George Orwell Essay

415 Words2 Pages
George Orwell immediately begins the essay by first claiming his perspective on British Imperialism. He claims that it is evil and he is fully against the British. Though he is a British officer himself at the time in Burma, he feels hatred and guilt towards himself, and the “evil-spirited little beasts,” the Burma people. In the essay he writes both about his personal experience with the elephant but how moving the experience is to his views. Orwell’s feelings are unfriendly feelings toward the British, and Britain's justification for their actions in taking over Burma. The mood of the essay is set when Orwell shows the setting to be a “cloudy, stuffy morning at the beginnings of the rains.” This then sets the tone of Orwell’s speech to be weak and uncomfortable. He already has says that his character is weak when he introduces the Burma people and how they laugh and mock him. The build-up of finding the elephant is a metaphor linking to the destructive power of the British Empire, the elephant’s rampaging destroying homes, food shelves, and even killing a man. When finding the elephant, Orwell says “I knew with perfect certainty that I ought not to shoot him.” But when he lays eyes at the huge mass of people behind him he changes his attitude to “…but I did not want to shoot the elephant.” Orwell then says how immoral and guilty it would be to shoot the elephant. Even though there were many reasons to not shoot the elephant, like how it is worth more alive than dead, or how he is a “poor shot,” he finally changes to the views of the Burma people. Against his will he decides to kill the elephant. Orwell uses other metaphors such as when he says he is a magician about to perform a trick, or as being a lead actor in a piece, and even an absurd puppet. Holding the “magic rifle” the Burmans of course expected him to kill the elephant. Even being a white man, the

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