Stylistic Analysis Essay: Shooting an Elephant
Shooting an Elephant by George Orwell is a narrative story presented as an essay. This essay emerges amarvelous piece of work to me due to a perfect combination of plot, theme and tone. In addition the symbolism, details and scenario presented by the narrator creates profound impact on reader. However, combining the use of language and information with ironic and conflictory elements of literary style, Orwell has attempted to create a feeling of disappointment towards the imperial system.
The essay seems so obviously ironic, although the author has tried his best to supress ironic style by supporting it with his tone. Any one can trace the calm and peace in narrator’s status, when he is describing the events which are capable of making reader upset, but even after it, the use of harmonic tone can not hide the ironic nature of the essay. When the narrator states that the hate of native people for him is because of him being a part of British Indian Imperial Police. The narator’s style of describing the hate of local people towards him is clearly ironic.
Conflict also appears in the essay as an important and detactable style of author. An example that can be related to conflict style applied by author is evident in his reasoning to be happy, although having a well thought-of designation, on the death of coolie that ultimately provided him the chance to become important and famous in local people. This example also indicates the presence of ironic style in a manner that can be easily identified. Working as a police officer implies that he is able to earn reputation by satisfying his duty and helping public, but instead of doing so, the author narration about his feeling of joy for the death of a coolie presents contadictory situation and therefore, highlights the conflict of state. Another example for the conflictory style of author is quite obvious when it come to define the status of the narrator. The author is capbale of bring change in the prevailing thought of public regarding the evils of imperialism, still he is putting all his efforts in explaining that how much responsible imperialism is, to induce the feeling of hate for him in local people. I think the reason behind including irony and conflictory tone in this essay of Orwell is to impose his feelings and thoughts on the reader, regarding the imperialism, the culprit, for the destruction of his moral values.
The theme of this essay can be defined as an attempt to offend imperialism and its evils by relating the narrator’s state of being a member of British Indian Imperial Police in Burma. By including the right details for plot and the behaviour of the public with him, the author has precisely expressed the misfortune of a man living life on a land where the local people do not acknowledge him and his duty due to their negative feelings for imperialism. The theme also comprises of the narrator’s understanding that he has lost his freedom of jujdement and choice in the process of getting acknowlegdement and respect from the natives of Burma. The main purpose of Orwell’s describing the shooting of an element is to describe the effort he made, to inspire the local people and drag their attention to the fact he is wiling to do any task according to their demand, without caring if he has been left with an unsatisfied conscience. The author narrates that he felt himself so bound to accept the demand, for shooting the elephant, made by the crowd of native following him, and he did so even at the cost of his own reluctance.
The author has used his expertise of narrating atmosphere, events and tone in a very promising approach. He has greatly satisfied the reader that whatever he did, eventhough he himself considers guilty for it, was not his fault, but of the established impacts of imperialism. There are many parts in the essay where the author has utilized the ironic style to cover up his situation. Author has also incorporated the conflictory aspects to justify a situation where a reader can demand the narrator to fulfill his duty honestly and not to pursue the feeling of making natives happy. As the narrator indicates that deep inside, against the demand of crowd, he himself was not comfortable with the idea of shooting elephant, but he did it. The author has very efficiently saved himself from the charge of being culprit by putting all blame to the negative consequences of imperialism in his text. Thus, Orwell has impressingly exploited the ironic and conflictory tone of styles in narrating his text which is actually meant to define his purpose of considering imperialism and its consecutive effects on both the natives and the government.