George Orwell 's ' Shooting An Elephant ' Essay

George Orwell 's ' Shooting An Elephant ' Essay

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In George Orwell’s “Shooting an Elephant”, Orwell priorities the abuse of the Burmese people by the British Empire. Orwell uses the shooting of the elephant to the plight of the Burmese people and their unbroken will in some civil disobedience. The elephant represents a defiance of the British Empire. Also since he was seen as the figured head of the state he had to take action or ruin not only his own standings with the crowd but also with the face of the British Empire.
When Orwell starts the essay he tells us how he was hated by the people. For example “In Moulmein, in Lower Burma, I was hated by large numbers of people --- the only time in my life that I have been important enough for this to happen to me” (Orwell 1). This show the disdain that the people have for the British rule around them as well as the people who work for them. It shows what Orwell character went through every day while being an officer of the British Empire.
The Burmese people have their own way of showing their distrust for the British rule by some civil disobedience. For example “… petty kind of way anti-European feeling was very bitter, No one had the guts to raise a riot, but if a European woman went through the bazaars alone somebody would probably spit betel juice over her dress.”(Orwell 1). This shows the ways that some Burmese people acted in their judgement of the British rule. It shows the fundamental way that Orwell portrays the Burmese people for not taking things without a show of disobedience.
Orwell’s character has his own feeling on the how some British officers abuse their power and make more enemies than friends while watching over the Burmese people. For example “As for the job I was doing, I hated it more bitterly than I can perha...


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...e crowd was waiting for something to happen and they were anticipating for him to shoot the elephant. It shows how the shooting of the elephant brought the crowd together for a spectacle.
After the ordeal of shooting the elephant he has some reflections on his actions and how they were justified. For example “The older men said I was right, the younger men said it was a damn shame to shoot an elephant for killing a coolie, because an elephant was worth more than any dam Coringhee coolie” (Orwell 6). This shows the differing opines of the British citizens in Burma since the younger generation see the people less than nothing because the elephant was worth more to them then another person’s life. This could give reason for the Burmese people hating the British Empire if some of the people see them less than an animal then how could they stay in good faith with them.

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