts the hackneyed characters that make him an Indian in the eyes of the Westerns.  The fact that he is a Hindu, his religious beliefs become an insignia of his ethnicity. But in reality, India is not a Hindu state and the assumption is misplaced like that of saying that America is strictly a Christian country. Another character used as a representation of Indian Identity is the one whose accent is overemphasized and crafted by a Western actor. The voice is used to signify racial discrimination in Peter Sellers (The Party). The cultural reduction experienced is a clear indication that denies the Indian subjects the esteemed heritage.