George Orwell's Writing

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George Orwell's Writing George Orwell is best known for his fiction writing, particularly Animal Farm and 1984. In 'Shooting an Elephant' he demonstrates his talent in non-fiction writing. Not everyone was familiar with the way in which the British Imperial rule worked and Orwell uses his rhetorical language to bring the readers of his essay into the immediate world that was that of an imperial officer. Orwell?s essay is written in the first person perspective. This was done deliberately by Orwell to make the reader feel closer to the action taking place. By writing in the first person instead of in say, the third person, Orwell allows for himself to show his feelings. This is what makes it a personal essay rather than just a man telling a story. With this personal viewpoint exposed, Orwell was able to touch on his own feelings about imperialism and the Burmese people as he tells the story, thus adding to the immediacy that the reader feels to his worlds. 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? to describe these little beasts? shows that he understood why they treated him like they did. They themselves were not evil but they were evil-spirited towards him. Orwell conveys this stuck in the middle feeling to show the ... ... middle of paper ... ...ousand Burmans would see me?reduced to a grinning corpse?And if that happened it was quite probable some of them would laugh. That would never do.? This is more irony employed by Orwell. This irony ties right in with the constant metaphors to the theater and to him feeling like a ?puppet? and a ?dummy?. He feels so much like he has to please the Burmans but he will not stand for letting them be pleased by him dying. It?s ironic that either he or the elephant, both symbols of imperialism, must be killed for the Burmese to smile. Overall, Orwell employs these rhetorical tools such as metaphors, symbolism, and irony, as well as choosing to write in the first person perspective, deliberately to bring the reader into the immediate world of a colonial police officer. His choice of language and rhetoric makes the story that much more relatable to the reader.

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