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Effects of Imperialism As displayed in George Orwell’s essay, “Shooting an Elephant,” imperialism is a key topic and focus of discussion. Imperialism can simply be defined as the taking over of many territories of land by a higher figure. These were then turned into colonies. Imperialism had a more negative effect than it did positive The character who is perceived as being hated by the people of Lower Burma is one who feels as if he has to prove himself. He is a police officer “…who was baited whenever it seemed safe to do so” (Orwell 1). He feels as if he is responsible for the work of the town that is not wanted by others. He is the one to do the dirty work and the one who in return is hated by those around him. He feels this way because he was under the British Empire, making imperialism negative. He is well aware of the authority and hierarchy. This authority is a prime example of imperialism and how it is deliberately seem throughout “Shooting an Elephant.” Also seen is a hypocrite. The officer of the story hates the British Empire, yet he is against imperialism. The British Empire is engaging in imperialism as it controls the people using power. The officer of “Shooting an Elephant” is engaging in imperialism. He is the one who is responsible for officially killing the elephant in the end of the story. The officer is in control and technically in control of the people of Lower Burma; however they have mental control over him. They have him doing the dirty jobs and the one who is responsible for engaging in tasks around town. Even though the officer is considered to be ranked above the Lower Burmese people, he feels bad about the control he is given. But, he is technically participating in imperialism in the way he controls the people. The officer states, “for at the time I had already made up my mind that imperialism we as an evil thing and the sooner I chucked up my job and got out of it the better” (Orwell par. 2). The officer feels as if he does not like the idea of imperialism, but is in some ways trapped because he is not able to escape. He is in-between controlling the people below him and being controlled by the British Empire. He is engaging in imperialism as well as having imperialism used on him. He knows that the idea of imperialism is wrong by the harm that is done to the many people, but as respect for his government, he continues to do as he is instructed. A point that is strongly made throughout “Shooting an Elephant” is that the officer feels as if he needs to prove himself and his manhood by killing the elephant. He says, “I often wondered whether any of the other grasped that I had done it solely to avoid of looking like a fool” (Par. 14). With this being said, the officer knows that the only reason he follows through with killing the elephant is to be in the right of law and to fit in with those around. He did not enjoy the killing or the thrill of the hunt. He references the fact that he feels like he is killing an innocent grandmother when he says, “I watched him beating his bunch of grass against his knees, with that preoccupied grandmotherly air that elephants have” (3). The officer has a side of him that shows gratitude towards such peaceful and calm animals such as the elephant. He does not want to harm those around him. This is linked to the fact that he does not want to hurt those or control those who are technically under him. He does not want to partake in imperialism. He is forced to participate while under the British Empire. This is a distinct example of how imperialism is negative. The British Empire is controlling their people in the ways that Stalin and Hitler horrendously harmed many thousands and thousands of people by purposeful torture and control. The officer is alarmed when he, the elephant, “looked suddenly stricken, shrunken, immensely old” (4). The way in which the death of the elephant is vividly described as being a jolt of agency when shot, is in direct relationship to how the people negatively affected by imperialism are treated (4). The elephant is in reference to those people who are negatively treated and who are extremely taken advantage of. They have no choice and are forced to behave and act in certain ways. Imperialism is displayed in a positive way in Achebe’s “Things Fall Apart” when the white people introduce weapons. This is showing a sign of development, especially in technology. The people have introduced technology to the native people. Even though the people have control over the native people and treat them under a system of imperialism, they leave one positive impact. They bring weapons that the natives have never been in contact with before. The power that these people have over the natives shows that they obviously are more privileged than the natives. They share their modernized knowledge of technology and weapons with the native people of the area by showing them the advantages of simple technology (Achebe). The weapons are able to show how improvement to have the possibility to come out of imperialism. Imperialism had a more negative effect than it did positive. There are few examples of the negative control of colonies and control of people in “Shooting and Elephant,” and “Things Fall Apart” where imperialism is a positive factor. In “Shooting an Elephant,” the officer is trapped between engaged in controlling the people and him also being controlled by the British Empire above him. He knows that he is participating in imperialism, but he feels a great sense of guilt. He states this by saying, “as for the job I was doing, I hated it more bitterly than I can perhaps make clear” (Orwell 1). This is in clear reference to the fact that the only reason he does his job is that he knows that he must. He does not enjoy it, nor does he receive any satisfaction from killing the elephant and taking control of people under him. His sole reason for the killing of the elephant is to obey his commander. He is once again caught in the middle of hating his job and falling under the curse of imperialism. In “Things Fall Apart,” Achebe clearly lays out the fact that the natives are treated with the feeling of demoralization. They were considered to be low in society, therefore feeling demoralized. They know that those ahead of them are in control and in all reality; they have no authority of power to say anything different or to say anything against them. They follow instructing and do what they are told to do. This is a general comparison and is used in strict sense to describe the cruelties of imperialism. Imperialism has its extreme ways of affecting many people. There are those who are doing the controlling and those who are being controlled. Imperialism is shown through the novel, “Things Fall Apart,” and the essay “Shooting and Elephant.” There are those who are controlling such as the British Empire, and those who are being controlled, such as the natives. Imperialism is a way of dominance over those who are less privileged. The implementation of imperialism has the majority of negative outcomes. However, in “Things Fall Apart,” there is an instance of positivity when weapons are introduced to the natives and technology is shared. This is a rare instance, and for the most part, imperialism is negative and does not have good outcomes. Those who are affected have lifelong consequences and live a life that is controlled and taken over by someone or something of higher authority. Works Cited Achebe. Things Fall Apart. New York: Library, 1959. Print. Orwell, George. Shooting an Elephant. 1936. Print.