Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Essays on Shooting an Elephant by George Orwell

 
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Were it not for the 1917 Russian Revolution, George Orwell wouldn’t have written The Animal Farm. Shooting an Elephant became available to the public in 1936 and it is an honest reflection of this famed author’s views towards the British colonial empire. Both fans and critics acknowledge George Orwell for expressing his personal and society’s hidden views using clever imagery.
Shooting an Elephant is a favorite assignment topic in virtually all university English Literature courses worldwide. What’s interesting is that students keep on discovering new angles hidden within the intriguing essay.

Here are some of the themes present in Shooting an Elephant by George Orwell.

1.The blessing and curse of being a police officer 

The Burmese people dread interacting with the British police officers due to one reason. Police brutality. In the essay, George Orwell takes the readers through incidents that portray Her Majesty’s law enforcement agents as cold-hearted monsters.

On the other hand, the colonial officers wield almost absolute powers that make them immune to Burmese ideologies. George Orwell takes readers through the minds of a ruthless police officer and a hapless Burmese colonial subject.

2.Disruption caused by civilization 

The British Empire champions itself as the forerunners of civilization. Their presence in Burma is synonymous with the destruction of the local cultural and environmental settings. In the story, George Orwell emphasizes on nature's serenity by creating a vivid scene of the conspicuous elephant grazing in a paddy field. As the story proceeds, the colonial empire develops an insatiable greed for Burma's natural resources.

3.Intimidation as a tool for retaining colonial power 

It’s common for the colonial officers to apply unnecessary force even when dealing with slight issues. This enables them to maintain a firm grip on Burmese subjects who are hopelessly obligated to serving Her Majesty’s economic interests. In addition, the subjects lack the freedom of expression, which George Orwell finds quite contrary to what civilization actually represents. Despite the benefits gained through intimidation, the narrator feels tired of maintaining a stern act. However, letting his guard down could stir up a rebellion.

4.Strained relationships 

George Orwell is appalled when the Burmese monks display their disrespect towards him and his fellow colonial police officers. As he moves from one point to the other, both young and old mock him in various ways. This is contrary to how the British royalty presents itself as an amiable and popular colonial regime.

5.The colonial regime’s insecurity 

Despite the elephant calming down after a dramatic episode, the narrator is still determined to shoot it down. However, this decision defies the officer’s logic because the giant mammal poses no real danger to himself or the community. Scholars believe that the elephant represents the large but peaceful nations that suffered horribly under British colonialism.

Summing it up 

You can create a list of awesome ideas related to essays on Shooting An Elephant by George Orwell by discussing your interpretation of the story with fellow classmates. This book contains rich themes for argumentative essay topics.

Are there other themes on Shooting an Elephant by George Orwell you’d like us to explain? Feel free to post your suggestion in the Comments box

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