The essay describes the experience of the English narrator, possibly Orwell himself, called upon to shoot an aggressive elephant while working as a police officer in Burma. Because the locals expect him to do the job, he does so against his better judgment, his anguish increased by the elephant's slow and painful death. The story is regarded as a metaphor for British imperialism, and for Orwell's view that "when the white man turns tyrant it is his own freedom that he destroys. Orwell spent some of his life in Burma in a position akin to that of the narrator, but the degree to which his account is autobiographical is disputed, with no conclusive evidence to prove it to be fact or fiction. Britain conquered Burma over a period of 62 years — during which three Anglo-Burmese Wars took place, and Britain incorporated it into its Indian Empire.
Effects Of Imperialism In India
An Estimate of British Imperialism in India Free Essay Example
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The positive effects are banning inhumane traditional practices such as sati and the dowry system, promoting widow remarriage and prohibiting child marriage. The negative effects are that Britain caused the traditional industries to crash. Also, poverty increased. British officials were paid out of the India treasury. Imperialism drained India's wealth.
On his initiative, thousands of Indians were measured, registered, and the data put together according to racial categories. The difficult problem of obtaining models from the living subject would then be disposed of. In the s, most historians of imperialism would probably not have paid much attention to such an anecdote. Empire was still largely seen as concerned with economy and high politics.