By reevaluating a unique situation from a different perspective, one may find that there is a better understanding of the situation as a whole. While British colonialism may often be evaluated through the perspective of the colonized, E.M. Forster and George Orwell illustrate the unique perspective of the colonizer. Both use this point of view to shed light on the negative effects of British colonialism. Forster, in his novel A Passage to India, creates distinct, complex characters in order to depict a multi-faceted view of the corrosive institution of imperialism. While Orwell uses the characterization of a British official in “Shooting an Elephant” order to depict the corrupting effects of British imperialism.
The tones of both works are sympathetic to those struggling with the oppression of imperialism. In “Shooting the Elephant”, the tone is sympathetic towards the indecisive narrator who struggles with his decision of whether or not to kill the elephant. The narrator is in a foreign country, working for a system that he despises, all the while surrounded by natives who do not respect him. It is clear that the narrator doesn’t want to kill the elephant, yet feels pressured by the Indians expectations’ of him and his duty as an officer t.
In A Passage to India, sympathy is expressed for Miss. Quested who grapples between her conscience and the expectations of her fellow Englishmen. If she lies, an innocent man will go to jail; yet if she is honest, she is a traitor to her people. When she does decide to tell the truth, she becomes an outcast. “Shooting an Elephant” approaches imperialism with hostility; Orwell makes it clear that the narrator detests imperialistic system that he works for. Forster remains essentially objective in order to create a platform for the varying perspectives. Orwell and Forster are dissimilar in their characterizations. Orwell chooses to make the British official the protagonist