Importance Of British Rule In George Orwell's Burmese Days

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George Orwell critiques British rule in Burma through John Flory by having Flory detest the imperial rule, yet have him also feel caught up in the riptides of the imperial movement as though he must go on with it or face being isolated from everyone else around him. In Burmese Days, when thinking about his fellow Englishmen’s culture during a conversation with Dr. Veraswami, John Flory thinks to himself, “Dull boozing witless porkers! Was it possible that they could go on week after week, year after year, repeating word for word the same evil-minded drivel, like a parody of a fifth-rate story in Blackwood’s? Would none of them ever think of anything new to say?” (33). This shows that he is disgusted with, and tired of hearing about, the British …show more content…
In one conversation, John Flory states, “I don’t want the Burmans to drive us out of this country. God forbid! I’m here to make money, like everyone else. All I object to is the slimy white man’s burden humbug” (39). Flory goes on to say, “ Why, of course, the lie that we’re here to uplift our poor black brothers instead of to rob them,” (39), both previous statements showing that the British rule was intended to use the Burmese for their own purposes and to rob them of their resources and money to help bolster Britain. It is also important to note that Dr. Veraswami, like other people on the outside of the actual British conquests, thought that the British were there to uplift the Burmese and to help them become “civilized” in their manners and actions, rather than to take advantage of them (38-39). In terms of the power and influence that Britain had over Burma, they had immense power. Britain took over, and made many major changes to, the Burmese educational, religious, and political systems, amongst others (Webster, 142-143). They had power over trade and resources in Burma, and as a result, gained tremendous amounts of money from rice (Webster, 144). Burmese individuals even got tired of how the government positions were set up, as not only were there British rulers in the …show more content…
Orwell shows the mission and impact through multiple perspectives via his characters, and while I ultimately feel that the book is a reminder that the main impact that the imperial missions had was to exert power over other countries and to benefit from this by taking control of resources, money, and trade, I also feel that Orwell paints a picture of the natives being uncivilized and not exactly able to support themselves, either. On one hand, John Flory talks about how the British are mainly robbing the natives and taking advantage of them in this way (38). Flory even goes as far as committing suicide because he feels so strongly against the ways in which the British imperialists are treating the Burmese that he loses the woman he loves because he refuses to back down from his stance against British rule (281). However, the opposite side still stands in which Dr. Veraswami thinks the British rule has helped Burma. In a conversation with Flory, he states, “And consider how noble a type iss the English gentleman! Their glorious loyalty to one another! The public school spirit! Even those of them whose manner iss unfortunate … have the great, sterling qualities that we Orientals lack. Beneath their rough exterior, their hearts are of gold,” (38) showing that the British have great qualities that the Burmese lack. Dr. Veraswami continues, “My friend, it iss pathetic to me to

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