Discuss at least two of the occurrences of the term "East" in the essay and explain the point Orwell is making in Shooting an Elephant.

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"I was young and ill-educated and I had had to think out my problems in the utter silence that is imposed on every Englishman in the East."

Here Orwell is talking about how difficult it is to be an Englishman in Burma and how he feels he must keep his opinions to himself in order to truly be a part of this society. "The East" is referring to Burma which is geographically East of Britain, which is the governing country over this region which is so far removed from it.

"That is invariably the case in the East; a story always sounds clear enough at a distance, but the nearer you get to the scene of events the vaguer it becomes."

In this reference he is clearly stating his distaste for the imperialists he is employed by. He is saying that the British have no idea what Burma is like because they are so far removed from it. The British think everything is fine because they are so far away, but Orwell thinks the closer one is to the country the better one can serve it and he thinks that the Burmese should be free to govern themselves.

"And my whole life, every white man's life in the East, was one long struggle not to be laughed at."

Orwell is a white man in the East, he is a British colonial policeman in Burma. He is pointing out that the white man gets no respect in Burma because the Burmese people do not want to be governed by the British. A white man has to be careful not to mess up because that's what the Burmese are waiting for.