Shooting an Elephant

Topics: British Empire, Imperialism, George Orwell Pages: 5 (1885 words) Published: March 27, 2013
George Charalambous
English 1030

Research Paper
'' If it were necessary to give the briefest possible definition of imperialism, we should have to say that imperialism is the monopoly stage of capitalism now" according to Vladimir Lenin. George Orwell immediately begins the essay ''Shooting an Elephant" by claiming his perspective on British Imperialism, and how this imperialism affected himself, his empire, and the Burma people. Though George Orwell is a British officer himself at the time in Burma , he claims that he is fully against the oppressors , who at the time are the British. His personal experience, that he writes about with the elephant is metaphorical to imperialism and how he views the social issue. The author is the protagonist of the story and he shows the feelings toward the British Imperialism and Britain's justification for their actions in taking over Burma. Nowadays imperialism, transformed to capitalism and a lot of the characteristics are the same. Firstly, if we take a look to George Orwell's life he was born in 1903 in Bengal, in the British Colony of India, where his dad was working. His mother though was the one that brought him to England at the age of one. While he was in primary school, and other greater levels his teachers made clear that he was disliked by some of them. He joined the imperial police in India, Burma after finishing his studies at Eton, without any prospect of getting a college degree because his family was insufficient to pay his tuition. He went back to England in 1928 having grown hating imperialism as shown by his first novel '' Burmese Days ". Orwell and his family lived poor for many years even sometimes he was homeless. He began working in BBC Eastern service after the end of world war two. His job there was to shape propaganda and wrote that he felt bad for working there but he did it only to survive. He was working mostly in programs to gain Indian support for Britain's war efforts. Despite the good pay from BBC he did not like what they were supporting and he resigned in 1943. Orwell was well known during most of his career for his journalism, both in books and British press. In his own words, he characterize himself as a democratic socialist, and he was strongly against fascism, imperialism and dictators. George Orwell is a creative and competent writer, and he is a man that has a lot to teach and say about the world around him and around the world through his writings. He is such a writer. To begin with Orwell is the protagonist of "Shooting an Elephant". The author himself is saying that he is uneducated and young , at that particular time. From that saying, we realize that he did not really experienced life or the world. He believed though that English people should not supply their ideas of life on other people through violence. In the job he was doing he got to see all the dirty work of what his country was doing and what they were in charge of. That was something that really scarred him which he clearly shows in his 1984 last novel. You can see some of that resentment towards big imperialistic governments played out in almost all of his novel. George Orwell opinion when he is in the military and can see clearly the UK imperialistic strategies to rule other countries. His argument was that England military should not even be in India by that time. United Kingdom government was saying that, what they were trying to do, was to develop better living standards for everyone but Orwell did not believe that, that was the cause. In this particular essay " Shooting an Elephant ", as I said previously , is the protagonist. The main incident of the story is when Orwell has to kill the elephant. He talks about his experience as a young British colonial policeman working in Burma in the 1920's. Orwell's is called out to do something about a tame elephant He clearly says in the story that he did not...
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