Wednesday, October 17, 2007

IV. George Orwell [Opposition to Imperialism]


2. George Orwell’s Opposition to Imperialism
What made him being as an Imperial Police for five years in Burma? What did he learn in Burma except fulfilling his service to the Empire?

After passing each year in Burma, he became more clearly understanding that he was in the wrong profession, and that the entire system of imperial rule was wrong. But still he could not bring himself to saying such things openly in public until several years after leaving Burma. At some occasion after he became George Orwell, he was dared to voice his feelings bringing into public through his writings.
Every Anglo-Indian is haunted by a sense of guilt which he
usually conceals as best he can, because there is no freedom
of speech, and merely to be overheard making a seditious
remark may damage his career. All over India there are
Englishmen who secretly loathe the system of which they are
part. The Road to Wigan Pier, 135.

He surely did have the feelings of impact by the imperial administration when he was in Burma working as an Imperial Police and made him realize to see the dishonest and ruined matters within imperial society.

He would have faced the situation that Burma was in the state of struggling to gain her independence from British Colonization, and Burmese people would not happy with the environment that English men governing the country and absorbing the natural resources under the term Imperialism. He even brought the idea of how British Administration effected on Burma in his Burmese Days. The argument between Flory and Dr. Veraswami shows the great sense of British Administration:
“How can you make out that we are in this country for any
purpose except to steal? It’s so simple. The official holds
the Burman down while the businessman goes through his
pockets. Do you suppose my firm, for instance, could get its
timber contracts if the country weren’t in the hands of the
British? Or the other timber firms, or the oil companies, or
the miners and planters and traders? How could the Rice
Ring go on skinning the unfortunate peasant if it hadn’t the
Government behind it? The British Empire is simply a device
for giving trade monopolies to the English – or rather to
gangs or Jews and Scotchmen.” Burmese Days,38.

He clearly described the situation of Burma under the British political management.

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