Rhetoric in Shooting an Elephant
In the story Shooting an Elephant by George Orwell, he uses an incident were he illustrates how imperialism affected more than just the people that were governed but also the ones who governed and why their real motives weren’t really what it seemed. Orwell uses an adequate amount of rhetoric in his writing and makes the reader feel that they were there when the incident took place because of Orwell’s use of specific examples and clear language. He applies different rhetorical devices to conclude that “when the white man turns tyrant, it is his own freedom he destroys.” Throughout his essay he seems to explain what happens to him, a sub-divisional police officer of Moulemein, in a minor incident and how it made him realize that he lost his own freedom and thinks that he is controlled and how imperialism changed his way of thinking.
Orwell uses antithesis in Shooting an Elephant because in the text he claims to be secretly on the side of the Burmese and against their oppressors, the British. But he is one of those oppressors because he works for the British, but he also feels oppressed with guilt by seeing the torture they bring to these people. Orwell has a torn mindset and explains that this is one of the results of imperialism. He also uses similes in his story to make the reader understand and visualize the occurrence. The most important similes he used was when he explained how
the elephant fell, “like a rock toppling” and “his trunk reaching as a tree”, and how he vividly compared the blood coming from the elephant with a thick red velvet. It just seems that Orwell is
just describing the elephant but the elephant is more like an extended metaphor or a symbol of Imperialism. He purposely uses the elephant as a symbol because it is a large and powerful animal. The symbol of the elephant brings a vivid description of imperialism. How it forcefully and powerfully takes over and then dies just like British imperialism....