Shooting an Elephant by George Orwell

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Consider the individuals in George Orwell's "Shooting an Elephant" and Doris Lessing's "No Witchcraft for Sale," who are essentially powerless in their respective societies. How do these individuals...

Consider the individuals in George Orwell's "Shooting an Elephant" and Doris Lessing's "No Witchcraft for Sale," who are essentially powerless in their respective societies. How do these individuals behave? What do they do to those who have power in their societies? Why do these people act as they do, and what does their behavior demonstrate about imperialism as a political and social ideology? Use examples from the works in your response.

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Ok, so for this question you are considering an important character in "No Witchcraft for Sale" and the minor characters in "Shooting an Elephant." Both stories share a similar imperial setting, with British rulers holding authority and power over the native populations. Orwell's story is told from the first-person perspective, with the narrator being one of the imperialists in control over the people. Lessing's story is told in the third-person, and the imperialists include a white family and white medical professionals, the former of which employs Gideon, an African man from the country.

Orwell's story takes place in Burma, in southeast Asia. Orwell tells the story from his own life, and in the story he, as an imperialist, polices the people who live there. Orwell describes his relationship with the native citizens as:

I was sub-divisional police officer of the town, and in an aimless, petty kind of way anti-European feeling was very bitter. No one had the guts to raise a riot, but if a...

(The entire section contains 939 words.)

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