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The Use Of Metaphors In Shooting An Elephant By George Orwell

893 words - 4 pages

The Use of Metaphors in Shooting an Elephant by George Orwell

In the essay ?Shooting an Elephant? by George Orwell, the author uses metaphors to represent his feelings on imperialism, the internal conflict between his personal morals, and his duty to his country. Orwell demonstrates his perspectives and feelings about imperialism.and its effects on his duty to the white man?s reputation. He seemingly blends his opinions and subjects into one, making the style of this essay generally very simple but also keeps it strong enough to merit numerous interpretations. Orwell expresses his conflicting views regarding imperialism throughout the essay by using three examples of oppression and by deliberatly using his introspection on imperialism.

In this story ,Orwell is taking part in imperialism by proving his power and dignity to the natives presenting imperialism metaphorically through the use of animals. He is using the elephant as a symbol of imperialism representing power as an untamed animal that has control over the village. He uses a large and very powerful animal to represent a significant metaphor for imperialism.. In doing so he leads to the understanding that the power behind imperialism is only as strong as its dominant rulers. Orwell?s moral values are challenged in many different ways, ironically enough while he too was the oppressor. He is faced with a very important decision of whether or not he should shoot the elephant. If he does so, he will be a hero to his people. In turn, he would be giving in to the imperial force behind the elephant that he finds so unjust and evil. If he lets the elephant go free and unharmed the natives will laugh at him and make him feel inferior for not being able to protect the village. Orwell represents the elephant as a force greater than he has the ability to kill. It takes him several shots to kill the elephant, and a prolonged period of time for it to die.Orwell?s decision to kill the elephant is a direct result of oppression. He demonstrates that this oppression perhaps goes deeper than the average man would imagine, noticeably hindering even the lives of the oppressors. The elephants controlling force over Orwell is compared to that of an imperialist.

Orwell?s extraordinary style is never displayed better than through the metaphors he uses in this essay. He expresses his conflicting views regarding imperialism through three examples of oppression: by his country, by the Burmese, and by himself on the Burmese. Oppression is shown by Orwell through the burden of servitude placed upon him by England:...

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