The Paradox Of Belonging : The Complex Role Of Colonialism

Decent Essays

The Paradox of Belonging: The Complex Role of Colonialism in Finding Identity
Adrienne Clarkson the twenty-sixth Governor General of Canada once wrote: “I was, and am, a child of diaspora. I am someone who, for a while, did not belong anywhere.” For nearly everyone who has ever lived in the wake of colonialism, it can be painstakingly difficult to find a sense of belonging with two distinct cultures being juxtaposed together. This colonization process had devastating effects for those upon which the English imposed their ethnocentric views. In George Orwell’s “Shooting an Elephant” the audience is told a story from Orwell’s days as a police officer in Burma. In his essay, Orwell is confronted with conflicting emotions. He hates the …show more content…

This demonstrates the level of fear that the white Rhodesian people had towards the black people in which they shared a country. This war and conflict results in the transformation of one country into another. This transformation makes it difficult for Fuller to understand her nationality, as Elaine Windrich notes: “It was hardly to be expected that the Fuller family could come to terms with the transformation of Rhodesia into Zimbabwe” (1184). Because of this war and its devastating effects on everyday life Fuller lived constantly in fear for her life and unable to find a sense of belonging to her society. The inner conflict that Alexandra Fuller feels regarding her possible role in the death of her sister also weighs very heavily on her conscience. She feels guilty about how Olivia’s death has affected her mother’s mental illness as she recalls: “No one ever came right out and said it in words and with pointing fingers. They didn’t have to” (Fuller 93). It is quite evident to the reader that Fuller would not be easily able to form her own personal identity, apart from the colonizer’s mentality in regard to belonging in her society due to the extreme guilt she feels.
The setting of “Shooting an Elephant” produces a greater appreciation of the personal effect

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