Joyce Zonana is Professor of Comparative Literature and Director of Women’s Studies at the University of New Orleans. As an Egyptian Jew, she focuses on accounts of ethnicity in major nineteenth-century texts which, she claims, are passed over by early feminist critics since they are usually regarded as marginal. Her focus allows her to subject the casual treatment of Oriental women to an intensive scrutiny that reveals an attitude that is more oppressive than that taken towards Western women in the nineteenth century. She draws attention to the racism inherent in the use of imperialist metaphors to underwrite domestic ideology at home. The disparagement of the harem is shown to be used as a mechanism for urging the West to become unlike the Orient and more like itself. Zonana makes a case for such an approach having a long history in Western literature and she traces it in some detail. She sees her readings as a corrective to the feminist preoccupation with Western women and yet as a strengthening of the feminist approach which would otherwise remain blindly racist. The same kind of argument can be used in relation to the frequent use of slavery as a metaphor for class oppression in nineteenth-century writing.