Summary Analysis George Orwell works as the sub-divisional police officer of Moulmein, a town in the British colony of Burma. Because he is, like the rest of the English, a military occupier, he is hated by much of the village. Though the Burmese never stage a full revolt, they express their disgust by harassing Europeans at every opportunity.
Burma was a major inspiration for Orwell and his works and remained an important influence throughout his literary career. Despite a strong anti European feeling among the natives making him feel guilty and bitter, the author could not help feeling for the helpless local people who just did not have better means to express their anguish and disgust over imperial forces.
Orwell felt a strong sense of guilt and therefore resigned when he was in England on a leave. However, he continued to publish several literary pieces that showed his strong disgust against the imperial evil in Asia. The incident portrayed in the essay took place in Moulmein, now known as Mawlamyine.
Orwell starts with a depiction of local hatred against Europeans and how he got to be on its receiving end many times. While their European oppressors were successful at suppressing revolts of all form, still locals could not help demonstrating their hatred for them.
What made the hatred against him even bitter was his position of a police officer. It was quite likely that several of them hated him enough to kill him if they could dare to. Nobody dared raise a riot for the fear of strong action from the imperial police force but still if ever a European woman ventured in the market alone, one would spit betel juice on her clothes.
Orwell describes how he was tripped up by a Burman on the football field and the Burman referee ignored it while the crowd laughed at him hideously. The Burmese monks were an even bigger problem, irritating him the most.
They had no task but to jeer at the Europeans and these Buddhist monks were everywhere in Burma at all corners of everyday life.
Orwell draws a stark picture of the cruelties meted out to the local people by their oppressors. In the second paragraph, he describes how cruel a job his was where he got to see the dirty work of Empire at close quarters. The prisons especially presented rich evidence regarding the wrongdoings of the British.
Watching those inmates inside locked and stinky cages sitting with cowed faces and scarred buttocks of those bogged with bamboos filled the author with an intolerable sense of guilt.
The stubbornness with which these Buddhist monks could tease him made him feel the most helpless. However, he calls these feelings a by product of British imperialism. Orwell felt undereducated and under experienced which made him all the more perplexed.
While he was growing bitter of imperialism, something happened that let him understand better why these despotic governments acted the way they did. It was an ordinary morning till he received a call from another sub inspector downtown that an elephant had gone out of control and he must do something because it was ravaging the town.
What followed was both tragic and comic; childish and serious. Orwell was worried he could hardly do anything but then he decided that he must see. He picked his old. He had broken his chains and escaped into the town and the mahout who could control it had given the wrong way to chase the beast and could not be back for twelve hours.
It had killed a cow, and destroyed fruit stalls and stock and even vented its anger on the municipal van. It was one of the poorest corners of the town filled only with thatched huts.
Orwell could not get any definite information from the locals because in the East the more accurate a description seems, he more inaccurate it gets when you approach the scene. People were pointing in different directions and Orwell had started thinking it was all lie.
Suddenly he heard some noise on one side where a woman was shooing away some kids. The man had come under the feet of the elephant.
The beast had appeared there suddenly and picked the man by his trunk before grinding him with his feet. The corpse looked devilish with its eyes wide open and skin off its back.
An orderly brought the rifle with five cartridges and some Burmans informed the author that the beast was in a paddy field nearby. The locals were excited at seeing the rifle and started following the author.
They were interested in seeing the elephant being shot dead and while Orwell did not intend to kill the animal but had got the rifle just to protect himself in case the beast went wild; he had already started feeling like a fool. The crowd on his back had grown.George Orwell believed that “ imperialism was an evil thing ” and uses much themes, symbolism and irony to convey his strong anti-colonialist feelings.
Theme is an integral part of this story and is mostly presented through the narrator. Orwell explicitly states his allegiance to the Burmese people and his opposition to the power that he himself embodies, as imperial police officer and face of the British Empire.
This quote is important because of how clearly it explains Orwell’s feelings for his work and his position in Burma. For example he refers to the large crowd of people behind him as “an army of people.” Not only does army make the reader think of a large crowd but to be military-like and force Orwell to change his actions.
George Orwell’s Shooting An Elephant is a great essay combining personal experience and . Book Report on George Orwell's Burmese Days The book “Burmese Days” was written by George Orwell and published first in Orwell took the inspiration for this first novel of his from the experiences he gained during his service as an imperial police officer in Burma in the late s.
From his introduction, George Orwell seems to have ambivalent feelings about the Burmese. On the one hand, he states that he is theoretically and secretly "all for the Burmese and all against their oppressors, the British and he feels an "intolerable sense of guilt" for the "wretched prisoners.".
Orwell's resentful feelings towards the Burmese are ironic because What irony is expressed in this statement: A sahib has got to act like a sahib; he has got to appear resolute, to know his own mind and do definite things?