In both, Shooting an Elephant, by George Orwell and Learning to Read and Write, by Frederick Douglass, the author’s explore through their personal experiences, the poisonous effects that tyrannical institutions have not only on the oppressed but the oppressors themselves. Although, Orwell is different from Douglass because he enforces an oppressive regime, while Douglass is enslaved to his master, they both suffer in their situation, and come to the realization that, "when the white man turns tyrant…” consequently, “it is his own freedom that he destroys" (Orwell, 184), in the struggle for dominance.
George Orwell, a sub-divisional officer under the British Crown stationed in their colony of Burma, in his essay, confronts the fact that the …show more content…
Orwell’s experiences in Burma deeply disturb him and he admits that, “[he] had already made up [his] mind that imperialism was an evil thing and the sooner [he] chucked [his] job and got out of it the better” (181). The weight of his duties forced on him by the British crown, makes Orwell privately sympathize with the Burmese people and he confesses that he is secretly, “…all for the Burmese and all against the oppressors, the British” (181).
Unlike Orwell, who shares his experience as a reluctant oppressor, Douglass’ experience as a young African American boy born into the cold iron-clad shackles of slavery, offers valuable insight from the perspective of the oppressed on how an institution can destroy the morality of those who comply with