The Romance Of The Harem Analysis

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Anna Leonowens as a Travel Writer: Her Perspective on the Harem Travellers often have stories to tell of their journeys. According to Chtatou, travel writing is “literature that records the people, events, sights and feelings of an author who is touring a foreign place for the pleasure of travel.” The author’s encounters and experiences while travelling can often change their perceptions, thoughts and beliefs and inspire them to write about their journey. In The Romance of the Harem, Anna Leonowens writes on her perspective of her experiences as an English woman in Siam, presently known as Thailand. Leonowens came to Siam to be an English school teacher, teaching the many children of King Mongkut. Leonowens is an educated, intelligent woman who tends to critically view certain aspects of the native culture of Siam. She writes of her thoughts and feelings towards her experiences in Siam. This essay will discuss Leonowens’ encounters…show more content…
According to Merriam-Webster, a concubine is defined as “an unmarried woman who has sex with a man and lives with the man and his wife or wives.” Polygamy is defined as “the state or practice of being married to more than one person at the same time” (Merriam-Webster). King Mongkut is accountable for participating in concubinage and polygamy by having multiple wives and partners. Anna Leonowens also writes of gender inequities in the harem of Siam. Women are taken advantage of as physical and sexual slaves. Leonowens focuses her writing on women as slaves, and rarely discusses men as being slaves. This could be due to the concubinage and polygamy exhibited by King Mongkut, in which he can easily utilize his wives to do whatever he orders, physically and sexually. He also has the control to bring them to trial and sentence them if they don’t follow his expectations. The women in this situation have little or no
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