Edith Wharton’s Moroccan Clichés | History Today

Some reviewers disagreed with her and In Morocco prompted political debate. ‘All the properties of an Arabian Nights tale are here’, wrote Irita Van Doren in the Nation, noting ‘camels and donkeys, white-draped riders, palmetto deserts, camel’s hair tents, and veiled women’. However, she cautioned, Wharton ‘accepts without question the general theory of imperialism’. Wharton did not invent Moroccan clichés, but her high profile and the concurrent growth of US power rendered their use political in a new way. Her descriptions of a backward land called for Western intervention in the Arab world.
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