Orwell Analysis

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In the story from “Shooting an Elephant”, the author George Orwell employs irony and simile(s) to develop a nostalgic yet relieved attitude regarding shooting the elephant in order to comment about imperialism. The author’s choice in the usage of irony reveals his sense of imperialism. In paragraph 11 the author George Orwell reports “—but I heard the devilish roar of glee that went up from the crowd”. The use of irony emphasizes the peer pressure that the author felt by the Native people. The fact that the author has mixed feelings about the shooting of the elephant indicates that he doesn’t know what to do. With the crowd roaring with excitement and happiness, they are expecting something to happen and in return he wants to achieve their happiness. Although he doesn’t want to kill the elephant, he also doesn’t want to disappoint the Natives. More so, he wants to gain their respect not only for himself, but for the white men as well. Therefore, he must kill the elephant to do so to contribute to his sense of imperialism in the village. The author’s choice in the usage of similes to describe the death of the elephant also reveals his sense of imperialism. In paragraph 12 the author George Orwell reports “The thick blood welled out of him like red velvet, but still he did not die”. Additionally later on after the shootings “The tortured gasps continued as steadily as the ticking of a clock”. The use of similes emphasizes the alleviating feeling that the author felt after he finally shot the elephant. The fact the author feels relieved indicates that he no longer has confusion about the decision that he had to make. If he was to kill the elephant he would have power and feel superior. If he didn’t kill the elephant, he would probably be despised even more than he already was. In some way he feels happy that he finally got it over with but yet sympathetic at the same time because he is watching the elephant die slowly in crucial pain. In conclusion, Orwell’s...
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