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ANALYISI - Essay Example

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The burden on his mind partly connects with the idea that he has always desired to represent himself as a different kind of person from the oppressor. His actions and attitudes…
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Shooting an Elephant Analysis The situation Orwell faces a confounding situation that cuts across racism, loyalty, and moral duty. The burden on his mind partly connects with the idea that he has always desired to represent himself as a different kind of person from the oppressor. His actions and attitudes demonstrate a deep desire to extricate him from the blanket of blame that attaches him to the colonial masters. At the same time, Orwell knows that he cannot prove to the society that he is somewhat different given that his job as a police officer places him at the center of the oppressive structure as seen by the Burmans. Orwell is hopeless and confused (Orwell, 2003). The world he desires does not want to trust him, yet the world he hates seeks to absorb him completely within its systems.
Orwell’s feeling is common to people who wish to reject their environments but realize that they represent lone voices. His troubled conscience cannot adequately reconcile with the horrors of colonial oppression. It becomes difficult for him to accommodate both worlds. He wishes to place himself at the service of the Burmans and to challenge the racist views that are resident in both sides of the racial divide. He expresses an overwhelming sense of loss and confusion. He is lost in a world of binary opposites between the colonial oppressor and the dominated Burmans. Orwell strives to create his own private world, in which he can engage with both worlds on an impartial level. The torments he suffers from the Burmans and the blame he incurs from his own race appear to take a toll on his perception of the world as cruel and difficult.
The very act of shooting an elephant provides him with an opportunity to reconcile with a hostile society. This particular feeling shows on his element at the tense moment when he contemplates on whether or not to kill the stray elephant. He was not particularly convinced that his actions were appropriate but felt an immense force from the gathering crowd that expected him to carry out the shooting. On this score, his decisions were subject to mental pressure. He became a puppet of the population, with the realization that any further restraint would prove his distance and confirm the rift that existed between his colonialist race and the race of the oppressed Burmans. The moral decision that he chose was consistent with his inner guilt.
From his own feelings, Orwell shows that he had purged himself from the guilt of racism and oppression. The situation he confronts is the important moment when he has to dispel the racial tension and reconcile with the Burman society that considers him part of the oppressive fold (Orwell, 2003). The feelings are evident in his feelings of self-assurance after killing the elephant. He talks with a feeling of having achieved a supreme goal. In symbolic terms, it would appear that Orwell has betrayed his own people by killing the elephant. This fact comes out especially because the owner of the elephant and some people within the white society feel that he should not have killed the animal. The animal might be considered as a metaphor of colonialism within the Burmese society. By killing it, Orwell had essentially betrayed his own people and the colonial establishment that he was meant to serve dutifully.
Orwell, G. (2003). Shooting an elephant and other essays. London: Penguin Books. Read More
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