George Orwell’s “Shooting an Elephant” Essay Questions
George Orwell was a police officer based in Burma and working for the British Empire in the East. He confesses to hating the ideas of white men controlling other parts of the world but agree that he can do nothing to change the situation. For this reason, because of his duty he is entitled to carry out his gun. In addition, white men are vehemently hated in the East, and George attest to this by the many instances he is rebuked in his line of duty (Orwell 1). For this reason, a gun is a sure way of protecting himself for any riot he may encounter. In addition, a gun in a country far from the European nation was a symbol of authority, power and for this George had to carry it all the time. Lastly, George reason, for carrying his gun, is to protect the people. This is demonstrated best by the killing of an elephant that traumatized the residents.
The first and second paragraph depict how people are used by powerful individual or political parties to bring atrocities to others. This is done unwillingly by white officers who understand the agony of the people on the ground. George says that he pities the condition of people in jail (Orwell 1). The introduction shows how authorities dehumanizes the citizen in their pursuit of power. However, for the oppressor to get hold on to their power they use the vulnerable among them to control over other people such as the case of George in Burma.
George Orwell uses situational irony in his essay. He narrates the story though it was a piece of joke he was writing about. The matter he is narrating is of important and grave concern to the people. The troubling of Burma economy by the British Empire is not simple matter. In the end, George gets the courage, not to offend the people by killing the elephant. For this, he successfully overcame his fear of offending his masters.
The word ‘must’ used in the essay means the period that elephant are on ‘breeding cycle.’ It is at this time that even the tamed elephant goes wild and run away to from their masters. Musth is defined in the dictionary as that state when elephant is on the rutting period/season.
George Orwell essay uses a great deal of English language by use of figurative language to depict his displeasure with the British imperialism. He narrates the story as the first person experience. Through personal anecdote, people are given a chance to understand the essay better. He explained how he was made to shoot the elephant by the anticipation of the Indian(Orwell 1). In addition, Orwell narrates his displeasure with the British imperialism. He is remorseful of the prisoner and their condition in prison. In addition, Orwell uses imagery and paradox to capture the mind of the audience. Orwell use of alliteration is a depiction of the British English. He describes Indians as yellow faces. In other instances he refer to them as cowed faces narrating of the convicts in prison (Orwell 1). Lastly, Orwell aims to highlight the themes of thebad imperialism, colonization, prejudice, and resentment.
Orwell, George. “Shooting An Elephant.” 2015. Online Literature. Web. 20 January 2015.