Burmese Days: Separation of Races

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Grant Guerrero
Mrs. McFarlin
English IV period 3
November 11, 2012
A Reclusive Existence
His dog put “her head down as though afraid to look at him. When she was a yard away he fired, blowing her skull to fragments”(281). Immediately after murdering his dog, he turns the gun on himself and commits suicide. The protagonist, Mr. Flory, is clearly deeply depressed at the end of the book, but symptoms are presented throughout the entire novel: “Should he go down to the Club for tennis after all? No, it meant shaving, and he could not face the effort of shaving until he had a few drinks inside him”(55). He does not possess the thought process of a normal-functioning human being. The terrible depression that plagues him throughout the book stems from his inability to find a true companion. It is John Flory’s unprecedented natural sense of equality in all mankind that is the root cause for his loneliness throughout the book Burmese Days by George Orwell. There are very few potential friends for a white bachelor in Burma in the 1920’s, and Mr. Flory destroys practically every possibility immediately by thinking that all men are created equal. The other dozen or so members of the whites-only Club could not agree less. Mr. Ellis, the most vocal Club member in his opposition to the natives, sums up the feeling of everyone else when he says, “ I don’t like niggers, to put it in one word”(30). Though very blunt and racist, it is how most English colonists felt in that time period. Flory, on the other hand, cannot even stay in the same room as them when they are spewing such blasphemy: “Flory pushed back his chair and stood up. It must not, it could not-no, it simply should not go on any longer!”(33). Flory’s inability to talk menacingly about the natives, or even listen to the drivel, isolates him from everyone else. This topic is of great importance at the club, and it is talked about constantly. John Flory is the only individual who would even debate the



Cited: Orwell, George. Burmese Days. Harmondsworth, Middlesex: Penguin, 1985. Print.

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