Essay Analysis on “Shoot an Elephant”

Topics: Burma, British Empire, Imperialism Pages: 4 (1289 words) Published: November 7, 2010
Essay Analysis 1


Essay Analysis on “Shoot an Elephant”

Michael J. Charley

University of Phoenix

Instructor: Dr. Vanessa Holmes

Course: Business Literature

Essay Analysis 2
George Orwell's essay 'Shooting an Elephant' gives a great insight into the human mind. The essay gives a good theme of inner conflict. Orwell feels strong inner conflict between what he believes as a human being, and what he believes and should do as an imperial police officer. The author is amazingly successful in illustrating this conflict by providing specific examples of contradictory feelings, by providing an anecdote that exemplified his feelings about his situation, and by using dramatic imagery to describe his circumstances. Orwell begins to show his inner conflict by stating how he felt about being a European imperial policeman. By serving Britain as a policeman he is showing that he is loyal to his country, but at the same time he believed that imperialism was an evil thing. His conflict results form the fact that he hates the British Empire which should make him pity the Burmese people but he does not. This is made clear when he says, “All I knew was that I was stuck between my hatred of the empire I served and my rage against the evil-spirited beasts who tried to make my job impossible. With one part of my mind I thought of the British Raj as an unbreakably tyranny, as something clamped down, in saecula saeculorum, upon the will of prostrate peoples; with another part I thought that the greatest joy in the world be to drive a bayonet into a Buddhist priest’s guts”. The point of the story happens very much in our normal life, in fact everyday. People do crazy and sometimes illegal moves to get a certain group or person to finally give them respect. George Orwell describes an internal conflict between his personal morals and his duty to his country to the white man's reputation. The author's purpose is...
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