Shooting An Elephant Rhetorical Analysis

analytical Essay
609 words
609 words

Bloodbath in Futility In “Shooting an Elephant” much more happens than solely the shooting of an elephant. George Orwell depicts the murder scene of an elephant in Burma and precisely describes the events that led to its demise. Orwell uses various rhetorical techniques to instill the emotion felt in the moment of slaughter. Through the descriptions of the impending crowd and the crushing end of a majestical beast, Orwell appeals to the reader’s pathos. With these emotionally trying tales, Orwell excels at winning the reader over to the idea that imperialism has a massively negative influence on the oppressed and the oppressors. Orwell uses the rhetorical strategies irony, simile, and extended metaphor to convey his message to the reader. …show more content…

“I perceived in this moment that when the white man turns tyrant it is his own freedom he destroys.” (6) The inert ironic nature of this statement truly depicts Orwell’s feeling about being an oppressor. He feels that he is oppressed by those he oppresses. On its death bed the elephant is both “powerless to move yet powerless to die.” It is ironic that such a powerful beast has been put in a position of complete futility. This situational irony alludes to Orwell’s own powerless situation. Orwell did not want to kill the elephant in the first place and yet, ironically, he bestowed it a slow, torturous death fit for the devil. Orwell is just one more to add to the bloodbath that directly results from imperialism. The bloodbath in futility shows the excessively abysmal effects of …show more content…

The Burmese people fought three wars and ended up seceding their social, economic and political life to the British despots. The extended metaphor in “Shooting an Elephant” is covert and blaring. The elephant and the British are one in abusive power. When the elephant raids the market place it symbolizes the exploitation and obliteration of the Asian economy under the British Raj. When the elephant kills the “coolie” it symbolizes the slave-like conditions that the British forced upon the Burmese peoples. The final resting position of the dead “coolie” symbolizes the innocence of the Burmese peoples, as he was in a crucifixion-like pose similar to Christ’s “final” resting place. The involvement of the Burmese people in football is a symbol of the imposition of British culture and the attempted obliteration of the native

In this essay, the author

  • Analyzes how george orwell depicts the murder scene of an elephant in burma and precisely describes the events that led to its demise.
  • Analyzes how orwell's use of irony in "shooting an elephant" is instrumental to the contradictory feel of the essay.
  • Analyzes how orwell uses simile to consummate the idea that imperialism is corrosive to all, even the oppressors.
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