James Baldwin and George Orwell Comparison
The essay “Stranger in the village” by James Baldwin, and “Shooting an Elephant” by George Orwell, share a similarity in their experience in a new environments. Orwell a British officer he was not warmly welcome, the Burmese people hated. As for Baldwin it is more of racism than hated. Both essays happen in unfamiliar places where there were racism and discrimination. They do not fit in with the natives and is judged because of their nationalities. However, the themes of these writing differ.
Baldwin being visits an unfamiliar place that was mostly populated by white people; they were very interested in the color of his skin. The villagers had never seen a black person before, which makes the villager question if he is a real person. The village is quiet not many activity, they had no moves, bank, and no library, only a few radios. He feels like he was an outsider because no one stops to talk to him, everyone just minding their own way, but they still criticize on how Baldwin appeared looks.
Orwell had a similar experience to Baldwin where he was in an unfamiliar place as an officer in Burma. He started his essay by claiming a perspective on British Imperialism. He said that it is evil and against oppressors. He feels hatred and guilt toward both himself and “The evil-spirited little beasts” as he refers to the Burmese people. (195) His essay was base around his experiences with the people and the shooting of an elephant. As he face the elephant and the Burmese to show his courage as an officer.
In the Swiss village Baldwin feels like he is discriminated. His feels lonely toward the Swiss villager. After leaving the village during the summer, he returns in the winter to find out t...
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...ne the right thing, for a mad elephant has to be killed, like a mad dog, if its owner fails to control it.”(199). Orwell knows that it was unnecessary to harm the elephant, but he did it anyways, that’s what the crowd wanted.
Both Orwell and Baldwin have a very much similarity in their experiences, as for Baldwin he was called name and made fun at because of his skin color and how he look, but that did not stop him he was upset when the villager called him name, but sooner or later people realize Baldwin is not just a “living wonder” people became interested in him more afterward. Orwell also felt and realizes that he was just trying not to be a fool when Orwell says “I often wondered whether any of the others grasped that I had done it solely to avoid looking like a fool” (Orwell 200). He felt that his whole experience was just an act to impress the Burmese people.
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