The Relationship Between Suppression and Violence

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English 102 7 December 2011 The Relationship Between Suppression and Violence When studying the history of the human race, it is understandable why one would come to the conclusion that we are an aggressive and violent species. In the two essays “He Was a Boxer When I Was Small” written by Lenore Keeshig-Tobias and George Orwell’s essay To Shoot and Elephant both authors introduce the theme that societal pressures can cause a person to think or act out violently. Whereas Tobias demonstrates this theme by reflecting upon the upbringing with her aboriginal father who was forced to conform to a western way of thinking, Orwell uses a moment in time when he was faced with a critical dilemma when he was living in a callous imperialistic regime. The authors’ personal stories are distinct in how they present the argument that societal repression causes violence yet there are twos aspects explored within both essays. Repression of culture and lack of freedom can cause a person to commit brutal acts. The comparison of these two distinct essays in relation to historical evidence exhibits the argument that suppression causes violence is a universal and timeless truth. Oppression caused by cultural differences is an important factor when assessing the risk of violent tendencies. Orwell writes about the Burmese as “having nothing to do except stand at street corners and jeer at Europeans” (313) as a result of being part of the European minority, Orwell admits that sometimes he felt that “the greatest joy in the world would be to drive a bayonet into a Buddhist priest's guts.” ( 314). In the essay “Edward Said's Orientalism And The


Study Of The Self And The Other In Orwell's Burmese Days” written by Moosavinia, et al criticizes Orwell’s total disregard for the Burmese way of life and Orwell’s blatant racism. This critical essay dissects Owells’s novel “Burmese Days” insisting that Orwell introduces “stereotypes and clichés [that] are attributed to the Orientals...
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