George Orwell Shooting An Elephant

1111 Words5 Pages
Imperialism is defined as a policy of when one county extends it is power and influence over other countries, through use of diplomacy or military force. Imperialism is the centre topic in the essay, “Shooting an Elephant” by George Orwell. In the essay, he illustrates the effects of imperialism on Burmese who were under the British police and on himself while he worked for the British. When individuals work under imperialism, then they are negatively impacted, they are often mistreated by the citizens who are under their power which ultimately result in the individuals taking regretful actions that are against their morals, due to the pressure they face. Orwell worked for the British Police in the lower Burma. His job as a sub-divisional…show more content…
Orwell as a sub-divisional police officer, is affected negatively by imperialism. Orwell clearly states that he strongly believes that imperialism is evil, because he has no right to express his personal opinion towards the issues. His morals are impacted by the pressure coming from the British and the citizens, resulting in him taking immoral actions. When Orwell was ordered to take actions towards the elephant, he clearly states that he had no plans of shooting the elephant but had a gun to protect himself from the elephant. Orwell believed that the elephant was not dangerous and that it would have been a “[…] murder to shoot him” (285). Once he realized that he had the entire Burmese population on his heels, he came to a conclusion that “The people expected it from [him…]” (284), to shoot the elephant. This quotation clearly shows that Orwell goes against his morals in order to please the Burmese and the British. The pressure coming from the British police has a tremendous impact on how Orwell treats the Burmese. Previously stated that Orwell believes that Imperialism is an evil thing, but he goes against his morals when he identifies the Burmese as the “[…] yellow faces [...]” (285), in this quote it is evident that he accepts the pressure from the British and treats them with no respect. Orwell takes immoral actions because he is pressured by the British and by the Burmese and can not take his personal believes into consideration. Being a police officer Orwell has certain duties to fulfill, some can be morally wrong but has to be done to maintain
Open Document