The Dog

Topics: Burma, Imperialism, British Empire Pages: 4 (1355 words) Published: September 28, 2014
In the essay, Shooting an Elephant, George Orwell illustrates his experiences as a British police officer in Lower Burma, and reflects it to the nature of imperialism. Since “anti-European feeling was very bitter” due to the British Empire’s dictatorship in Burma, Orwell is being treated disrespectfully by the Burmese (12). This allows him to hate his job and the British Empire. However, the incident of shooting of an elephant gives him a “better glimpse … of the real nature of imperialism – the real motives for which despotic government act” (13). Through his life experiences as a British man, Orwell efficiently demonstrates the negative effects of imperialism on individuals and society. With the usage of effective diction in his essay, Orwell excellently conveys his emotions and message to his readers. He often uses the word “natives” for the Burmese: “Here was I, the white man with his gun, standing in front of the unarmed native crowd” (15). By doing so, he shows his emotions and respect towards the Burmese because calling them “natives” suggests that he agrees on the fact that they are the true owner of Burma and not the British Empire. Also, by frequently using the word “natives”, Orwell reminds his readers the existence of imperialism in Burma so that the readers do not simply hang on to the elephant but also get the message incorporated in the essay. The body of the elephant is compared to machinery as Orwell thinks that killing an elephant “is comparable to destroying a huge and costly piece of machinery” (15). This comparison makes the readers realize that the British Empire is also like a huge piece of machinery, so the death of it would be a serious matter to both oppressor and people being oppressed. When Orwell was followed by thousands of Burmese, he says, “seemingly the leading actor of the piece; but in reality I was only an absurd puppet pushed to and fro by the will of those yellow faces behind” (15). He calls himself a “puppet” to prove and...
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