“Shooting an Elephant” is an essay written by George Orwell. foremost published in the journal New Writing in 1936. In this essay. the writer tells his ain narrative about when he was working as a constabulary officer for the Indian Imperial Police in Burma. His five old ages of experience in the Indian Imperial Police allowed him to hold a good apprehension of what precisely the “real nature of Imperialism” is. As an anti-imperialist author. the writer explains his hatred and guilt toward the chesty system that cause him to denounce British Imperialism by showing the incompatible relationship between the powerful Colonizer and the powerless Colonized. He feels like a victim of both the natives’ actions and the system of Imperialism itself.
It is of import to cognize the author’s political position about British Imperialism to understand his review. Even though he worked several old ages in Burma for the Indian Imperial Police. he has ne’er abandoned anti-imperialism. which corresponds to a motion that is opposed to any signifier of colonialism. For case. it could be an resistance to wars or the enlargement of a country’s district. In his old work “Burmese Days” . which besides tells Orwell’s narrative in Burma. the writer has already mentioned anti-imperialism. which is the chief message that he wanted to offer to the readers ( Moosavinia et al. 103 ) .
In “Shooting an Elephant” . he invariably comments that he is against the domination of a state: “imperialism was an evil thing” ( Orwell. 313 ) . or “my hatred of the empire” ( Orwell. 314 ) . Furthermore. he expresses a great sympathy toward the indigens when he asserts. “I was all for the Burmese and all against their oppressors. the British” . He feels responsible for the hurting that was inflicted on the indigens. Orwell spent a batch of clip and worked difficult to denounce “anti-imperialism” during his life. From the beginning of the narrative. the author’s resentment towards the harsh regulations imposed by the vanquisher. The reader can conceive of. hence. that the essay is a review about the British domination.
Furthermore. the writer wants to knock the construct of the Self and the Other. Self normally embodies the familiar or the positive side. However. the Other has a negative intension as it corresponds to everything that lies outside of the Self ( Moosavinia. et Al. 105 ) . This construct shows the place of the Colonizer and the Colonized and how these places differ. It clearly shows the gulf between the Occidentals. which represent the superior and dominant power. and the Oriental persons that embodies the indigens oppressed by the imperialism regulation ( Moosavinia et al. 105 ) . The Inferiority of the Orientals is obviously demonstrated at the minute when the non-natives demand aid from the storyteller to work out the job about the elephant.
The high quality of the Occidentals is demonstrated as good ; Orwell considered the “British Raj” . which is the British regulation in the Indian subcontinent. as an unbreakable dictatorship ( Orwell. 314 ) . Finally. the Burmese appear to be powerless and have no pick but to be ruled. Additionally. Rulers. as they conceive themselves every bit good educated and superior. believe that they should educate the indigens. As a consequence. it seems that the coloniser handle the colonized as “not to the full human” because harmonizing to them. those barbarous people are non civilized ( Moosavinia et al. 105 ) . The power determines what the world of both East and West might be. Thus. harmonizing to Orwell. the Self and the Other. purely talking. the Colonizer and the Colonized are non homogenous.
The effect of imperialism is discussed in “Shooting an Elephant” ; The victim of imperialism is non merely the indigens but besides the storyteller. Indeed. this essay is about the agony and the struggling of Orwell who is torn between the Burmese’s actions and the Imperial System.
Orwell portrays the vindictive feelings of the Burmese people. the colonised. towards British People. the vanquisher. As he has worked as a British officer in Burma. he knows how the indigens feel about the British. Of class. it was obvious that the Burmese did non welcome any sort of British presence. including Orwell himself. The Occidentals were highly mistreated. such as being jeered. and the storyteller understood that anti-European feeling was really “bitter” ( Orwell. 313 ) . He needed to cover adequately with the native society. even though he was a mark of intimidation. For case. he used to acquire ripped up on the football field. ignored by the referee and mocked by the crowd ( Orwell. 313 ) . Hence. he is a victim of the natives’ behaviour. Not merely is he the mark of the native’s behaviour. but he is besides the victim of the imperial system.
At the same clip. the storyteller is besides the victim of the Imperialism System itself. Under the system. it seems that the British manipulate the Burmese. but in world. it is the opposite state of affairs. The Burmese had the control over the British. particularly people like the writer who worked in a state under colonisation. Orwell tells. “every white man’s life in the East. was one long battle non to be laughed at” ( Orwell. 317 ) . Therefore. white work forces were ever required to react efficaciously to the outlook that the indigens had towards them. For case. the writer faced a quandary whether or non to hit the elephant ; candidly. he had no purpose to hit it but he did non desire to look cowardly in forepart of so many people who already did non like him: “a white adult male mustn’t be frightened in forepart of ‘natives’” ( Orwell. 317 ) .
Furthermore. human existences had an inducement to react to certain force per unit areas comparable to peer force per unit area. which is the feeling that people get from their friends to conform or act in a certain manner. This is why he had no pick to shoot ; he had to salvage his award by killing the hapless animal. The fact that the Burmese are commanding the determination of what the storyteller. in other words a white adult male. must make. make a self-contradictory state of affairs. In this instance. it seems that the high-positioned adult male is really going a slave that fulfills his imperial responsibility as he compared himself to “the marionette pushed to and fro by the will of those xanthous faces” ( Orwell. 316 ) . As a consequence. he finds himself imprisoned in the system.
In decision. Orwell’s abhorrence of Imperialism is good exposed in the essay through the description of the incompatible relation between the swayers and the indigens. In fact. Orwell is the double-victim of the trueness to British Raj and the existent action inflicted from the Burmese. This is what the “real nature of Imperialism is” ; It is non merely the indigens who are the sick persons of imperialism. but the swayer peculiarly those who spent some clip in those colonised states.
Moosavinia. et Al. “Edward Said’s Orientalism and the Study of the Self and the Other in Orwell’s Burmese Days. ” Studies in Literature and Language 2. 1 ( 2011 ) : 103-13. Print. Orwell. George. “Shooting an Elephant” Essay Writing for Canadian Students with readings. Eds. Kay L. Stewart et Al. Pearson Canada Inc. . 2008. 313-319. Print.