Sue-Im Lee’s “We are not the World”

In Lee’s article, “We are not the World” she discusses the ideology of universalism and the “global village” in Karen Tei Yamashita’s Tropic of Orange. She uses evidence from the novel to support her argument that universalism is often construed as either an oppressive or progressive force but ultimately falls short of promises, which is contested in Yamashita’s focus on disenfranchised subjects. Her term ” global village” refers to the “disconnected, non-integrated parts” that make up a universal whole. Throughout the article she uses the characters as examples of disenfranchised people and how the use of “we” as used by the First World people actually does more to disconnect and oppress the Third World than to unify them. The Third World then confronts the First World industry in Arcangel’s wrestling match against SUPERNAFTA, Bobby and Raphaela are both used as subjects who are invisible or disaffiliated from the larger city, and Manzanar’s “romantic universalism” throughout the novel personifies the impossibility of universalism as a benefactor in society.

One Response to Sue-Im Lee’s “We are not the World”

  1. Prof VZ March 13, 2016 at 9:44 am #

    I appreciate the concise introduction to Lee’s article, but this bonus post was reserved more for your engaged response to it rather than just the set-up.

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