On Killing a Tree Essay

George Orwell was then the sub-divisional police officer of the town of Moulmein in Burma. The Burmese people had a lot of anti-European feelings. They did not do anything in an organized purposeful way like a revolt or riot to express their hatred. But they did petty things like spitting betel juice over the dress of European women or jeering at Europeans at a safe distance. They hated Orwell a little more as he was a police officer, an agent of the oppressors. If a Burmese player did a foul against him in the football field, the Burmese referee ignored it and the crowd of spectators laughed in glee.

The Buddhist priest jeered at him as at every other European. Orwell found their behaviours intolerable and he hated them for personal reasons. On the other hand, Orwell had a lot of sympathy for the oppressed people. Theoretically, he regarded Imperialism as evil. As a police officer, he had seen the tyranny and oppression of the British Empire in Thus, Orwell was in a mental conflict. He was an officer of the Empire which he hated. He had to serve the Empire and be an agent of oppression. On the other hand, he hated the Burmese for personal reasons, though he was on their side and he had sympathy.

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So he hated his job and thought of giving it up. While in Moulmein once, he had to shoot an elephant needlessly. It was an incident, which showed the hollowness of the British Empire, and it also showed how the British people, who seemed to be so powerful, were actually powerless puppets. The elephant which was in must had ravaged a bazaar, destroyed a hut, eaten up the fruits of a fruit stall and killed a cow. Orwell went out with his . 44 Winchester Rifle to frighten the elephant away with the sound of the gun. The Burmese could not give him any definite information about the whereabouts of the elephant.

At last he heard a shout from a lane of thatched huts. He went there and saw that the elephant had killed a Dravidian coolie. He thought that the elephant might have gone mad or must. So he asked an orderly to fetch an elephant rifle. He wanted the elephant rifle only for self defense if necessary. He had not yet decided to shoot the elephant. He only wanted to examine it, which was grazing The elephant was there eating bunches of grass peacefully. Orwell felt that the must was passing off and it would not do harm anymore. So it was not necessary to shoot it.

But there were the crowds of more than two thousand people. They wanted him to kill the elephant. The natives of the east thought that a sahib or a European must be resolute and should act resolutely without fear. To keep up the image that the natives had of a sahib, the sahib had to do what the natives expected him to do. Thus the European became a puppet, driven by the will of the native people. So did Orwell act. If he did not shoot the elephant, the Burmese people would think that he was frightened. They would laugh at him. To avoid being laughed at, he decided to shoot He shot the elephant.

Unable to tolerate the agony of the elephant, he shot it thrice with his elephant rifle and many times with his . 44 rifle. he But the elephant took about half an hour to die. Opinions were divided on his shooting of the elephant. The owner was angry but to no avail. The older Europeans thought that he had done the right thing. The younger men thought that it was wrong to shoot a valuable elephant for killing Search Share More About : on killing a tree by gieve patel summary Home Topics All Sites Summary of Gieve Patel’S “on Killing a Tree” Book Review by:akso6o175 Original Author: Andy Kester Sawian ( 166 Ratings) Visits : 7980 words:600

In the poem, “On Killing a Tree” by Gieve Patel, the poet wants to say something about the cutting of trees. According to him, it will take too much time to kill a tree. It is not just a simple jab: a quick stab or blow: to do the job. The tree has grown slowly consuming the earth: eating and drinking from it: rising out of the earth, feeding upon the crust of the earth, absorbing: taking in: innumerable years of sunlight, air water, out of the trees’ leprous hide: resembling the skin of a leper (here) refers to the discolored bark of the tree: the newly formed leaves begin to sprout.

A woodcutter may hack: cut or chop with repeated and regular blows: and chop, but still this alone will not do the job. The tree does not seem to feel any kind of pain because the bleeding bark seemed to heal all the time. The trunk of the tree from close to the ground will produced curled green twigs that will rise from the miniature bows. If their growth is not checked, then they will expand again and grow to their former sizes. The most important thing to do while killing a tree is to ensure that the root is pulled out of the anchoring: source of security and stability: earth.

The tree is to be rope-tied and pulled out: snapped out: pulled apart or break with a snapping sound: or it should be pulled out entirely from the earth cave. Finally, the strength of the tree will be exposed, from the very source where the white and wet, which is the most sensitive part which has been hidden for many years inside the earth. Then it is only a matter of scorching: burning superficially so as to discolor or damage the texture of: and choking: here drying up: in the sun.

In the end, the tree will go through a process of browning, hardening, twisting and withering. Then ultimately, the tree gets killed. Published: May 06, 2011 Please Rate this Review : 1 2 3 4 5 More on Shvoong Books Entertainment Internet & Technology Society & News Business & Finance Travel Arts & Humanities Social Sciences Medicine & Health Lifestyle Science Writing & Speaking Law & Politics How To Products What is Shvoong? Contact us Full Site

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