Monday, February 16, 2015

Hand of God and Shooting an Elephant

I nearly didn't post the extra credit today, because of lack of time... but here's a short post anyway...

If you weren't in class today, I asked students to write me a one-page summary of Orwell's "Shooting an Elephant."  After they did that, they were to tell me the main point of the story.  If you did not do this, do it now.

Turn it in whenever you get back.

Here are two hints:  "One day something happened which in a roundabout way was enlightening.  It was a tiny incident in itself, but it gave me a better glimpse than I had had before of the real nature of imperialism - the real motives for which despotic governments act."

The second hint:  "I perceived in this moment that when the white man turns tyrant, it is his own freedom he destroys."

Several classes also got to watch the "Hand of God" goal, scored by Diego Maradona in 1986.  Keeping in mind that "Shooting an Elephant" was written in 1936, read the following lines, "When a nimble Burman tripped me up on the football field and the referee (another Burman) looked the other way, the crowd yelled with hideous laughter.  This happened more than once."

Now, if you haven't seen it before, watch the goal:

A couple things to consider:
  • This game was played in 1986.
  • It was played between Argentina and England
  • The Falklands War was in 1982
  • The British won the war against Argentina, maintaining control of the islands
  • The 1986 World Cup was played in Mexico
  • If you missed it, Maradona scored that goal with his hand, and didn't get called for it
My hat's off to those of you who can put the pieces of this puzzle together.  Spoiler alert: the feelings toward British Imperialism started well before Orwell's "Shooting an Elephant," and lasted well after its publication.

In order to get the extra credit for reading and discussing the blog with an adult today, write two sentences from your discussion.  Have the adult you read it with sign on the paper you wrote your sentences.

As always, thanks for reading.

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