Shooting an Elephant: Imperialism
When the word“dictator” comes to mind, humans are dolorous and empathetic. A great proof of this fact was observed during the early parts of the 20th century when oppression and iron fisted rule was established as a social normalcy in much of the world. The oppressive days of totalitarianism have passed and were marked by the death of the infamous and grandiose era of imperialism. Nonetheless, it left a bad imprint upon the countries and people that were involved.To understand the conflict and struggles entailed by imperialism and its oppression, Shooting an Elephant written by George Orwell in the early 1900s uses the example of British controlled Myanmar, an area at the time known as Burma. This event affected the author’s perception of imperialism in a negative connotation.In his essay, Orwell recounts what he personified as one of his most adventurous experiences as an imperial officer in India.To the general readers, it would appear that Orwell was telling a story about his own life. However, his real intentions is to portray a picture of how imperialism influenced the lives of both the imperialistic officer and the natives within the colonized nations.Throughout his essay, Orwell effectively uses the rhetorical devices of metaphor, imagery, and tone in order to illustrate the absolute iniquity of imperialism.
Orwell begins his essay by first claiming his perspective on British imperialism as an evil that he is fully against. Orwell’s point is demonstrated by the portrayal finding of an elephant as a metaphor to show the destructive and unethical power of imperialism.We can see the destruction of imperialism when Orwell depicts “An elephant was ravaging the bazaar” (Orwell 285) and “It had already destroyed somebody’s bamboo huts, kill a cow and raided some fruit-stalls and devoured the stock;” (Orwell 286). Orwell uses this metaphor of an elephant’s rage and destruction of homes, theft of food shelves, and even killings...
Please join StudyMode to read the full document