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Abduction, sexual violence and the harem.

Key students : Burge, Haddad, Jarmakani, Kaler, Taylor, Teo. rn[Conclusion Site 17] Abduction is a persistent and, some allege, exceptional motif in modern sheikh romance (see Flesch, Kaler). In 1970s and 1980s harem historicals, abduction is “the most well known leitmotif” (Teo, Desert Passions 161). Burge notes that 70% of sheikh romances posted between 2000-2009 in the United kingdom Modern-day Romance sequence element abduction or captivity ( Symbolizing Variation 138).

The motif is a marketing place Emily Haddad highlights Harlequin’s energetic marketing of abduction in sheikh romance through e book descriptions and blurbs (45). The present-day articulation of abduction owes substantially to The Sheik Anne K.

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Kaler and Flesch both of those use Hull’s novel to detect the motif. The conflation of abduction, rape, and violence in The Sheik , reviewed previously mentioned, imbues the motif in up to date sheikh romance with latent sexual risk – although the menace of rape is however existing, true rapes are rare in modern sheikh romance (Anderson 192, Flesch 186 Kaler 96 Teo, Desert Passions 218-19). Scholars concur that abduction stays a prominent trope, but diverge on the extent and depth of the motif. Haddad argues that sheikh romances downplay abduction in response to the renewed truth of the kidnap of western ladies in the Center East by replacing kidnapped western ladies with ethnically Arab people, shifting away from the Arab world as a placing, and minimising the role of abduction in the plot (56-60).

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Kaler submits that style competence and the insertion of really like into the motif (the heroine falling in enjoy with her hero captor) is important to safeguard viewers “from identifying with any reasonable features of the seize” (94). Burge agrees that latest sheikh novels have attempted to length them selves from the truth of kidnap but suggests as a substitute that the motif has transformed into what she terms “romance abduction”: a non-political abduction carried out by the hero for the needs of desire, not income, aiming to aid a marriage or sexual conversation between hero and heroine ( Representing Big difference 142-43 see also Kaler 87).

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The abduction motif attracts on Orientalist discourse it is presented as endemic to the desert location in which distinct goods and methods – harems, veiling, polygamy, bathing, purdah, jewellery – enhance themes of bondage (Haddad forty two Kaler 89-92 Teo, Desert Passions 162-sixty five). Burge promises that this association is how abduction turns into reworked as an eroticised cultural follow, or as security or rescue ( Symbolizing Variance 143-70 see also Jarmakani, “Sheik” 1005). Connecting the motif to wider Orientalist discourse, Jarmakani argues captivity is particularly successful at outlining the great sheikh / poor Arabiastani dichotomy ( Imperialist 68-69), although for Haddad, sheikh romance performs on fears of white slavery, giving a way for the heroine (and reader) “to sort out and occur to phrases with racially encouraged fears of Arabs” (fifty four). Due to the prevalence of abduction as a motif, the harem stays a prevalent trope in sheikh romance (Haddad 50 Jarmakani, Imperialist seventeen Teo, Desert Passions 219).

Drawing on longstanding Orientalist motifs (Taylor) and additional new affiliation of the harem with Arab patriarchy and oppression (Jarmakani, “Blade” 918 Imperialist 146), the harem is introduced virtually exclusively in the context of polygamy and sexualised captivity (Burge, Symbolizing Distinction a hundred forty five). [twelve] The harem is frequently employed as a shorthand for gender relations – particularly the perceived backwardness of the sheikh’s state (see also Taylor 1041) – and bolsters the heteropatriarchal picture of the sheikh hero (Burge, Symbolizing Distinction eighty one see also Haddad fifty three). The harem also serves to once in a while display the western heroine’s misunderstandings about the contemporary Middle East as heroines are corrected in their assumptions about the harem (Teo, Desert Passions 220, 179).