Colonialism and Orwell

Topics: Rudyard Kipling, Africa, Colonialism Pages: 2 (816 words) Published: November 27, 2011
While looking through a collection of magazines, I recently stumbled upon an essay titled Marrakech, a text describing the precarious environment, to say the least in Marrakech, a part of French colony of Morocco. The author, George Orwell wrote the essay in 1939. The historical context in which the writer was submerged was brutally ironic for European countries in relations to their African colonies. The outbreak of WWII was fragmenting Europe, and indirectly the world. Fear was spreading throughout the minds of those affected by the global conflict; and such fear is exactly what I feel in Orwell’s voice: the fear of the white man losing its supremacy in Africa. However Orwell attempts to conceal this fear all along the essay through the use of various linguistic tools. First of all, he takes a very detached tone all throughout the essay, “I am not commenting, merely stating a fact”. Secondly, Orwell’s text is purely descriptive. He portrays the events in a scientific way: “In the bazaar huge families of Jews, all dressed in the long black robe and little black skull-cap are working in dark, fly infested booths that look like caves” Neither does he center his story on any kind of character, nor does he include dialogue throughout the description. In addition, the author completely dehumanizes the person. He gives no sense of individuality to the inhabitants of the colony and barely recognizes them as human but rather gives them animalistic attributes. “Are they really the same flesh as yourself? Do they even have names? Or are they merely a kind of undifferentiated brown, about as individual as bees or coral insects?” The following characteristics of Orwell’s essay made me reach the conclusion that he was a racist white supremacist, rooting for traditional values that constitute the essence Imperialism. However, there is one characteristic that sets him apart from other authors associated with the Imperialist context, authors such as Joseph Conrad or Rudyard...
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