Losing Enlightenment In The Midst Of Pandemonium

1452 words - 6 pages

There are countless religions in our world today; Christianity, Islam, Buddhism and more. These religions are all so different, yet bear the same mindset behind them: to be a better person. People strive to come to peace with themselves and others by practicing and worshiping certain deities. While the overall mentality of these religions are equivocal, the details become astoundingly diverse. For example, Buddhism’s core belief system goes off the approach of knowing suffering will happen in the world and coming to peace with it through meditation. Only then can the power of enlightenment bring worshipers to eternal peace. Unfortunately, in Burma during the 1920s suffering was anything but ...view middle of the document...

Britain was an imperialistic nation at the time, wanting to expand to the south (Britannica). In the 1920's, the native people of Burma were drained by the disregarding rule of Britain (UNDP). What was once a country filled with Buddhist culture and even acclaimed, “the city of four million pagodas,” was now a mere western society: nothing more. After taking multiple stances to try and cooperate on certain issues with the imperialist government, the people of Burma had “had enough” (Linter 29). Protests and riots began lead by radical monks, who wanted more support for Buddhism (Linter 30). This is the rationale for the Indian Imperialist Army: formed by Britain to intervene in the situation at hand in Burma.
George Orwell was born as Eric Authur Blair in Bihar, India on June 25, 1903. His parents, Richard and Ida Blair, were both born and lived a majority of their early life in America, but decided to move to India later on, having their children there. When Orwell was one they moved to Oxfordshire, England. While growing up, his family was not the wealthiest. He quickly came to understand this, and hated the fact this stopped him from completing his college degree. One of Orwell’s advisers soon suggested that he join the Indian Police Force instead of continuing his writings. Orwell decided it was the best option at the time to join the Indian Police force and begin intervening with his troops in Burma. Even before heading off to Burma, Orwell grew up with decisive views on politics (Koller). Eventually, these beliefs become prominent in the political satire he writes in 1984, Animal Farm, and his essays. The majority of his political views consisted of his love for Socialism (Koller). In George Orwell’s original preface to Animal Farm he articulates, “Since 1930 I had seen little evidence that the USSR was progressing towards anything that one could truly call Socialism. On the contrary, I was struck by clear signs of its transformation into a hierarchical society, in which the rulers have no more reason to give up their power than any other ruling class.” During this, Orwell defends socialist movements in regards to what socialism truly was. He had a firm faith in his real-world take on socialism, believing most people look at a utopian socialism, which is wrong. Orwell also took a stance on how socialism was portrayed across the world. He believed every socialist agenda in the world was fueled by capitalism, thus why it never seemed to function properly (Koller). Most importantly, he argued even in a classless society, there are still other problems: Not all complications come from the distribution of wealth (Koller)
Understanding the conditions in Burma during Orwell's stay, it is apparent how they shaped his literary integrity. Specifically in Orwell’s essay “Shooting an Elephant,” he directly addresses the lifestyle he lived in Burma. The essay begins haunting as he states, “In Moulmein, in lower Burma, I was hated by large...

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