The Importance Of Imperialism In George Orwell's Shooting An Elephant

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Register to read the introduction… The superiority of the Occidentals is demonstrated as well; Orwell considered the “British Raj”, which is the British rule in the Indian subcontinent, as an unbreakable tyranny (Orwell, 314). Eventually, the Burmese appear to be powerless and have no choice but to be ruled. Additionally, Rulers, as they conceive themselves as well educated and superior, believe that they should civilize the natives. As a result, it seems that the colonizer treat the colonized as “not fully human” because according to them, those savage people are not civilized (Moosavinia et al, 105). The power determines what the reality of both East and West might be. Thus, according to Orwell, the Self and the Other, strictly speaking, the Colonizer and the Colonized are not homogeneous.

The consequence of imperialism is discussed in “Shooting an Elephant”; The victim of imperialism is not only the natives but also the narrator. Indeed, this essay is about the suffering and the struggling of Orwell who is torn between the Burmese’s actions and the Imperial
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Under the system, it seems that the British manipulate the Burmese, but in reality, it is the opposite situation. The Burmese had the control over the British, especially people like the author who worked in a country under colonization. Orwell tells, “every white man’s life in the East, was one long struggle not to be laughed at” (Orwell, 317). Therefore, white men were always required to respond effectively to the expectation that the natives had towards them. For instance, the author faced a dilemma whether or not to shoot the elephant; honestly, he had no intention to shoot it but he did not want to look cowardly in front of so many people who already did not like him: “a white man mustn’t be frightened in front of ‘natives’” (Orwell, 317). Moreover, human beings had an incentive to respond to certain pressures comparable to peer pressure, which is the feeling that people get from their friends to conform or behave in a certain way. This is why he had no choice to shoot; he had to save his honor by killing the poor creature. The fact that the Burmese are controlling the decision of what the narrator, in other words a white man, must do, creates a paradoxical situation. In this case, it seems that the high-positioned man is actually becoming a slave that fulfills his imperial duty as he compared himself to “the puppet pushed to and fro by the will of those yellow faces” (Orwell, 316).

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