Background and Story of The Mummy
Discuss about the Portrayal of the Middle East through the Mummy(1999).
The portrayal of a certain geographical area through the movies and other media related to literature might relate to the actual attributes of the concerned area. The literary pieces of work as well as the depiction of the same in the various movies helps the concerned audience to have some glimpses of the concerned area that is focused on in the concerned movie or the concerned literary piece of work. The movies further help the concerned audience to develop an insight on the concerned area or the time period that has been portrayed or referred to in the concerned movie (Halpern 2015). The following essay deals with the depiction of the middle east in the famous movie titled The Mummy. The essay opens with the portrayal of the Middle East and the inhabitants of the concerned area through the famous movie that has been chosen for the concerned assignment. The essay further proceeds to analyze the factors pertaining to the various positive as well as the negative stereotypes that are portrayed within the concerned movie. The essay attempts an analysis of the concerned movie on the lines of the stereotyping that is depicted in the concerned movie. The essay nears the end with the various conditions that might be put across to the concerned audience on the various matters that are related to the conditions prevalent in the Middle East as portrayed by the concerned movie, in discussion, The Mummy that was released in the year 1999.
The concerned movie in discussion, The Mummy, is one of the famous movies of the action fantasy genre. The movie was written as well as directed by the Stephen Sommers. The movie is often considered to be a very loose remake of a movie of the same title that was released in the year 1932 (Youtube.com 2018). The basic outline of the story states that the protagonist of the story, an adventurer has been accompanying an archaeologist and her brother to the city of Hamunaptra in Egypt, also known as the city of the dead. During their visit to the city they come across some other people who have been heading in the same direction in order to raid the pyramids in search of the huge amounts of wealth that were buried with the dead during the rule of the Pharaohs in the land of Egypt. The group of people whom the trio met on their way had recovered certain items from the concerned pyramid. The archaeologist had mistakenly read a book that was recovered by the concerned members of the other team that had been working at the concerned sector (El Hamamsy and Soliman 2013). The reading of the concerned book had led to the awakening of Imhotep, a high priest who had been operational during the reign of the Pharaoh Seti I. This had led to the conditions that had brought misery upon the general people of the concerned city wherein the tomb had been located.
Stereotyping in The Mummy
The concerned priest, Imhotep, was claimed to have been buried alive as a punishment for some grave sin that he had committed by getting involved in a love affair with the mistress of the then pharaoh, Pharaoh Seti I. The pharaoh had come to know of the concerned illicit affair which led to the assassination of the Pharaoh at the hands of the mistress and the priest. The priest flees the area while the mistress kills herself with the expectation that the priest would resurrect her from the dead. The priest and his team attempt to resurrect to the mistress of the pharaoh but are interrupted by the Medjai, the bodyguards of the late pharaoh. (Smith, Choueiti, and Pieper 2014) The team of Imhotep was mummified alive while much worse punishment awaited the high priest. Imhotep was sentenced to Hom Dai, the worst of the curses in Egypt and was buried alive with the scrab beetles, infamous for their habit of feeding on the raw flesh. The priest is then sealed away into a sarcophagus and buried at the feet of the statue of Anubis that was present in the city of Hamunaptra. The area was strictly surveyed and maintained by the Medjai, the bodyguards of the concerned pharaoh in order to prevent the resurrection of the priest and thereby saving the country from the dangerous plagues that the resurrection of the priest might bring along.
The background story of the movie portrays the various cultures that were present within the society of the Middle Eastern countries. The movie portrayed the various characters who were presented in the concerned story in the light of the various practices and the cultures that were abided by in the countries of the Middle East. The concerned movie also portrays the citizens of the area to be afraid of the consequences of defying the rules that have been followed within the country since the ancient times (Schroeder 2016). The movie also puts forth the various practices that were followed in the ancient times in order to maintain the hierarchy in the various practices and the well-maintenance of the strata of the social hierarchy that was present in the then society.
The movie deals with the stereotyping of the various number of people belonging to the various societies as portrayed within the concerned movie. The various societies that have been portrayed within the movie are the American society, the Medjai, the current Egyptian society. The movie tends to portray the fact that there has always been a number of the people residing in the concerned societies who are in a constant search for the wealth that might have been accumulated by the ancient kings and pharaohs. The movie tends to stereotype them to be the ones who concentrate only on the wealth that they might acquire at the end of the day and do not even find it necessary to look into the other aspects that might be related to the act (Rastegar 2015). The movie portrays the inhabitants of the Middle East to be people who tend to fear the Divine and other supernatural powers. The Middle East people are known to have great respect and fear for the matters that have been followed in the concerned area since times immemorial. The concerned movie depicts the conditions of the belief in the superstitions and the other facts that have been practiced by the various members of the society. The movie depicts the fact that the Westerners are not the ones who abide by the various instructions that were extended by the members of the Medjai in order to prevent the various mishaps that might have followed the resurrection of the high priest, Imhotep. The movie puts forth the fact that the Western excavators and archaeologists had continued with the excavation and had laid their hands on the sarcophagus of the high priest as well as the various organs of the mistress of the concerned deceased pharaoh of the country. The various members of the excavation group are seen to be continuing with the excavation job thereby leading to the worst-case scenario that was apprehended by the Medjai. The priest got resurrected and as was predicted by the Medjai and thus led to the unleashing of the consequences of almost a thousand plagues within the city. The middle east people are described to be God abiding people and known to be abiding by the laws of nature that are implemented within the concerned country (Avraham 2016). The people of the country are portrayed to maintain the hierarchy within the society and still believe in the matters that pertain to the various laws and practices that have been put across by the ancient members of the concerned society.
Superstitions and Cultural Practices in The Mummy
The movie also puts forth certain superstitions that are till date followed by the people residing in Egypt. One of the scenes in the movie depicts the fear of the cats by the devil. The movie tends to project the resurrected priest to be an evil force. One particular scene in the movie demonstrates that the priest while undergoing the resurrection process enters a room wherein the archaeologist responsible for its resurrection, Evelyn, had been sleeping. The mummy had entered in the form of sand which tends to put forth the fact that the people of the Middle East believed that the spirits and the other supernatural powers could assume the shape of the various other elements that are present within the various parts of the world (Sazzad 2017). The movie also stereotyped the people of the Middle East to be afraid of the cats and consider them to be divine beings who were responsible for the protection of the people who are virtuous. The scene within the movie had depicted the fact that the evil spirits within the concerned country were known to be afraid of the cats that are actually considered to be the members of the divine category. The speedy retreat of the concerned evil spirit tends to be a mark of the fact that the Middle Eastern society believes in the triumph of the good over the evil.
The concerned movie helps the concerned audience to learn more about the practices that are prevalent in the middle east in the matters that deal with the supernatural and the presence of the same in the everyday lives of the concerned residents of the area. The movie further portrays the fact that the people of the Middle East tend to abide by the laws that are set by the concerned members of the community since the ancient times. The movie further assists the audience on the matters that deal with the information on the beliefs and the rituals that were practiced by the concerned members of the society in the ancient ages (Ucko and Champion 2016). The other members of the audience are also enlightened by the information on the various matters that deal with the practices and the processes that were followed by the concerned members of the society and the various supernatural matters that deal with the resurrection and the reversal of the death in the ancient times. The movie, though a fiction, is capable of throwing light on the various conditions and the practices that might have existed in the earlier times. The movie also presents great visuals on the interiors of the various pyramids and the other sacred areas within the concerned tombs that contain the sarcophagi and the other remains of the pharaohs of the then time period. The other factors that are depicted within the concerned movie might deal with the pictorial representation of the various mythical characters that were found to be existent within the concerned societal barriers. The movie during its concluding parts reveals Anubis who was known to be the God of Embalming and the Dead (Jones et al 2014). The movie portrays the fact that the concerned people living in the Middle East tended to rely on the fact that the good and the virtuous always triumph over the evil and vicious. The movie finally ends with the self-sacrifice of Imhotep to the River of Fire, the death of the concerned member of the excavation group who had expressed the greatest amount of greed for the wealth that were discovered while excavating the tomb.
Thus, in conclusion to the above discussion, it might be pointed out that the movie in discussion, The Mummy, depicts the various factors that might have been effective in the portrayal of the various matters that might help the audience to gather more information about the then society in Middle East and the various beliefs as well as disbeliefs that were present within the minds of the people who have been residing in the concerned area in the ancient times. The movie might also be said to reveal the various conditions that deal with the matters that pertain to the practices and the cultures that were followed within the Middle Eastern society as well as demarcates the cultural practices of the Middle Eastern society from the one that is abided by the western cultures. Thus, it might safely be concluded that the concerned movie throws a certain amount of light on the practices and the norms that are followed within the concerned society in discussion, the Middle Eastern society.
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