Rhetorical Analysis Of Shooting An Elephant

836 Words4 Pages
Hannah Edmiston
Boudreau
AP Language
Friday 25 September, 2015

Shooting an Elephant Analyzing Rhetorical Devices
Shooting an Elephant, written by George Orwell in 1936, describes his experience working as a British officer located in Moulmein, Burma. He writes his essay to reveal the cruelty and disastrous outcome of imperialism he witnesses. Orwell uses strong resource of language such as symbolism, metaphors and imagery to express his disdain for British imperialism.
Orwell uses symbolism to connect the character of the elephant to the effects of imperialism. In the beginning of the essay, the elephant manifests an unbending tantrum. The rampage kills a local man and destroys much of the village. Orwell, by using a tumultuous elephant destroying the village, is a reference to imperialism and its disastrous effects. Orwell writes, “He was lying on his belly with arms crucified and head sharply twisted to one side… (Most of the corpses I have seen looked devilish.)” to show how imperialism’s devastation was the opposite of the initial extension of Britain 's influence through colonization. You can see in Orwell 's writing the diction he uses such as “crucified” and “devilish” in the essay show that the religious influence of imperialism takes a large toll on the culture of the Burmese people and British officers there. These two words both represent the symbols of abominable occurrences in the Christian bible. “Crucified” being the crucifixion of Jesus Christ, the most
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