The Importance Of Imperialism In Literature

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Imperialism, is it the big, bad master who enslaves the good, little child or is it the good, big master who protects the bad, little child? As history has shown in the past; sometimes, it is both. Through examination of three important pieces of literature “Shooting an Elephant by G. Orwell, White Man’s Burden by R. Kipling, and The War Prayer by M. Twain, it becomes obvious that there are serious consequences in supporting imperialistic ideals. Three very important ideas about Imperialism can be gleaned from these writings, which then provide a distinct concept about the subject.
Empires are made weak by their own indignation, they are believed to be the master but are actually the slave, and they are ravaged by their own conquest until
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Imperialism is a double edged sword which has been wielded by nations around the world for centuries but which serves no purpose but to harm all it touches. Orwell described the beginning of the end of the empire as a hollowness, and the futility of the British dominion in the colony of Burma, as a sea of yellow faces momentarily watching to see the elephant killed. The Burmese people hated Britain and saw the empire as a mad elephant, a good for nothing beast in need of destruction. At the moment in time when the British Empire had outlived its days of glory, it was described as when the white man has turned into a mad tyrant that it is his own freedom that he has destroyed. It would take several more years for the British Empire to let go of the colonies. The empire would never again stretch across the globe never to see the sun set upon it, but it was also far from dead. The spirits of the British people and the colonized territories endured a slow and painful tug of war before it was done. There was much more agony for both sides. Mr. Kipling wrote of eloquently of the selfishness of Imperialism, as did Mr. Twain, and how it ravages all involved. Nothing is left untouched by the ruthlessness of war, so take heed with the selfishness in the building of empires, for the harm it will bring to you in the…show more content…
Building empires required great cost of life and limb in order to obtain wealth. This blessing, which countries asked for themselves, was also a curse (Twain, 1923). Alas, the words of these writers fell on deft ears however, as Mr. Twain knew it would. That was the “glad and gracious time”, the time, was a time of empires! Anyone who disapproved of such imperialistic conduct would not convince the majority that it was a terrible and vicious losing battle, crushing the spirits of all it touched. Imperialism is like the prayer of a man that does not realize what he has just asked for, and has no idea of the real and terrible outcome. This was the message Mr. Twain, Mr. Kipling, and Mr. Orwell tried to convey in their writings. Imperialism comes at too high a price to pay. The lesson is there to be learned. Empires are made weak through haughty indignation, they are conceived to be the master but are actually the slave, and they are ravaged by their own conquest until the people’s spirits are

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