A Critical Analysis Of George Orwell's Shooting An Elephant

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…When The White Man Turns Tyrant It Is His Own Freedom That He Destroys: A Critical Analysis Of George Orwell’s “Shooting An Elephant” Killing an enemy chips away at your humanity. It is human nature to long for acceptance within one’s community. Often, one is forced to sacrifice bits of their morals to achieve this acceptance. In “Shooting an Elephant” Orwell illustrates this concept by recalling an incident that occurred during his time as a British police officer in Moulmein, Burma. The task he was set to accomplish while here was the dispatching of a renegade elephant. It is during this period of time that Orwell comes to terms with this inner struggle. Orwell communicates the story in first-person point of view. He blames British…show more content…
With one part of my mind I thought of the British Raj as an unbreakable tyranny, as something clamped down, in saecula saeculorum, upon the will of prostrate peoples; with another part I thought that the greatest joy in the world would be to drive a bayonet into a Buddhist priest 's guts. Feelings like these are the normal by-products of imperialism; ask any Anglo-Indian official, if you can catch him off duty. Orwell conveys his inner turmoil clearly through his eloquent use of alliteration, symbolism, and imagery. Orwell’s essay has quite a number of instances of alliteration. Some of them are as follows: “Yellow faces of young men that met me…show more content…
Imagery enhances the scenic quality of this essay and adds to its integrity as in the following example, “… when we heard yells a little distance away. There was a loud, scandalized cry of “Go away, child! Go away this instant!” and an old woman with a switch in her hand came round the corner of a hut, violently shooing away a crowd of naked children. Some more women followed, clicking their tongues and exclaiming… ”. Orwell provides concrete images and unfolds layers of meaning through his particular precision in utilizing numerous words, phrases and clauses. The image in the expression “His face was coated with mud, the eyes wide open, the teeth bared and grinning with an expression of unendurable agony” is simple and painful which etches the text in the memory of the readers. Orwell uses gruesome images of the dying elephant to imprint his arguments into the minds of the audience. The dying elephant is described with sections like “the thick blood welled out of him like red velvet”, “the tortured breathing continued without a pause.”, and “he was dying, very slowly and in great agony” and such ghastly images tell of the tragedies of imperialism. Through such use of imagery, Orwell is able to plant a powerful political message in the minds of the audience. The text is also heavily interlaced with auditory images like “shouting excitedly” “jeering” “grinning” “devilish roar of

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