Doctor No

Chinese as ‘Otherness’ in Fleming’s Doctor No

Ian Fleming’s Doctor No was published in 1958, nine years after Mao Zedong and his communist party formed the PRC (People’s Republic of China). While the formation of the PRC united the long-time warring states within China itself, it also added another large communist country to the global community and thus intensified many fears of those in the West; these fears are both subtly and vividly expressed in Fleming’s sixth 007 novel Doctor No. Utilizing a post-colonial lens, Fleming’s depiction of the Chinese people and their culture in Doctor No corresponds with Edward Said’s recognition that the Western cultures have a “long-standing way of identifying the East as ‘Other’” (Barry 193); Fleming’s Chinese characters are represented as “anonymous masses, rather than individuals,” and the “cruelty, sensuality, [and] decadence” of their personality traits then becomes “the repository or projection of those aspects of themselves which Westerners do not choose to acknowledge” (Barry 193-94).

The first mentions of Chinese people in the novel are the three blind men who are associated with an “oddness” and ‘anonymous otherness’. The three men, walking down Kingston by the Queen’s Club “walked in file… they said nothing…except [for] the...

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