Type: Research Essays
Sample donated: Stacey Miller
Last updated: June 21, 2019
The objects of travelwriting have changedthroughout history. With the rise of the colonial revolution, a travelwriter’sjourney has moved from being a voluntary act with no hidden intentions to a plannedmove of support towards the colonial objectives of one’s own country.Stereotypical images then were used in travel narratives in order to convincethe readers that the colonial act is right and that it was mainly executed withcultural motives, not political ones. Besides, a negative representation of theconquered country can help shape a strong and powerful image of the colonizingside which would always be viewed as superior and more civilized than thecolonized1.
Many travel narratives can be used asreliable references inwriting the history of a country. Hence, all thestereotypes and lies built on the culture of a country start taking part in theconstruction of its history, which will surely never be forgotten. In the past,and during the times Morocco was still under the control of the French colony,Moroccan homes were receiving British and French travelwriters and they would savethe visual captures of their experiences to later write about the social lifeof the Moroccans in their narratives. The writings would feed the westernreaders’ hunger for the exotic, the strange and the purely unfamiliar world andequally help them build a visual image about the country in question.The capital usually represents the besta country can give, which makes anything written about Fes (the old capital) soimportant in building a fair image of Morocco. The representation of women isof equal importance, we cannot expect a nation to be developed if its mother isstill lagging behind. That was exactly what brought my interest to the chapterwhere Eugène Aubin, a French writer, describes the social life in Fez and thelife of its women in particular in his book Morocco of To-day (1906).
The proposed research will take the representation of women in that passage asa subject of study and the extract willbe analyzed and dealt with in both a close and a distant overview.Several researchers dealt with genderrepresentation in colonial discourse before. Some of them stood for the Indianwoman in British literature, others asked for a proper representation of theGuinean woman in French travel narratives, but as far as I know, no one wasthere to criticize the way the Moroccan woman was represented in the Frenchworks during the protectorate.
Which is why I believe an appropriateinvestigation about the matter should be put into practice.Theoretical framework:In a female-centered subject of study, no theorycould best suit the matter than a feminist one. The application of a feminist approach will give us a clearer vision of thechanges that should occur in the affair as it can provide a richer and lesssubjective viewpoint of the problem.The subject of our study should be dealt with inboth a narrow and a broad analysis. In order for the approach not to be too subjective,we will first have to treat the wider concern which is colonial discourse.
Theuse of a feminist theory will come second in order to focus on how women’sidentities and bodies are being used and represented in a false or biased view.Finally, the results of the preparatory study willbe used as a support for deeper analysis of the chosen passage. All the mainfindings will be applied in a closer overview of the extract where Eugène Aubindescribed the life of the women of Fez in the 15thchapter in hisbook :Morocco of To-day (1906).Every single aspect in the descriptionwill be analyzed, one at a time, forming a proper division of the study.
Conclusion:In the course ofthis study, we will analyze how the colonial discourse can affect women. Awoman living in a conquered country can be doubly colonized, as both patriarchyand colonialism would combine forces to turn her into an object to use in anyway they find profitable.The main aims of the proposed study will be to fighttraditional stereotypes in relation to women’s bodies and identities andequally encourage the formation of a new representation of the Moroccan womanin both history and literature. The results will be to inspire a rewriting ofan accurate history of the “true” Moroccan woman, a proper and stereotype-freerepresentation of the Moroccan culture and a convenient documentation of theMoroccan woman’s fight against both the patriarchal institution and thecolonial one.1Colonial discourse of otherness : stereotyping and fetishism :https://www.brown.edu/Departments/Joukowsky_Institute/courses/materialworlds/1857.html