‘Shooting an Elephant’ by George Orwell (1936) explains his views on how imperialism changed. In lower Burma, during a time when the British Empire had colonised a large sum of the world. Orwell was working as an police officer in the town, in which it’s natives hated Europeans, however, they were afraid to causing any sort of uprising. Yet, they would degrade a European walking the streets, he was subjected to slander and assault just because he was British. Orwell felt anger towards the natives, thinking their sole purpose was to upset him.
He even confirms his “thought of the British Raj as an unbreakable tyranny” and says, “Ask any Anglo-Indian official, if you catch him off duty,” referring to the hatred of the English empire (58). By expressing his dislike for the British, Orwell is finally attempting to stand up for his beliefs. The fact that his character is unable to execute his beliefs, though, highlights him trying to not look foolish in the presence of others. Clearly, he is in an unbearable circle of self-deprecation and doubt. By the end of the narrative, Orwell’s character regrets his decision to shoot the elephant.
This statement proves how the British believed the Burmese to be inferior to them, and overall unskilled people. Although Orwell claims that the Burmese often jeered at him and he was often targeted by them, it is evident that he is overall not the true victim of the story. Orwell himself states that he “was all for the Burmese and all against their oppressors, the British” (1). This shows that in actuality the Burmese were the victims to the British imperialists and Orwell.
The Use of Metaphors in Shooting an Elephant by George Orwell In the essay ?Shooting an Elephant? by George Orwell, the author uses metaphors to represent his feelings on imperialism, the internal conflict between his personal morals, and his duty to his country. Orwell demonstrates his perspectives and feelings about imperialism.and its effects on his duty to the white man?s reputation. He seemingly blends his opinions and subjects into one, making the style of this essay generally very simple but also keeps it strong enough to merit numerous interpretations. Orwell expresses his conflicting views regarding imperialism throughout the essay by using three examples of oppression and by deliberatly using his introspection on imperialism.
With the use of the literary strategies of logos, ethos and pathos, as well as, the use of images and symbolism, Orwell take us on a journey by successfully portraying his arguments on how imperialism effects everyone involved. Shooting an Elephant does more than just show the negative effects of Imperialism. By the careful use of words and descriptions, Orwell expands his argument to describe the effect that pressure has on people.
In his essay, Shooting an Elephant, George Orwell illustrates his experiences as a British police officer, and reflects it to the nature of imperialism. He hates his job as a police officer in Moulmein because an “anti-European feeling was very bitter” due to British Empire’s dictatorship in Burma. Therefore, Orwell, a white man is being treated disrespectfully by the Burmese which allows him to hate his job and British Empire, the root of everything. However, the incident of shooting of an elephant gives him a “better glimpse … of the real nature of imperialism – the real motives for which despotic government act” (13). In order to express the effects of imperialism, Orwell illustrates this “enlightening” incidence by using various dictions, rhetorical devices, sentence structures, and generating appropriate tone and mood (13).
In one hand, his guilt causes him to feel sympathetic for disowning and mistreating the natives he grew up alongside. However, this guilt is caused by his loyalty to his job even though he knows the evils of imperialism first hand. This results in Orwell loathing his job, imperialism, and the Burmese people oppressing him. In further examination of “Shooting an Elephant”, it is clear that Orwell uses an abundance of symbols in his writing. He uses specific objects or people to represent ideas and qualities that have a symbolic meaning such as the rise and decline of the oppressing imperialistic British empire, but mainly himself and his battle against his distraught mind and unbearable
George Orwell openly expresses his own frustration to his situation in his memoir; his obvious dislike "for the empire [he] served" (Orwell 282) and its imperialism oppression and his blatant "rage against evil-spirited little beasts" (282) who reciprocated his hatred because of his employment as a British officer in their home. However, it is because of Orwell's inability to choose between his British identity an... ... middle of paper ... ...upporting imperialism and the motivations behind their actions. Orwell, by admitting that his motive for killing the innocent beast was brought on by his own will to avoid humiliation at the hands of the locals means that Orwell is able to recognize the. With Orwell the oppression of the British on the Burmese people caused direct harm to Orwell. It is because of this cruelty found in humans that Orwell places emphasis in his essay on the unjustified violence inflicted on the elephant, who wrongly received judgement from the imperialistic response of Orwell to combat his own inner demons with the locals.
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
He is a British police officer in Burma, but says that he was against the British in the oppression of the Burmese. Orwell uses particular diction and language choice to convey the fact that he feels almost stuck in the middle in the whole situation. Orwell says, ?All I knew was that I was stuck between my hatred of the empire I served and my rage against the evil-spirited little beasts who tried to make my job impossible.? He calls the Burmese ?little beasts? showing his dislike but then choosing the adjective ?evil-spirited?