Analyzing the Rhetoric Strategies of Shooting the Elepthant by George Orwell

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Márton Mezei
23.02.2012.
AP English

Analyzing the rhetorical strategies of „Shooting an Elephant” “Shooting an Elephant” was written by George Orwell, and it describes an incident he experienced during the time he spent in a small town in India, as a police officer serving the British Empire. I found the writing interesting because of Orwell’s use of rhetorical strategies that slowly build up to the conclusion of the story, along with the peak of the action. The story ends in a detailed description of an anecdote Orwell thought of while shooting the elephant that was terrorizing the town he was positioned in. Throughout the writing, we can find different rhetorical strategies that indicate Orwell’s very careful choice of different images to get his message through. In the beginning of the writing (first and second paragraph) he introduces his audience to what it is like to be a British police officer in India, and shows the reader his own common human nature, encouraging him to sympathize with Orwell. In the first paragraph, he describes being a British police officer in India as a very uncomfortable, unpopular position to be in, because of the hatred of Hindi people towards the conquering British Empire. He also states that he sees imperialism as a definitely negative thing and he is not proud to be in the position he is in, but still mentions the reflective hostile attitude he feels towards locals, even makes a brutal joke about how much he would enjoy stabbing a Buddhist monk who makes fun of the English. This picture of mixed feelings is something most people can relate to and encourages the reader to sympathize with Orwell. From the third paragraph, Orwell slowly begins the story by telling the reader, this was the day of his “enlightenment”, making the reader have high expectations towards the story. In the beginning, he even hits a quite funny tone by using silly ways to describe the damages caused by the elephant. He fails to succeed in finding...
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