Rhetorical Analysis Of Shooting An Elephant

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Rhetorical Analysis: “Shooting an Elephant” Contrary to popular belief, the oppressors of imperialism lack freedom. Imperialists are usually powerful and maintain control over the native people of the land they are taking over. It is expected for someone with great power to have choices and freedoms, however, that is not necessarily the case. Sometimes power can limit or restrict the choices one makes. For instance, in “Shooting an Elephant,” George Orwell claims that when a white man becomes tyrant, he destroys his own freedom. In order to prove his purpose, Orwell establishes authority through personal details, shifts in verb tense, and a reflective tone; appeals to logic with metaphor and analogy; and creates an emotional connection with the audience through a self-deprecating tone and vivid imagery. In the opening of “Shooting an Elephant,” Orwell appeals to authority through personal details and shifts in verb tense that create a reflective tone. Specifically, the speaker first introduces himself: “I was sub-divisional police officer of the town…” (1). The detail about the speaker’s status in Burma signifies that he has first hand experience with imperialism. Personal facts about the speaker’s image establishes authority and impacts the reader to trust the author’s claim about imperialism, considering that even in a position of power he is oppressed. In addition, when reflecting on his past, the speaker claims “I was young and ill-educated and I had had to think out my
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