Generally, as a human being, one make choices that might have long-lasting effects. In "Shooting an Elephant," by George Orwell, the author narrates an experience of his life when he has to choose the lesser of two evils. The story takes place at somehow times of imperialism during the five miserable years Orwell spends in Burma as a British police officer. Although Orwell repudiates his circumstance in life he has to kill an elephant, an invaluable work animal to save his honor. The despondent young officer Orwell lives in mental isolation. Also, Orwell feels repugnance to the British imperialism and the Burmese as well as his job. In his essay, Orwell uses the rifle, Orwell himself, and the elephant as symbols to represent several elements during his experience in Burma.
First of all, the rifle symbolizes the power of the British Empire. The use of guns is to control the colonists. In this suburb in Burma, only the British owned and possessed the guns “The Burmese population has no weapon” (324). Also, the rifle represents the brute force which is at the disposition of the colonial British ruler and it is this which empowers them to appear as demi-gods to the Burmese and rule over them. “I took my rifle…much too small to kill an elephant, but I thought the noise might be useful in terrorem” (324). Showing the dominance of the British Empire over the Burmese. In addition, the rifle represents those people who easily follow the majority belief guidance. The narrator uses the rifle for self-defense “I had merely sent for the rifle to defend myself if is necessary” (p326), but when the Burmese exhort Orwell to kill the elephant it deviates to a weapon “like a mad dog” (p330). Then, the change of the rifl...
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... in great agony” (329) finally after half an hour it dies, same happen to the Imperialism although it refuses to die, after a long process of dying finally it did.
Finally, the use of resource languages, such symbols eventually lead up to the conclusion that imperialism is not effective. In his essay, Orwell shows that humans can be influenced very easily and the harm of imperialism upon humans. Effectively Orwell demonstrates these symbols by showing how he presumably the higher power is turning into a victim, he implies that it is tragic how humans will engage in activities to avoid looking foolish in front of others. By relating his personal experience in Burma, the pressure to shoot the elephant, and the painfully slow death of the elephant, Orwell brings together his thesis and successfully shows through those symbols that imperialism is evil and wrong.
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