Media Manipulation Exposed in George Orwell's Shooting an Elephant Essay

Media Manipulation Exposed in George Orwell's Shooting an Elephant Essay

Length: 1588 words (4.5 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Powerful Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

Media Manipulation Exposed in George Orwell's “Shooting an Elephant”


The phrase “the power of the press” is used often, but what exactly is the power of the press? Since the beginning of news reporting, it’s been known that what actually gets into the news reports is monitored and carefully picked by higher authorities. What isn’t widely known, however, is that the media can use specific wording and phrases that, on the surface, look like normal news coverage, but are actually a technique of the media to control the images people see and the words they hear and read. From this, people then form their ideals, but are these actually ideals of those people if the media from which they based them off of was controlled to begin with? It is the power of the press to control and manipulate the public’s ideals by what is released in the media.

In childhood, it’s evident from the start that the parents are the ones who hold the power. As the child grows and develops, the parents show him that they are in control by correcting the things he does wrong and by making it clear that they know more than he does about life. Until the child is old enough to create his own ideals of what is right and what is wrong, the parents shape his ideals for him. As the child grows older, however, the parents relinquish this hold on him and allow him to form his own ideals of the world around him. But as he ventures out in the world, is he actually forming his own ideals, or is he still being shaped by an even larger, more powerful source?

In George Orwell’s Shooting an Elephant, Orwell suggests just that; one can form his own ideals, but they will either be changed by the media (symbolized in his essay by the Burmese natives) or constructed from...


... middle of paper ...


...d and has left them with only the ideals which the press wanted them to have in the first place. The power of the press is not to share the truth about everything; it is the power to control what everyone thinks about everything.

Works Cited

Crocker, Brandon. “What Really Matters.” The American Spectator. 11 May 2004.

Farah, May. Rev. of About Baghdad, pro. Sinan Antoon. The Daily Star. 30 June 2004.

Franklin, H. Bruce. “From Realism to Virtual Reality: Images of America’s Wars.” The Brief Arlington Reader. Ed. Nancy Perry. Boston: Bedford/St. Martin’s, 2004. 384-400.

Murphy, Maureen Clare. Rev. of Peace, Propaganda, and the Promised Land, dir. Bathsheba Ratzkoff & Sut Jhally. The Electronic Intifada 26 March 2004.

Orwell, George. “Shooting an Elephant.” The Brief Arlington Reader. Ed. Nancy Perry. Boston: Bedford/St. Martin’s, 2004. 334-339.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

British Imperialism Exposed in Shooting an Elephant, by George Orwell Essay

- George Orwell was, without a doubt, one of the most influential authors of his time. His strong opposition to totalitarianism and imperialism made him one of the most recognizable names in literature during the 1900’s. Orwell spent 5 years as an imperial policeman in Burma, witnessing firsthand the effects of imperialism on the people of Burma (BBC). The insight he gained during those years made clear to him the injustices of colonization and fueled his opposition to totalitarianism....   [tags: British Imperialism Essays]

Powerful Essays
1479 words (4.2 pages)

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder Exposed in the Novel 1984, by George Orwell

- Post Traumatic Stress Disorder is a mental condition that ails soldiers and civilians alike who have been unfortunate enough to endure terrifying life harrowing experiences. Those who experience this disorder are prone to pejorative flashbacks to the time of the incident that triggered the neurological disorder. Most soldiers are capable of withstanding the withering physiological strain of combat, however a growing portion of people exposed to the graphic belligerence of war are prone to PTSD....   [tags: 1984, George Orwell ]

Powerful Essays
728 words (2.1 pages)

Moral Issues and Decisions in George Orwell's Shooting an Elephant Essay

- Moral Issues and Decisions in Shooting an Elephant    Throughout "Shooting an Elephant" by George Orwell, he addresses his  internal battle with the issues of morality and immorality. He writes of several situations that show his immoral doings. When George Orwell signed up for a five-year position as a British officer in Burma he was unaware of the moral struggle that he was going to face. Likewise, he has an internal clash between his moral conscious and his immoral actions. Therefore, Orwell becomes a puppet to the will of the Burmese by abandoning his thoughts of moral righteousness....   [tags: Shooting Elephant Essays]

Powerful Essays
611 words (1.7 pages)

Power of the Oppressed in George Orwell's Shooting an Elephant Essay

- Power of the Oppressed Exposed in Shooting an Elephant     In Burma, the Indian Imperial Police consisted of British officers who, in theory, supported the extension of power and dominion of a nation, which is the basis of imperialism. George Orwell decided to follow family tradition when he went to Burma to work for the Indian Imperial Police, yet "when he realized how much against their will the Burmese were ruled by the British, he felt increasingly ashamed of his role as an alien police officer" (Britannica)....   [tags: Shooting Elephant Essays]

Powerful Essays
1977 words (5.6 pages)

Essay on George Orwell's Writing

- 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....   [tags: George Orwell Literature Writers Essays]

Powerful Essays
896 words (2.6 pages)

Analysis Of George Orwell 's ' Shooting An Elephant ' Essay

- In George Orwell 's A Collection of Essays he writes “Shooting an Elephant” and begins by portraying that imperialism/colonialism is an evil thing. I shall begin my paper by evaluating how imperialism creates hatred amongst the English colonizers and the Burman natives through the regulations that the British ruled over them. I shall also analyze how Orwell uses the elephant to portray various aspects of imperialism. I will then explore the elephant from the point of view of the young, uneducated english police officer....   [tags: Colonialism, British Empire, Police, Constable]

Powerful Essays
708 words (2 pages)

Colonialism and Imperialism Exposed in Shooting an Elephant and Heart of Darkness

- Destructive Colonization Exposed in Shooting an Elephant and Heart of Darkness       As a man is captured, his first instinct is to try and break free from his shackles and chains. Primal urges such as this often accompany humans when they are forced, as in capture, to rely on their most basic instincts to survive. In this manner, natives in Africa acted upon instinct when the Europeans arrived to take their land and freedom. The short story Shooting an Elephant by George Orwell and the novel Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad revolve around the time when colonialism had a foothold in many parts of the world....   [tags: comparison compare contrast essays]

Powerful Essays
1358 words (3.9 pages)

Shooting An Elephant By George Orwell Essays

- “Shooting an Elephant” by George Orwell “Shooting an Elephant” By George Orwell reveals the story of events during Orwell’s service as a sub-divisional police officer with the India Imperial Police, in Moulmein, Burma. “Shooting an Elephant” By George Orwell reflects Orwell’s emotions of hatred, bitterness, and guilt felt due to oppression of Imperialism. The story begins with Orwell explaining his deep hatred for the role he took place in during his service as a police officer in Burma. He was not happy within his daily routine and began to feel intense hatred towards the empire, he served, the Burma people (yellow faces) and with his deep smoldering emotions within himself....   [tags: George Orwell, Burma, Shooting an Elephant]

Powerful Essays
872 words (2.5 pages)

Shooting An Elephant By George Orwell Essay

- Shooting an Elephant In George Orwell’s story, “Shooting an Elephant,” he goes through numerous emotions. It is a very thought provoking work that takes the reader inside his mind. He goes through many emotions throughout the text, he experienced humiliation, evil, and confliction. In “Shooting an Elephant,” Orwell experiences humiliation. “When a nimble Burman tripped me up on the football field and the referee looked the other way, the crowd yelled with hideous laughter” (p.323) His profession of being a police officer made him an enemy and a target to most people in town....   [tags: George Orwell, Burma, Shooting an Elephant, Musth]

Powerful Essays
854 words (2.4 pages)

George Orwell's Shooting an Elephant Essay

- George Orwell's "Shooting an Elephant" In 'Shooting an Elephant,' George Orwell finds himself in a difficult situation involving an elephant. The fate of the elephant lies in his hands. Only he can make the final decision. In the end, due to Orwell's decision, the elephant lay dying in a pool of blood. Orwell wins the sympathy of readers by expressing the pressure he feels as an Anglo-Indian in Burma, struggling with his morals, and showing a sense of compassion for the dying animal. Readers sympathize with Orwell because they can relate to his emotions in the moments before the shooting....   [tags: George Orwell Shooting Elephant]

Powerful Essays
792 words (2.3 pages)