From the very beginning of Shooting An Elephant, George Orwell demonstrates ambivalence through his affiliations with Imperialist Britain, his sense of self among the Burmese, and his ties to the elephant. In the second paragraph, Orwell says: “All I knew was that I was stuck between my hatred of the empire I served and my rage against the evil-spirited little beasts who tried to make my job impossible.” We learn early in the essay that Orwell hates imperialism and the Burmans, already making him ambivalent. Although Orwell hates being a British official, he has a constant need to feel important and needed by the Burmans. Therefore, he is excited when called to help with a loose elephant rampaging in the bazaar. Throughout the piece, we experience Orwell’s internal conflict between the imperialist police force he is working for, and the rude Burmans people he is forced to deal with on a daily basis.
He emphasizes his “intolerable sense of guilt” (313), but also his contradictory hatred of the Burmese, those “evil-spirited little beasts” (314), as well as his callous disregard for the native man killed by the elephant (319). When Orwell reveals he was “glad” over this death, since it protected him from legal action from the elephant’s owner, this detail is typical of how the author generalizes from his own earlier experience to that of other colonizers: the young Orwell’s callousness shows his personal degradation, but since his reaction is shared by all the young white colonizers, his reaction is clearly produced by the inhuman system they are all trapped within (319). The essay’s causal development and personal detail lead naturally to Orwell’s conclusions, which arise out of his shooting of the elephant. When Orwell finds himself with 2,000 Burmese villagers standing behind him, a rifle in his hands, the now-quiet elephant in front of him, he knows there is no reason to the shoot the animal, but he does so, realizing that it is he who is dominated and subjugated, not the colonized. He shoots the elephant, he says later, to
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 feels like an outcast rebel, he wants the Burmese to stand up against the British Empire. Young Orwell sets the tone of how he is torn between doing his job and doing what was morally and ethically right. (shooting the elephant or letting it live) 3. Some analogies that Orwell uses are: the elephant looked no more dangerous than a cow, grandmotherly. They watched me like a conjurer about to perform a trick.
Orwell’s Persuasive Opinions How far would you go to avoid looking like a fool? Many of us would do a whole lot of things but I don’t think we would go as far as shooting an elephant. George Orwell wrote an essay in 1936 called “Shooting an Elephant,” in this essay through an incident with an elephant that happened to Orwell one day on the job, he tries to convey to his readers that “imperialism was an evil thing and the sooner I chucked up my job and got out of it the better ” (Orwell). This essay started out in Moulmein, in lower Burma where Orwell was a sub-divisional police officer of the town. Orwell uses the symbolic irony of the situation to compare the elephant to the downfall of imperialism.
But secretly inside he hated the environment in which he lived, he hated the imperialistic government in which resided in Burma, and he hated the residents of Burma. “…I thought the greatest joy in the world would be to drive a bayonet into a Buddhist priest’s guts.” (Page 310) He felt all of this hatred for the people around him, but yet he felt as if he had to go along with everything and everyone else just to live in harmony. As Orwell was summoned to the “tiny incident” as he called it, taking care of the elephant situation, he found that the residents of the village did not know exactly what was going on with the elephant until they found out that there could possibly be a shooting, or at least some excitement. For example, he asked some of the villagers if they had seen the elephant. Some said that the elephant went to the left and some said that the elephant went to the right and some did not even know about the elephant at all.
Hope B. Torres Prof. Thomas Bland English 151 September 23, 2014 Shooting an Elephant vs. Mexicans Deserve More Than La Mordida Shooting an Elephant and Mexicans Deserve More Than La Mordida are two essay that are being written to argue and make a point about important topics, the British Imperialists and “La Mordida” in Mexico. They are telling a story in which they both had to make decisions in being a part of something that, really, wasn't a good thing; shooting an elephant or giving the police money - they both caved into peer pressure. Both writers persuade us by using three types of appeals; ethos, pathos and logos. Both authors start off by introducing their backgrounds, this helps us with an idea of what the essay will be about. By using this way of introduction we are able to know the character and therefore, we are able to trust them and know that they are accredited.
Jacqueline Connolly Response to “Shooting an Elephant” written by George Orwell Jec731@live.com There are many controversies in life that people don’t think about until they’re dealing with them head on. For instance, when would you start to worry about paying a bill, the next presidential election, or even how tall you have to be in order to get on a ride at the amusement park? “Shooting an Elephant” written by George Orwell is a personal essay about how George is faced with a problem that puts him in one of these situations. The British were an imperialistic country and they were taking over. George was a British sub-divisional police officer in the town of Lower Burma, Moulmein.
A coward is one who lacks courage in facing danger, difficulty, opposition or pain. In the piece, “Shooting an Elephant,” the author, George Orwell outlines the contrast involved with imperialism. The narrator and protagonist is a British police officer situated in India that helps maintain British imperialism over the Burmese people. Although he is completely against imperialism he continues to participate in it. Faced with the task of taming an elephant, the officer is forced to deal with the reality of imperialism that results in him killing this animal to please the crowd.
1. Compare and contrast the conflicts faced by Orwell in “Shooting an Elephant” to those faced by Gideon in “No Witchcraft for Sale.” To what unique revelation does Orwell’s position as a police officer lead him? How can Gideon’s ultimate decision not to share his knowledge be interpreted as an act of rebellion and an assertion of the dignity and worth of his culture? Answer: Orwell's conflict was in shooting the elephant, and Gideon's was in sharing the medicinal secret that cured Teddy's eyes. Though both characters' conflict was similar in that truly the conflict was in how each of them felt.