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British Imperialism Exposed in Shooting an Elephant, by George Orwell Essay

Project id 1002481
Subject area Arts Entertainment
Document type Essay
Words 2822
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George Orwell has been, without a doubt, among the most influential authors of his time. His powerful resistance to totalitarianism and imperialism forced him among their most recognizable names in literature throughout the 1900's. Orwell spent 5 years as an imperial policeman in Burma, observing firsthand the effects of imperialism to the people of Burma (BBC). The insight he gained through those years made apparent to him the injustices of colonization and fueled his own resistance to totalitarianism. Following his time serving in Burma, he resigned in the imperial police forces to focus on his writing (Continuum Encyclopedia of British Literature). Shortly after, he wrote that the novel Burmese Days, a narrative about the last days of imperialism at Burma and also the essay Shooting an Elephant, that also touches on the dilemma of imperialism. An investigation of this piece through the historical and post-colonial lenses indicates that the narrative is really speaking about the resounding negative ramifications of imperialization, both over the colonizer and the colonized, especially the British Empire and the subcontinent of India. The straightforward approach Orwell utilizes in his own prose is similar to any other, and he gets his point across with a firm hand. This lucid prose, with its own unparalleled directness has abandoned a number of his works at the forefront of heated discussions over many subjects, including imperialism and its adverse impact. In Taking an Elephant, he handles all these effects on both parties, both the imperialist British as well as the colonized Burmese. In the case of the British, the process of imperialization triggered a dehumanization fueled from the false sense of omnipotence. The people were educated to think that the brand new, "greater" staples, the snowy.

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