The Use of Metaphors in Shooting an Elephant by George Orwell Essay

The Use of Metaphors in Shooting an Elephant by George Orwell Essay

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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.

In this story ,Orwell is taking part in imperialism by proving his power and dignity to the natives presenting imperialism metaphorically through the use of animals. He is using the elephant as a symbol of imperialism representing power as an untamed animal that has control over the village. He uses a large and very powerful animal to represent a significant metaphor for imperialism.. In doing so he leads to the understanding that the power behind imperialism is only as strong as its dominant rulers. Orwell?s moral values are challenged in many different ways, ironically enough while he too was the oppressor. He is faced with a very important decision of whether or not he should shoot the elephant. If he does so, he will be a hero to his people. In turn, he would be giving in to the imperial force behind the elephant that he finds so unjust and evil. If he lets the elephant go free and unharmed the natives will laugh at him and make him feel inferior for not being able to protect the...


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... controlled by the Emporers and Queens, who in turn, never take part in the actual fighting as how the natives never took part in shooting of the elephant.

Orwell speaks of how he is so against imperialism, but gives in to the natives by shooting the elephant to prove he is strong and to avoid humiliation. He implies that he does not want to be thought of as British, but he does not want to be thought the fool either. Orwell makes his decision to shoot the elephant appear to be reasonable but underneath it all he questions his actions just as he questions those of the British. He despised both the British Empire as well as the Burmese natives, making everything more complicated and complex. In his essy he shows us that the elephant represents imperialism; therefore, the slow destruction of the elephant must represent the slow demise of British Imperialism.

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