The first portion of Orwell’s piece is filled with his hatred for imperialism and the “evil-spirited little beasts” (para. 2) that torment him. Orwell hated the imperialism in Burma and “those who tried to make [his] job impossible” (para. 2). You can see his true anger and hatred when he uses diction like “petty”, “sneering”, “wretched”, “intolerable”, and “rage” (para. 1,2) when he’s describing some of his encounters in Burma. Most of all, Orwell just wanted to be liked and respected. He is tired of being punished for the actions of the British empire. He states that like “every white man,.. in the East” (para. 7) he was just living “one long struggle [to] not be laughed at” (para. 7). Orwell’s change in tone forces a change in the reader’s perception of the situation. When he shifts from enraged hatred and hostility towards the eastern world to a desperate want to be liked by the burmans, the reader also has a shift. They go from not only despising imperialism but
George Orwell’s ‘Shooting an Elephant’ (Orwel, 1936) represents a number of strangers being involved in a combined encounter. The situation throughout the essay represents the unjust British occupation of Burma, the hatred towards him as a British officer and the elephant symbolising the British. The part of the text chosen clearly exemplifies how a forced duty can lead to hatred. The text chosen displays that he is forced to encounter the Burmese people yet they despise him. Although the encounter with the Burmese improves with the arrival of the elephant, Orwell still has a sense of isolation. Throughout the text Orwell questions the presence of the British in the East exploring that the encounter with the Burmese should not have took place.
“Shooting an Elephant” is an essay written by George Orwell, who was an Assistant Superintendent in the British Indian Imperial Police in Burma from 1922 to 1927. The essay was published in 1936. Burma was occupied by the British over a period of 62 years (1823-1886) and it was directed as a province of India until it became a separate colony in 1937. In the essay, Orwell narrates the scene of the killing of an elephant in Burma and expresses the feelings that he goes through during the event. The writer’s theme is that imperialism is not an effective way of governing. It can be decoded through his
The quest for power is one which has been etched into the minds of men throughout history. However, it can be said that true power is not a result of one’s actions but comes from the following one’s own beliefs without being influenced by others. This principle sets up the story for Shooting an Elephant by George Orwell. The protagonist, Orwell himself, is a sub divisional police officer in Burma, a British colony. Orwell must try to find and use his inner power when he is faced with the decision of whether or not to kill an elephant which has ravaged the Burman’s homes. The state of power established through the imperialistic backdrop show that Orwell, as a colonist, should be in control. As well, the perspective and ideas given by Orwell
Due to George Orwell’s many successful works, he has remained a recognizable and respected author from his first moments of fame until now. Orwell’s novels and essays touch on aspects of government and human nature that will always remain relevant. With America’s changing values and controversial times, Orwell’s warning seem more relevant than ever and prove that with strong ideas, a novel can remain current beyond lifetimes.
All the fuss, actions he was encouraged to make, lead back to his job he had to do, which was one he despised. Orwell’s introduction makes it very clear he doesn't not like being a police officer and especially does not like imperialism. “For at that time I had already made up my mind that imperialism was an evil thing and the sooner I chucked up my job and got out of it the better.” (Orwell,1963,pg. 1) He wanted nothing to do with imperialism, he was all for the Burmese. He didn't believe in the cruel ways the British had forced him to act on. His words are spread among many sentences created this harsh tone. He was furious he was considered part of the imperialism. He was in the group though, and being part of this came with responsibility and standards. Orwell had to prove he was worthy and could hold up his end
As Orwell glanced at the growing crowd, he instantly perceived the common desires of the people “They were watching me as they would watch a conjurer about to perform a trick. They did not like me, but with the magical rifle in my hands I was momentarily worth watching. And suddenly I realized that I should have to shoot the elephant after all” (3).These people wanted revenge for the death of the innocent man, the meat its carcass would provide, and the amusement of witnessing the shootings “The people expected it of me and I had got to do it; I could feel their two thousand wills pressing me forward, irresistibly” (3). Because of these collective expectations, Orwell had to appear determined, authoritative, and decisive through shooting the elephant or else his reputation and the rest of the British colonizers’ reputation would be
Orwell claims that a white man must not be frightened in front of “natives”, so he wasn’t, but who knows, he might have been just as afraid for his own life as the natives.
In “Shooting an Elephant,” George Orwell achieves two achievements : he shows us his personal experience and his expression while he was in Burma; he use the metaphor of the elephant to explain to describe what Burma looked like when it was under the British Imperialism. The special about this essay is that Orwell tells us a story not only to see the experience that he had in Burma; he also perfectly uses the metaphor of the elephant to give us deep information about the Imperialism. By going through this essay, we can deeply understand what he thinks in his head. He successfully uses the word choices and the sentences to express his feeling. By reading this essay, Orwell succeeds us with his mesmerizing sentences and shows us the
Orwell sets a mood of resentment in the exposition by revealing the animosity felt by the natives about foreign rule. He starts off the story stating, “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). In the first sentence of the story, Orwell reveals the negative mood and setting, which signifies their utmost importance. This bitter aura shows that Orwell is unpopular with the natives, and tensions between them runs high. In fact these feelings are so detrimental to Orwell, he almost goes insane.
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. This conflicts with the moral issue of relying upon other's morals, rather than one's own conscience.
According to Michael P. Zuckert, Orwell’s fixation with “telling the truth” and standing against the crowd, are the response of a man who personally felt the power of the crowd over his mind.”Confessions “at purge trials, the brazen rewriting of history, inducing conviction in the minds of men by sufficient repetition and control of what can and cannot be said and validated in public spaces-these broader historical experiences of his time must have convinced Orwell that the power of collective solipsism was great indeed. (Becnel,
Orwell uses Winston Smith, our main character, to exemplify the message he repeatedly tries to get across. Winston is a middle-aged man who is alone, or so it seems. It quickly becomes clear through his awkward behavior that he is constantly being
Have you ever been pressured into doing something you didn’t want to, but felt like you had no other option? The narrator in Orwell's, “Shooting an Elephant” had a very similar experience. He was pressed by the Burmese into committing a senseless killing that he did not deem necessary. This transformation of the main characters mentality and morals gives the audience a terrific example of characterization, which would not be possible without the effective use of point of view in Orwell's story.