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battle of the ants and shooting an elephant

In both The Battle of the Ants by Thoreau and Shooting an Elephant by Orwell, imperialism plays a role. Both authors present, to some degree, their perspectives and feelings about imperialism. Orwell and Thoreau both present imperialism metaphorically through the use of animals and insects. The authors thus deliberate their introspection on imperialism by either being an imperialistic force or by taking part in imperialism. In The Battle of the Ants by Thoreau and Shooting an Elephant by Orwell, both authors use metaphors to represent their perspectives on imperialism. In Shooting an Elephant Orwell is taking part in imperialism by proving his power and dignity to the natives. In The Battle of the Ants Thoreau acts as the imperialist, or emperor, watching over a metaphorical battle between ants in which he never interferes or takes part in. Thoreau represents imperialism by comparing the black imperialist ants against the red republican ants. In shooting an elephant the elephant in symbolic of imperialism representing power as an untamed animal that has control over the village. In both stories the authors use animals to represent a significant metaphor for imperialism. Orwell uses a large and very powerful animal to represent imperialism, while Thoreau uses a small yet strong animal. This comparison leads to the understanding that the power behind imperialism is only as strong as its dominant rulers. In Shooting an Elephant Orwell represents the elephant as a force greater than the narrator has the ability to kill. It takes the narrator several shots to kill him, and a prolonged period of time for him to die. The elephants controlling force over the narrator is compared to that of an imperialist. Orwell is faced with a very important decision of whether or not he should shoot the elephant. If he does so, he will be a hero to his people. In turn, he would be giving in to the imperial force behind the elephant that he fi...

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