When the white man turns tyrant it is his own freedom that he destroys

Against his wishes, helplessly he guns down the elephant. The crowd roars in excitement, and the elephant appears suddenly weakened. George Orwell speaker Related Themes: The author is holding an elephant gun and a massive crowd of over two thousand Burmese surrounds him expecting to see him fire a shot at the animal.

Just as he empathizes with the oppressed Burmese, Orwell recognizes that the elephant is a peaceful creature that has been driven to rebellion by its mistreatment. He is completely reluctant to injure the large animal. He becomes a sort of hollow, posing dummy, the conventionalized figure of a sahib.

He becomes a sort of hollow, posing dummy, the conventionalized figure of a sahib. These bullets do nothing; the elephant continues to breathe torturously. A third shot downs the elephant. Active Themes One day, a minor incident takes places that gives Orwell insight into the true nature of imperialism and the reasons behind it.

The people expected it of me and I had got to do it; I could feel their two thousand wills pressing me forward, irresistibly.

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Active Themes Still, Orwell does not want to kill the beast. As ruler, he notes that it is his duty to appear resolute, with his word being final. For it is the condition of his rule that he shall spend his life in trying to impress the "natives," and so in every crisis he has got to do what the "natives" expect of him.

The essay finishes with him wondering if they will even understand his motive for having killed the elephant as he merely wished to salvage his pride. The autobiographical account presents a complex situation Orwell faces in Burma.

I had got to shoot the elephant. I had committed myself to doing it when I sent for the rifle.

Shooting an Elephant

Orwell feels as though he is a magician tasked with entertaining them, and realizes that he is now compelled to shoot the elephant. He fires at its heart, but the elephant hardly seems to notice the bullets.

The narrator then wonders if they will ever understand that he did it "solely to avoid looking a fool. In Moulmein, the narrator—Orwell, writing in the first person—is a police officer during a period of intense anti-European sentiment.

Why do you always doubt his word! As a member of the ruling power, he is cornered into doing what the "natives" expect of him: In the same way, the British empire is inhumane not out of necessity, but rather out of reactionary ignorance regarding both the land it has colonized and the pernicious way that colonization acts on both the colonized and the colonizer.

Active Themes The crowd reaches the rice paddies, and Orwell spots the elephant standing next to the road. Orwell reneges on his ethical and practical conclusions almost as quickly as he makes them. From the outset, Orwell establishes that the power dynamics in colonial Burma are far from black-and-white.

On the other hand, Orwell as an individual deplores the oppressive and tyrannical British rule and sympathizes with the poor Burmese. He wears a mask, and his face grows to fit it.I perceived in this moment that when the white man turns tyrant it is his own freedom that he destroys.

He becomes a sort of hollow, posing dummy, the conventionalized figure of a sahib. For it is the condition of his rule that he shall spend his life in trying to impress the "natives," and so in every crisis he has got to do what the "natives. Get an answer for 'Explain what Orwell means by, "When the white man turns tyrant, it is his own freedom that he destroys."' and find homework help for other Shooting an Elephant questions at eNotes.

In "Shooting an Elephant," Orwell observes that "when the white man turns tyrant it is his own freedom that he destroys," and that "he wears a mask, and his face grows to fit it.". Feb 08,  · "I perceived in this moment that when the white man turns tyrant it is his own freedom that he destroys.

He becomes a sort of hollow, posing dummy, the conventionalized figure of a sahib."Status: Resolved. The story is regarded as a metaphor for British imperialism, and for Orwell's view that "when the white man turns tyrant it is his own freedom that he destroys." [2] Orwell spent some of his life in Burma in a position akin to that of the narrator, but the degree to which his account is autobiographical is disputed, with no conclusive evidence.

In the essay Shooting an Elephant George Orwell argues that, “when the white man turns tyrant it is his own freedom that he destroys” (Orwell, ). Free will is indestructible; an example of Orwell’s destruction of freedom but preservation of .

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When the white man turns tyrant it is his own freedom that he destroys
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