Shooting An Elephant And 'Why My Mother Can T Speak English'

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The narrative styles of “Shooting an Elephant” and “Why My Mother Can’t Speak English” are quite different from each other. Orwell tells the story in the first person. Through the whole story, it is what “I” see, feel and think that promote the plot development. In contrast, Engkent narrates the story using dialogues between him and his mother. The readers are just like the audiences of his mother and gradually reveal the reason that why his mother can’t speak English.
In “Shooting an Elephant”, which use the first person as narration, the author tries to express the detestation to imperialism and the sympathy to Burmese people at the beginning. “I was all for the Burmese and all against their oppressors, the British” (Cleghorn 92). The author …show more content…

It starts with a conversation that author’s mother ask him to help her apply Canadian citizenship. With conversation going, reader can dig out the reason why a seventy-year-old woman suddenly wants Canadian citizenship. Then the talk happened in the court introduces the question, why author’s mother can’t speak English. And the immediately following conversations reveal that his mother was too busy with the restaurant to learn English when she came to Canada first time. Later, his forbad his mother to learn English since he thought speaking Chinese is enough in the kitchen. The most important reason is that his mother was afraid that learning English would change her Chinese soul. The conversations in this writing contains the family trivia, “If you can’t do this little thing for your own mother, well, I will just have to go and beg your cousin” (102). The conversation also contains the mother’s complains and recalls, “This is all your dead father’s fault” (104) and “He was afraid that I would leave him. I depended on him for everything. I could not go anywhere by myself” (105). The reader may feel that all these dialogues are so common and it may happen any day in any family. This is, in my mind, what Engkent tries to achieve. When reading this article, a reader can relax and image himself …show more content…

But the direct, powerful and persuasive narrative way in the first person is unsuitable for “Why My Mother Can’t Speak English”, since the author intents to show a statement of fact rather than convey any strong

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