Imperialism The Elephant IN OUR MIDST History Essay

The saying "White man's burden, " coined by Rudyard Kipling, accurately represents the point of view which Western contemporary society has towards imperialism; as it cases that it is the work of the white man to essentially civilize other civilizations by converting them to Western mannerisms. But the practice of imperialism has been justified under the pretense of enhancing the society, the truth of imperialism is a developed region extending their electricity over a foreign nation for the purpose of economical gain. George Orwell writes Firing An Elephant after his service as an Indian Imperial Officer in Burma to identify the negative impact that imperialism is wearing both oppressed and the oppressors. While in Burma, Orwell witnesses the unjust that is imperialism as he watches the British maltreatment their power by firmly taking over the wealth of the nation and also, from the lack of respect proven to the inhabitants since they are cured inhumanely and their culture is in the process of being eradicated. With the British rejecting the Burmese culture rather than respecting their methods, the Burmese were treated inhumanely because of their cultural differences, causing racial tensions to arise between the organizations as they became more divided.


At the beginning of the essay, the narrator immediately makes his unhappiness in Burma known, reflecting back on football complements where he'd be jeered at and taunted. However, his discontent wasn't only the problem of the Burmese, the narrator makes it explicitly clear that he does not buy into the practice of imperialism as he recognizes the effect it is wearing the natives. Although he says to be privately of the natives, he also harbors a hatred towards them. Later in the day the narrator hears information about an elephant that has gone must which is rampaging the city, so he brings his pistol with him though he does not have any intention of actually eliminating the elephant, and practices after it. The natives viewing the narrator with a gun, get started to group behind him and follow him to where the elephant is. As the narrator is following the trail of the elephant, he spots a victim of the rampage, an indian man whom had been killed, giving in to the pressure of the crowd and an excuse to justify the getting rid of, he chooses to take the elephant, even although elephant has now calmed down. Despite the fact that the elephant was no longer a hazard, the narrator shoots the elephant, much to the natives' pleasure as they will reap the benefits associated with the inactive elephant. The narrator is aware that the situation could have been prevented and even considers the work to be very much like murder, however even after acknowledging those facts he declares that his single purpose for killing the elephant was not out of justice for the person it had killed, but rather for his take great pride in, so he would not seem foolish to the Burmese.


At the start of the article, the narrator helps it be clear that he is constantly ridiculed and resented by the Burmese, combined with the other British officials, even though he agrees with the natives that imperialism is incorrect. However, because the Burmese openly resent the British, being that they are aware they are being treated inhumanely, this only fuels the British's tough treatment to the Burmese, which creates a regular tension between your two communities. Orwell writes this essay for the general public of Britain to mention the detrimental results that imperialism has not only on the countries helped bring under British rule, but also to the English. Throughout the article the narrator states that the colonizers will lose their integrity and bargain their moral prices when they are positioned ready of power of having expert over others, much like how his own were jeopardized. Orwell writes the British general public to be able to spread knowing of the harm that imperialism is creating in the sense that the natives are being cured inhumanely as their culture is slowly and gradually disappearing due to the British demand in becoming westernized. The audience only sees one aspect of imperialism, which will be the profits created from the country and using the fact that they are becoming more civilized to justify their activities, rather than to acknowledge the injustices of having the cultural and religious procedures infringed upon, and generally being disrespected.


When the narrator decides to capture the elephant, he justifies his actions by explaining that he seems pressured, thinking that he ". . . has got to do what the "natives" expect of him. He wears a mask, and his face grows to match it" ( Orwell 184). Despite the fact that the narrator helps it be explicitly clear that he will not want to take the elephant, especially since it was calm, he seems pressured by the audience to do what's expected of the British officer, which is always to uphold the law because the elephant has wiped out someone. Capturing the elephant shows how imperialism has an effect on both the oppressors and the oppressed. The English police officers work corrupt to keep up with the looks they are justified to obtain power in the natives, essentially creating him to ". . . wear a mask, " (Orwell 181). The narrator comes to term that the British isles government is "an unbreakable tyranny" (Orwell 181). Using one side he is seen as a smart ruler, however, he is aware of that his actions are wrong, though he must act in such a way to disguise this. Furthermore, when the narrator chooses to not in favor of his moral integrity, he automatically seems guilty, "It looked dreadful to start to see the great beast lying there, powerless to move and yet powerless to perish, " (186). The narrator appreciates that he's now required to live along with his actions of heading against his moral ideals, however, he views just how huge of an advantage the lifeless elephant was worthwhile to the natives. Also, the elephants' unwillingness to perish is parallel of British colonialism, in the sense that the English were not prepared to relinquish their power in the colonies they had ruled. The narrator lost his control by shooting the elephant similarly to the British burning off its control on the colonies. Also, by drawing a parallel between your elephant and Britain, Orwell effectively establishes the real characteristics of imperialism. For example, through capturing the elephant, Orwell illustrates the transfer in power in the sense that following the elephant is taken, the Burmese, ". . . experienced stripped his body almost to the bones by day, " meaning that the Burmese needed fee and asserted their vitality over the United kingdom, and reaped the advantages of the destruction of imperialism (Orwell 186). The more aged officers thought that the narrator was right in shooting the elephant, while the younger officers disagreed stating that, "It was a damn shame to capture an elephant for eradicating a coolie because an elephant was worthy of more than any damn Coringhee coolie", emphasizing the actual fact that the elderly officers had witnessed the atrocious result that imperialism experienced and presumed that it was necessary to eradicate it, as the younger officers weren't even aware that what they were enforcing was wrong. The narrator was justified in firing the elephant, because of the fact that imperialism was damaging to both the oppressed and the oppressors, however, he didn't shoot the elephant for the right reasons, since he did not want to seem as foolish.

Annotated Bibliography

George Orwell shows the negative impact that imperialism is wearing both oppressed and the oppressors in his article Capturing An Elephant, which was predicated on his experience as an Indian Imperial Police Officer. Orwell notes details concerning the way the Burmese were cared for therefore of being colonized by the Uk, and also how the British were affected as well. The authors goal is to expose the true nature of imperialism and the detrimental results that is got on the get-togethers engaged. Therefore, this article is targeted for the British public because of the fact that these were ignorant of the true characteristics of imperialism and got the ability to advocate against it after they comprehended the repercussions.

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