George Charalambous 03/05/2013 English 1030 Research Paper ” If it were necessary to give the briefest possible definition of imperialism, we should have to say that imperialism is the monopoly stage of capitalism now” according to Vladimir Lenin. George Orwell immediately begins the essay ”Shooting an Elephant” by claiming his perspective on British Imperialism, and how this imperialism affected himself, his empire, and the Burma people. Though George Orwell is a British officer himself at the time in Burma , he claims that he is fully against the oppressors , who at the time are the British.
Afterwards, of course, there were endless discussions about the shooting of the elephant. The owner was furious, but he was only an Indian and could do nothing. Besides, legally I had done the right thing, for a mad elephant has to be killed, like a mad dog, if its owner fails to control it. Among the Europeans opinion was divided. The older men said I was right, the younger men said it was a damn shame to shoot an elephant for killing a coolie, because an elephant was worth more than any damn Coringhee coolie. And afterwards I was very glad that the coolie had been killed; it put me legally in the right and it gave me a sufficient pretext for shooting the elephant. I often wondered whether any of the others grasped that I had done it solely to avoid looking a fool.