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Showing posts from January 5, 2020

Shooting an Elephant - George Orwell

‘Shooting an Elephant’ is a 1936 essay by George Orwell (1903-50), about his time as a young policeman in Burma, which was then part of the British empire. The essay explores an apparent paradox about the behaviour of Europeans, who supposedly have power over their colonial subjects. Orwell begins by relating some of his memories from his time as a young police officer working in Burma. He, like other British and European people in imperial Burma, was held in contempt by the native populace, with Burmese men tripping (losing balance) him up during football matches between the Europeans and Burmans, and the local Buddhist priests loudly insulting their European colonisers on the streets. Orwell tells us that these experiences instilled in him two things: it confirmed his view, which he had already formed, that imperialism was evil , but it also inspired hatred of the enmity between the European imperialists and their native subjects . Of course, these two things are related, and Orwell