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Word Count: 1,351
Essential Exoticism A Juxtaposition of Joey and Jasmine Sensuality and sexuality passion and desire mystery and unknown these are the raw emotions that define exoticism Although exoticism cannot be clearly illustrated through mere words the core ideologies of Eastern exoticism have remained unchanged consistent and distinctive for centuries Exotic beings have long been subjects of Western scrutiny and penetration and the characters of Joey Sands and Jasmine are no exception As a sexually-indifferent Manila mestizo in contemporary times Joey Sands also known as Mr Heartbreak according to disco owner Andres Alacran is privileged as a first person narrator in Dogeaters by Jessica Hagedorn In Jasmine Bharati Mukherjee broke into the mainstream with a story that uncovers the myth of the American manifest destiny In this tale of immigrant assimilation and aspiration Jasmine a poor Indian girl has little power outside of her will and irresistible beauty By analyzing the ways Joey and Jasmines exoticism influenced surrounding characters and their own personal developments as first person narrators the parallels between these two otherwise contrasting characters can easily be drawn His assertive seduction of Rainer and normative flows of capital by selling his desirability and being a thief make Joey Sands the forerunner of exoticism in Hagedorns novel The young hustlers protean ability ensures his survival His body is the spectacle that attracts paying customers thus Joey learns to market and sell his image as commodity to run men around and make them give him money Hagedorn 44 Mimicking scenes in erotic films Joey sells his body to men creating his own movies with their flexible endings to conjure self-empowering visions In one imaginary scene he sees himself as a strong young animal--the statue of a magnificent young god 132 Yet Joeys narcissistic reflection mirrors and depends on the others desire the dreamer becomes the viewer who cant get over how perfect I am 132 While his cool tone encloses the reader in familiarity
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