The Perception Of Power In George Orwell's Shooting An Elephant

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In “Shooting an Elephant” by George Orwell, the author writes about his experience with dealing a rampant elephant in British Colonial Burma. Privilege is usually viewed as a positive attribute, however Orwell explores all of the negatives that privileges can bring, which can be applied to modern day social expectations and politics. In order to highlight its effects on a personal and a widespread level, he uses the rhetorical device of figurative language. The figurative language__________ Throughout the text, the author reveals the notion that privilege is a double edge sword which causes personal conflicts and the illusion of power. Orwell uses imagery to show personal conflicts in the main character.
George Orwell uses figurative language to a great extent to reveal the illusion of power in having authority. As the author stands in front of a group of natives, he says: “Here was I, the white man with his gun, standing in front of the unarmed native crowd – seemingly the leading actor of the piece; but in reality I was only an absurd puppet pushed to and fro by the will of those yellow faces behind”(Orwell 3). The author, a white man in power with a firearm is standing in front of a native crowd; however is a puppet controlled by the will of those who are subordinate to him. He says that “The people expected [killing the elephant] of [him] and [he] had got to do it; …show more content…

It creates the illusion of power as one has to achieve the expectations of their subordinates, therefore they do not have the freedom to do as they please; being the slaves of societal expectations. Also, if one wants to avoid humiliation, they’ll have to sacrifice their own morals to achieve these expectations. Power is a very dangerous thing, bringing benefits to themselves but also expectations of

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