Originally Posted by CiceroI read somewhere about the British in India, that an important Englishman there made a statement to the effect of numbers, that the Indians only need to turn at once and urinate on us to drown us... the implications being that the absuridty of numbers on both sides of the Imperial System.
It's essentially a eschatological alternative version of a famous Chinese quotation regularly attributed to Chairman Mao: something like "if all the Chinese jumped at the same time when they landed it would make a huge tidal wave".
I particularly liked these two quotes : ...and ... (deleted by computer, not me)
A good description of the power someone's will can have over another person,and how strong that power can be. I think the fact that they were with so many was of greater impact for the strength of this willpower than the fact that they were natives.
IMO if it had only been two or three natives, he might not have shot the elephant...
Hey I'm working on a whole lot more scatalogical metaphors as the last one was such a big hit .. that and emptying rain water from just about everything that can collect water. We've had a lot of rain here.
At the time this essay was discussed, I was quite busy. I had just helped my daughter move from Texas to Wyoming (she had some special problems that required assistance) and was getting ready to visit my mother in California, where I spent four months. So I read the essay in isolation from all other works of Orwell and never got in on the discussion. It was one year ago, just before my birthday.
A couple of weeks ago I bought a book of essays by George Orwell which contained this, among others. (I can't find the right collection on Amazon.) It set me to thinking about this discussion.
It is well known that Orwell (or Eric Blair) has said that his experience in Burma was a turning point in his life when he became opposed to imperialism. It may well be the turning point of his life when he became a Socialist. Carlisle Blues said it this way:
My interpretation was that the elephant represented imperialism and its decline. As if the protagonist suddenly had an epiphany regarding imperialism.
He neither stirred nor fell, but every line of his body had altered. He looked suddenly stricken, shrunken, immensely old..
So in reality George Orwell was expounding upon an important turning point in his life. As Carlisle said, the shooting of the elephant was an "epiphany." His maturing process is well illustrated in his essays.
For my senior year in High School my English class read George Orwell's major essays. I enjoyed this one and it ended up being my third favorite essay behind "You and the Atomic Bomb" and "Politics in the English Language."
I read this a long time ago, but I remember finding this particularly interesting:
The fact that the natives hated him (the protagonist), and yet when they were in danger they looked to him for protection from nature. If I remember correctly he had second thoughts about stopping the elephant and considered letting it run amok to punish the locals.