Social studies often overlaps with language arts. Spending 2 days on "Shooting an Elephant" is evidence of that. And today's discussion really overlapped.
"Shooting an Elephant" is highly symbolic. Orwell represents the British. The elephant represents the Burmese culture.
When Orwell first went to Burma, he thought he was doing the right thing. He was serving The Empire. He didn't realize that the toll he was taking on the Burmese people is the same toll that was magnified all over the world as technology allowed globalization to expand at previously unseen rates.
Here are some topics we discussed in class, with a few others thrown in to boot:
- How is imperialism a form of globalization?
- What are some examples of ethnocentrism found in the essay?
- What is symbolism? What was symbolic in the story?
- Did Orwell REALLY have to shoot the elephant? What makes you come to that conclusion?
- How do you think the elephant's owner felt? Why couldn't he do anything about the situation? What does that say about the rights of certain groups of people in the empire?
- Have you ever been faced with a situation where you've been pressured into doing something you knew was wrong? How did that make you feel?
- Compare what happened to the Burmese in the essay to the Banananovians.