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Imperialism: Shooting an Elephant

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Imperialism: Shooting an Elephant

  • September 30, 2008
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In George Orwell's “Shooting an Elephant,” deals with the evil side of imperialism. The shooting of the elephant in Orwell's story is the central focus from which Orwell builds his argument through the two dominant characters, the elephant and the British officer. The British officer, acts as a symbol of the imperial country and the elephant is the victim of imperialism. Together, the solider and the elephant turns this into an attack on the evils of imperialism. The shooting of the elephant shows the different aspects of imperialism. The elephant and the British officer help to show the real nature of imperialism. The shooting of the elephant is the incident that reveals that imperialism inflicts damage on both parties in a imperialistic relationship.

“I was hated by large number of people...I was sub-divisional police officer of the town, and in an aimless, petty kind of way anti-European feeling was very bitter” (Orwell 1), that is a one example of imperialism that shows whenever a country tries to force their rule on a country, the people will hate them for it. Human does not like to be controlled, especially by a country that is almost half-way around the world. The country's citizens will do anything to avoid any rule that is set by a foreign country. They will also humiliate anyone from the ruling foreign country, “If a European woman went through the bazaars alone somebody would probably spit betel juice over her dress” (1). If any person that is in higher authority than the citizens are, then that person will be their target “As a police officer I was a an obvious target and was baited whenever it seemed safe to do so.” Imperialism also made the foreign people in the controlled country mad. They had to do the dirty work of the foreign country. In the story where Britain treated horribly, “The wretched prisoners huddling in the stinking cages of the lockups, the cowed faces of the long-term convicts...” (1).

As in the story Britain relied...