The Inevitable Otherness behind the Mask in T. E. Lawrence’s Seven Pillars of Wisdom


The concept of “Otherness” can be perceived in several European narrative writings. Despite the complications that the definition of the term might imply, most of the works presented have a deliberate emphasis on presenting the deleterious chauvinisms concerning the Orient. In Orientalist literature, one can notice the insistence on keeping the potentials and differences between the East and the West. The reader is presented with a variety of events that serve to indicate the Western superiority over the East in all aspects. In this conception, the social, philosophical and cultural structure of the Eastern societies is to be considered inferior to the Western one. Therefore, negation is viewed as the only way of comparison between the two. This study examines T.E. Lawrence’s Seven Pillars of Wisdom (SPW) as a typical orientalist text. Moreover, it sheds light on the conflicting powers in the personal identity of Lawrence himself. Through evidences and insights, it argues that though Lawrence contends that he has written a travel narrative in SPW, the novel is an autobiography of an Orientalist imperial agent, a White Man who continues the tradition of reductionism and stereotyping and technically rests on Orientalist strategies.


Arkan Naser Hussain, Hassan Qanood Jabir and Noor Kadhoum Jawad


Imperialism, orientalism, otherness, postmodernism, reductionism, stereotyping.