Can you help me write a short composition on "man's inclination to victimize and dominate runs like a thread through human history"?

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sagetrieb eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I advise you to narrow your topic for a “short composition.” Because the prompt proceeds from Orwell’s essay, perhaps narrow it to a thesis such as “In “Shooting an Elephant,” Orwell suggests that imperialism embodies a power relationship that dehumanizes people, furthering a human inclination to dominate and victimize each other.”  If this is a short composition, I would concentrate on perhaps two incidents—maybe even one—and examine it (each) closely with evidence. The first paragraph says something about the Burmese treatment of the narrator:  “When a nimble Burman tripped me up on the football field and the referee (another Burman) looked the other way, the crowd yelled with hideous laughter,” and you could quote this and explore the ideas. He is another useful quote to examine closely: “The people expected it of me and I had got to do it… And it was at this moment, as I stood there with the rifle in my hands, that I first grasped the hollowness, the futility of the white man's dominion in the East. 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. I perceived in this moment that when the white man turns tyrant it is his own freedom that he destroys.” Either or both contain rich information for discussion.  Good luck.

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Shooting an Elephant

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