Fitting the Mask:
Playing Pretended for too Long
Based on the information in his essay Shooting an Elephant, George Orwell provided reasons in his essay that leaves readers to ponder the implications of wearing a mask for too long. In fact, Orwell believed that, “He wears a mask, and his face grows to fit it,” (Orwell 982). Masks in their own right can be a frightening thing. They can bare the forms of the most ghastly of creatures or even give someone a new face. The purpose of these false faces is to take the form of another and wear the persona that comes with that mask. Based off Orwell’s quote and the writings of his essay, there are three ideas that are implied with mask wearing. Naturally, there are reasons for putting a mask on in the first place, there are reasons for why an individual will grow to fit it, and there are effects that come from completely growing to fit that mask. Different masks are worn differently depending on the reasoning for it. On the night of the 31st of October, children around the world dress up in costumes alike, and some children choose to wear masks, an iconic Halloween classic. It’s clear that the reason for wearing a mask in this case is a honoring a holiday tradition. Yet masks don’t necessarily have to be a physical object, nor are they always worn for celebrating. In unfortunate cases, masks are worn and created by an individual’s own flesh blood. These masks are created with the aim of hiding one’s true identity and thoughts, and are marked with the lines of false emotions to mask the feelings on the individual’s true face. George Orwell was stationed in India during the time of the British Empire’s occupation. Orwell didn’t like the imperialist occupation and he claims that, “As for the job I was doing, I hated it more bitterly than I can perhaps make clear,” (Orwell 980). In Orwell’s essay, his job requires him to do what he sees as Britain’s dirty work. While he may have hated his job to the very core of his...
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