Treatment of Imperialism in Orwell's "Shooting an Elephant"

Topics: Burma, George Orwell, Shooting an Elephant Pages: 3 (896 words) Published: November 2, 2011
Shooting an Elephant: George Orwell Prepared by: A.B.M.Mukhlesur Rahman BA (Hons.), MA, BCS (Education) Treatment of Imperialism Assistant Professor of English e- mail:rahman.mukhlesur67@yahoo.com Imperialism, as the term suggests, is a practice introduced by some stronger nations for controlling and dominating other weaker ones often after defeating them in a war. It has been a highly controversial issue and many writers have expressed their strong protest against it. Throughout his life, George Orwell has been very vocal against this issue. In “Shooting an Elephant”, he deals with the issue very critically using his own experience in the British India. Thus, the essay appears to be something more than an autobiographical writing. “Shooting an Elephant” is a record of Orwell’s attitude towards imperialism. In the essay, he points out some negative impacts of imperialism. During his tenure as a sub divisional police officer in Moulmein, in lower Burma under the British rule, Orwell had had some bitter experience about imperialism. He observed a kind of perpetual enmity between the British rulers and the native Burmese. The Burmese people used to tease the British whenever they got a chance while the British tried to oppress them with force. As a police officer, Orwell was an obvious target of the natives, though in mind he was ‘all for the Burmese and all against their oppressors, the British’. In a job like...
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