Essay Example on George Orwell - A British Policeman Who Sympathized With the Oppressed Burmese

Paper Type:  Essay
Pages:  4
Wordcount:  918 Words
Date:  2023-02-27

To the Burmese, author George Orwell who is a British police officer, a white man embodies the tyranny and oppression of the British Empire to the people. During the British Empire period, many regulations greatly affected individuals negatively in the country. On the other hand, Orwell, as a person, condemns the tyrannical and oppressive of the British rules and sympathizes with the poor Burmese for the challenges they were facing through the rule (Lebovics, Herman 2006). Through the tyranny, many individuals were suffering in the country despite their various positions. Orwell usually approves this aspect through his complexities of his circumstances that reveal to him how helpless he is in the country besides being a police officer. The regulations were usually affecting the country's economy while benefiting a few individuals in the country.

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Through the George Orwell article, shooting the elephant offers a string account on a British police officer's awakening to what British colonialism meant, considering that he is a representation of one. Being a police officer, he accounts for an incident of the British rule that is significantly affecting the country when he was commanded to kill the elephant that had gone wild in the village (Orwell, 2003). Orwell shows the protagonist acts when he does not want to kill the elephant, although the fact is that he has no choice since he has to fulfill the responsibility given to him. The above case is an example that shows how brutal tyranny was in the country since individuals faced the same challenges from police officers. He feels the challenge of killing the elephant since there was a huge crowd watching it and relying on him to resolve the challenge as he is a colonial officer and British representative. Besides the elephant, other many tyrannies were designed by the British government that greatly affected the citizens, and Orwell expresses how they changed the country.

Orwell recounts the protagonist's emotions on having to shoot the elephants and, more importantly, how he contains mixed feelings concerning the injustice act of elephant killings. It is considered essential for individuals, especially police officers, to express their emotions. Based on his thoughts, elephants are necessary animals in the country, and they don't have to be killed (Lebovics, Herman 2006). The injustice acts are shown by Orwell when he elaborates and states how he believes he is a puppet forced to and fro through the will of white faces behind the laws. Through this believes, he says that "I perceived at this moment that when the white man turns tyrant, it is his freedom that he destroys." Through this statement, he becomes a resonating putting a dummy and a conventionalized figure of a sahib.

It was clear that the control of power in the country was usually unfair since they were destroying their animals by killing them. From this image, the protagonist understands that he is required to imitate the society anticipation of shooting the elephant, although he had no desire to kill the elephant. Through killing the elephant, he explains how Britain is destroying its self through colonial power by ordering the killing of elephants (Orwell, 2003). This shows that Britain is destroying its freedom through the killings, and the animals can be maintained against human distractions that they were brought about to the community. For example, the protagonist is forced to act against their own will through killing the elephant, which is an aspect that is against their freedom, morals, and independents thoughts and actions. Through these forced actions, it highlights how brutal the British imperialism is to the citizens as well as those individuals with power like police officers.

Although the manifestation of authority is different in both British and Burmese, the aspect power in Orwell's responsibility of killing the elephant since Burma was typically a British colony during the period (Bloom, Harold. Orwell 2007). It was the role of Orwell to represent British authority. Although he is felling that imperialism is an act that is injustice, he feels that he is required to wear the authority mask that Burmese is expecting from him. Through this factor, the very system that empowers the British as well as entraps them in their behaviors that limits British officers like Orwell in behaving within their roles. This aspect makes Orwell view the authority as to why they are destroying their nature and freedom of the citizens through the imperialism.


Orwell sums up the dynamic amongst the authority of the Burmese and that of the British when he states that "I perceived at this moment that when the white man turns tyrant, it is his freedom that he destroys." He is considered to be hollow posing dummy, and a conventional image of sahib, as stated earlier since it is the order of the rule to spend is whole future impressing the native, and in all ways, he is required to acts as per the constitutional rules as expected. Although the people of Burmese have the right to speak on their own, it is the role of the British power to control the people's actions in Burmese since they were their colony. The Burmese individuals can act in specific ways to manage various challenges that they face in the community to facilitate justice, especially in the killing of elephants since they hold the real power.

Works Cited

Bloom, Harold. George Orwell. New York: Chelsea House, 2007. Internet resource.

Lebovics, Herman. Imperialism and the Corruption of Democracies. Durham: Duke University Press, 2006. Print.

Orwell, George. Orwell: The Observer Years. London: Atlantic, 2003. Print.

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Essay Example on George Orwell - A British Policeman Who Sympathized With the Oppressed Burmese. (2023, Feb 27). Retrieved from

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