Shooting An Elephant Rhetorical Analysis Essay

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Novelist, essayist, journalist, and critic George Orwell in his essay, “Shooting an Elephant” discusses his life in Burma during the 1930’s while the british were in control. Orwell recounts personal experiences and his feelings on the actions the British took in order to oppress the Burmese. While doing this he uses a variety of diction, imagery, and first person POV in order to convey his message.
Diction is the first rhetorical device Orwell employ in order to convey his message using his word choice. He uses the word Bazaar in the third paragraph which is a middle eastern marketplace. He also uses the word betel which is a type of leaf that is chewed. He goes on to describe the government as “despotic.” He uses words like bizarre to show the reader that he is fully immersed in the culture and is a part of the burmese society. Words like, “Raj, Mahout, Coolie, and Dravidian” show the Hindu culture Orwell was immersed in.
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Orwell describes the burmese prisoners and the cages they were put in in vivid detail, he says, “The wretched prisoners huddling in the stinking cages of the lock-ups..." He does this to show how horrible the British treated the people of Burma. This use of imagery also incites pathos in the the hearts and mind of the readers. He later goes on to describe how brutal“the elephant” hurt the Burmese man. He says, “The friction of the great beast's foot had stripped the skin from his back..” This use of imagery paints a picture in the reader's head about how evil and brutal the elephant is. The last use of imagery Orwell embeds in his essay when he says, “The evil-spirited little beasts who tried to make my job impossible.” This imagery is used to show the retaliation of the Burmese people to the British. The amount of hostility the Burmese has against not just the British soldiers but anyone associated with the
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