Shooting An Elephant, By George Orwell: Racial Oppression By Society

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Racial Oppression by Society Introduction: Although it appeared that slaveholders had an intrinsic motivation to dehumanize slaves, society was the true cause of racial oppression. A societal paradigm can be defined an idealistic example or model that is agreed upon by the individuals of society. James Baldwin's A Talk to Teacher’s, Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness, Frederick Douglass’ Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, and George Orwell’s Shooting an Elephant, portray a common motif in which individuals are trapped within the expectations of society and forced to commit racial crimes. More about imperialistic society: During the imperialistic era, slaveholders were in a paradigm, in which they were unconsciously conditioned to conform to society and hold a position that was looked upon by others as respectable. They were placed in a “dog-eat-dog” world; taught to look at other human beings as objects to benefit themselves and make themselves seem reputable, being unconsciously been conditioned for rewards-recognition, acceptance, approval, status, or wealth.
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Although Orwell does not agree with society’s wrongdoings, he is forced to obey. When Orwell is expected to shoot an elephant he remarks that he “did not in the least want to shoot him, but these people (the natives) expected it” of him and he was forced to do this against his will (Orwell 989). In this situation, Orwell takes on characteristics of a slave. The oppressor “wears a mask and his face grows to fit it.” The mask, or societal expectations eventually dehumanizes the individual’s face, or his humanistic qualities. It is important to note that this mask does not simply hide the individual; it changes the individual to fit the imperialistic

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