Shooting an elephant

Páginas: 5 (1183 palabras) Publicado: 4 de noviembre de 2011
Shooting an Elephant Essay

In this essay called “shooting an elephant”, that it seemed to me quite interesting, we can realized about some topics, but now I am going to refer about colonialism and how it is present in this text.
So, in order to have a clear idea about colonialism we would quote to Eduardo Galeano, who says; "El colonialismo visible te mutila sin disimulo: te prohibe decir,te prohibe hacer, te prohibe ser. El colonialismo invisible, en cambio te convence de que la servidumbre es tu destino y la impotencia tu naturaleza: te convence de que no se puede decir, no se puede hacer, no se puede ser". (Eduardo Galeano, el libro de los abrazos)
George Orwell immediately begins the essay by first claiming his perspective on British Imperialism. He claims that it is evil andhe is fully against the oppressors, the British “Theorically--and secretly, of course--I was for the Burmese…British” (Orwell, chapter 1). Though he is a British officer himself at the time in Burma, he feels a certain hatred and guilt towards himself, his empire, and the “evil-spirited little beasts,” the Burma people. In the essay he writes not just about his personal experience with theelephant but how metaphorical the experience is to Imperialism and his views of the matter. Orwell’s feelings are the hostile feelings toward the British, Imperialism, and Britain's justification for their actions in taking over Burma.
Orwell used as a metaphor “the elephant”, showing us the destructive power of imperialism: the elephant’s rampaging spree destroying homes, food shelves, and even killinga man whom Orwell described to have an expression of unendurable agony. Then when finally he found the elephant he realized of all the people behind him so the police acted against his convictions, although he did not want to shoot it “I had no intention of shooting the elephant -I had merely sent for the rifle to defend myself if necessary” (Orwell, chapter 5) he did it anyway “no, that wasimpossible. The crowd would laugh at me. And my whole life, every white man's life in the East, was one long struggle not to be laughed at” (Orwell, chapter 7), suddenly he felt guilty and immorality but those things were not sufficient because he did it anyway.
Why did he shoot at the elephant? We realized of he did it instead of he did not want to do it. Maybe he was falling down into the trap ofapplause? “When I pulled the trigger I did not hear the bang or feel the kick —one never does when a shot goes home— but I heard the devilish roar of glee that went up from the crowd” (Orwell, chapter 11).
“A story always sounds clear enough at a distance, but the nearer you get to the scene of events the vaguer it becomes” (G. Orwell)
Furthermore and answering some questions put them on thisessay in order to understand what Orwell wanted to teach us we can say.
* Orwell at the very beginning start saying that he hate his job because he hates British imperialism, he hates Burmese natives in conclusion he hates his job “As for the job I was doing, I hated it more bitterly than I can perhaps make clear. In a job like that you see the dirty work of Empire at close quarters” (Orwell,chapter 2). He is completely alone with his thoughts since he cannot share his idea that “imperialism was an evil thing” with his countrymen.
* One day in the morning Orwell received a phone call from the Burman subinspector telling him something about an elephant “Early one morning the sub-inspector at a police station the other end of the town rang me up on the phone and said that anelephant was ravaging the bazaar” (Orwell, chapter 3). But why they could not do it by themselves? Because their own culture were prevented. The elephants in their culture are revered, they also said that they brought the rains and were important lucky charms especially in the field of business.
* Later throughout the story the elephant was compared with destructive power of imperialism in a...
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