Create a 5 page essay paper that discusses Analyze George Orwell’s assessment of imperialism as portrayed in his short story Shooting an Elephant.Download file to see previous pages… Furthermore, th

Create a 5 page essay paper that discusses Analyze George Orwell’s assessment of imperialism as portrayed in his short story Shooting an Elephant.

Download file to see previous pages…

Furthermore, this interrogation lays bare the farcicality of the proverbial myth of the “white man’s burden” (Kipling “The White Man’s Burden”) as people of all races are shown to be affected adversely by the machinations of imperialism. The story begins with the ruminations of an acutely self-aware narrator as he gauges at once the hostility of the Burmese and voices his own dislike for the indigenous people. The author-narrator is thus portrayed in a realistic manner. He is neither a stereotypical colonial administrator immune to the detrimental nature of the institution that he represents, nor is he a sentimentalist who wishes to make amends for the excesses of colonialism through altruism. It is crucially important to note that his views regarding the colonial situation in Burma remains deliberately ambivalent. Though he is all too aware of the ills of imperial rule, many of his beliefs and sensibilities are shaped by his own privileged racial and class position. Very often, his statements are blatantly intolerant, especially in instances where he uses offensive racial epithets such as “yellow” and “black” to describe the Burmese and the Indian worker killed by the elephant. Thus, Orwell refrains from a tendency to create simple didactic boundaries as we are shown the moral depravity of both the narrator and the colonized people. It is perhaps significant that the chief victim of the actions of both the narrator and the indigenous onlookers is an elephant, a non-sentient being. The story underscores the sheer apathy that both the colonial administration and the Burmese display during the heinous act of murdering the animal. The actual act of killing is accompanied by a shocking degree of voyeurism from the Burmese. While the for the Burmese the killing becomes a spectacle, the colonial administrators measure the elephant’s life in utterly utilitarian terms, evidenced in lines such as these­-“… it was a damn shame to shoot an elephant for killing a coolie, because an elephant was worth more than any damn Coringhee coolie” (Orwell n.p.).The story thus portrays the vicious circle of violence that prevails within the colony as neither the ruler nor the ruled are conscientious enough to prevent the killing of an innocent animal. The harmlessness of the elephant is self-consciously reiterated by the author-narrator as he observes, “And at that distance, peacefully eating, the elephant looked no more dangerous than a cow” (Orwell n.p.). It is also worth taking cognizance of the fact that the story presents an intricate, almost macabre description of the dying elephant. Besides repudiating any easy sentimentalism, this depiction perhaps also likens the body of the injured elephant to the zeitgeist of an increasingly apathetic world. In this regard the story transcends its immediate context and becomes a critique of universal moral degradation. The climactic moment in the story’s handling of the subject of colonialism lies perhaps in the moment where the narrator realizes that the position of mastery that imperialism confers onto him has been reversed in the act of killing an elephant.

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