This passage was very intriguing and quite disappointing when reading about how everyone acted after the hanging. Orwell did not tell us what crime this prisoner committed, but he did tell us that he was a healthy, concious man. This has brought me to a possible conclusion that a hanging was not a just punishment. “ Well, that’s all for this morning, thank God.” “ the same thought was in all our minds: oh, kill him quickly, get it over, stop that abominable noise!”. These two quotes contribute to a great irony in the passage. Why is everyone hesitant, scared, and frightened to kill this man when after the fact they leave and start laughing, having a good time as if there was no hanging. This may relate to how the Europeans were able to cope with doing such cruel, disrespectful things to indigenous peoples. The Europeans knew that what they were doing was in their benefit and they just walk away and choose to ignore, which allows them to continue these wrong practices, abridging the lives of a tremendous number of people. Although short, this passage was packed with insightful thinking in an interesting story.
The article by George Orwell has many political controversies mentioned. Firstly the problem of death penalty as well as racial treatment. In the article the man to be killed was described as conscious and healthy although the crime wasn't specified.I agree with Matt that is completely unjust and that after his death the Europeans acted as is nothing happened and lived on as if there was no execution. It's horrible and unjust to view another human life as nothing, every life is priceless no matter the circumstances. In the article even the dog sees the killing as immoral. It states,"when it got there it stopped short, barked, and then retreated into a corner of the yard, where it stood among the weeds, looking timorously out at us". The dog didn't want anything to the do with the immoral events being taken, the dog can be also seen a symbol of imperialism. Foreign superpowers take over other small countries proclaiming to the people that it was to help the nations while instead they plunder their environment and take the lives of innocent people. The Europeans choose to live in ignorance and pretend as if the natives are worthless animals with no humanity while in reality it is the opposite. As humans we have reason and a large capacity for emotion which separates us from wild animals. The Europeans kill simply for the joy of killing, there is no progression or logic with these actions, just death with no meaning. Also the two quotes that Matt used show tremendous evidence on the loss of humanity. The soldiers show no empathy for the dying prisoner and act as if it's a meaningless routine. The Europeans get closer and closer to what it means to be an animal and because they keep acting out these events they become the so called barbarians that why call the natives. Generally speaking with the two readings we have been assigned, both show the catastrophes of imperialism on both sides. IN 'Shooting the Elephant' it's shown the pain the soldiers must endure in order to keep the imperialistic demands met as well as the corruption of their countries on the colonized lands. In this article It shows the inhumanity by the soldiers purely and how they've become immune to true grief. In all Imperialism has taken more lives than saving any and has shown the world the true inhumanity that can be drawn from greed and the true evils of people.
In George Orwell's "Shooting an Elephant", we read about British Imperialism in Burma and learned about Orwell's ambivalence on the topic of imperialism. It was mentioned in "Shooting an Elephant" that Burmese prisoners were "huddling in the stinking cages of the lock-ups, the grey, cowed faces of the long term convicts, the scarred buttocks of the men who had been flogged with bamboos...". We were given a brief look at the poor life and conditions the prisoners had. In "A Hanging", we obtain a much better look at a British Burmese prison through an experience recounted by George Orwell.
The cells of the prison were described as small animal cages that were bare except for a plank bed and a pot of drinking water. These were the cells of the condemned men who were due to be hanged within a few weeks. Out of one of these cells, Orwell remembered a Hindu man who was being brought to the gallows by six Indian warders. The warders handled him like a fish that may jump back in the water. On the walk to the gallows, Orwell saw that the Hindu man had stepped aside to avoid walking in a puddle which made him realize that he didn't know what it meant to destroy a healthy, conscious man. Orwell recognized that the man was still alive, had functioning organs and was able to reason, yet his life was going to be cut short when it was in "full tide". When they reached the gallows and the noose was fixed, the prisoner began to shout to his god, further demonstrating that Orwell would be draining the life out of a living man. The crying of the man made Orwell and the other prison warders have an ironic feeling about their previous ideas: they wanted the man killed quickly in order to get rid of that abominable noise. Then there was a clanking noise and dead silence. After the hanging, all felt relieved that the job was over, and were somehow able to drink and tell jokes as if nothing had happened.
As Matt said, the men are likely able to do this because they can ignore any actions that they have previously made. Also, the fact that the killings are done by Indian warders makes it even easier because the British were not required to get their hands dirty. We were never told the actions committed by the prisoner that landed him a death sentence, but we are led to believe that more unjust actions like this one occurred throughout British Burma. Thanks to George Orwell, we are able to learn about the terrible acts committed by the British through first-hand accounts
This reading by Orwell shows us the inhumane conditions of a prisoners and the reaction of everyone surrounding him, which leaves us feeling sympathy for the prisoner. Orwell describes the warders as
''fat'' and ''tall'' while the prisoner as ''a sickly light'' showing the difference in their health. The prisons as ''small animal cages''-the inhumane conditions. The dog and the puddle symbolizes that the prisoner is no different then the officials. The dog goes to the prisoner rather than the officials. The prisoner moves away from the puddle rather than going through it, which is ironic because he's about to die anyways, but it shows Orwell that the prisoner is also a human which is discomforting for him because the prisoner is about to be executed. Something that's really ironic is that when Orwell says “the same thought was in all our minds: oh, kill him quickly…” because he wants him to die even when he's against the killing.
Orwell is trying to make us feel sympathetic for the prisoner, which he does. One way in particular was when the prisoner was hanged and was dead “He’s all right, said the superintendent,'' which shows how uncaring the superintendent was, also that after the hanging everyone started to chat and laugh forgetting everything that had happened. As Matt and Joseph said that the people are able to ignore and forget the action so easily because it's really common and the killings were made by Indians not the British, making it even easier for them to neglect their own actions.
The reading passage was loathsome in regards to the way the British were treating the natives. Orwell starts off by giving us insight to the conditions that these prisoners are withheld in. He describes their cells as "small animal cages," and having only "a plank bed and a pot of drinking water." These conditions indicate the obvious lack of concern for the well-being of the Burmese prisoners. The author then proceeds to describe the prisoner that is being taken out of his cell. He describes this Hindu prisoner as "a puny wisp of a man" having "vague liquid eyes," while describing the wards in a way that suggests they are strong and fit. This obvious difference in stature of the men as described by the author again demonstrates the British indifference to the Burman's health. As the man is being led to the gallows, he is described as being held like a fish that may jump back into the water. This could be interpreted as a metaphor for not only the life and fighting spirit that may still be inside the man, but also the spirit of the colonial natives of which the British are so afraid.
While the men are walking, the superintendent of the jail begins to rush the Indian warders, stating "For God's sake hurry up Francis. The man ought to have been dead by this time. Aren't you ready yet?" The way the warden declares this, as if it were a meaningless action, show the superintendent's emotional detachment, which also represents that of the British as a whole. Later on, en route to the gallows, the men are approached by a dog. The dog's lighthearted demeanor, as well as the fact that it directly approaches the prisoner, is a symbol of the morality and humaneness of the so called convict. When the dog began to run around as the ward tries to chase it off, in such a way that made it seem like a game, is hidden symbolism for the way the British toy around with their colonies and treat them as expendable "pawns" in their quest for control. The author also uses an effective analogy when the prisoner steps around the puddle, even though he is not only on his way to death but bound on both sides by warders. By seeping around the water, the prisoner avoided getting his feet wet, a sensation that would cause discomfort for him. By having the man do this, the author is making a subtle nod to the concept that, yes, the man is dying, but he is still a person with needs and feelings, both physical and emotional. This instance of symbolism shows how even though the man knows he is dying, he still has human needs and wants, much as any other healthy man would.
When the men finally reach the gallows, the executioner is an Indian convict. After the executioner puts the rope around the mans head, the prisoner begins to cry loudly "Ram! Ram!" repeatedly. His cries triggered feelings of uneasiness in the crowd of onlookers. With the color drained from their faces, the only thing they could think about was the man being killed, his cries ended. Once the man was dead, everyone began to relax. They went on with their lives as if nothing had happened, snickering and conversing happily. One man even told a story of a pat hanging, at which the people listening laughed as though they were talking about humorous happenings in their lives and not the death of a possibly innocent man. The cheerful demeanor of the population after the man's death illustrates the desperation of many individuals to forget the events that occurred and move on with their lives, not to be burdened with the guilt of something they had no part in but also did nothing to stop. Disheartening, but understandable all the same.
While reading this I noticed how throughout the story all the men doing the dirty work were natives, not British officers or high ranking officials. This detachment is part of the reason why many of the British officials are unaffected by their brutality towards their colonial natives. Take for example the Amritzar Massacre. The soldiers firing guns were Indian Sepoys, not British officers. While the British leader gave orders for the sepoys to open fire, the leader himself remained unconscious of this action and unable to feel remorse for the trouble caused. The same can be said about the story. While the British need not get their hands dirty with the blood of this man, their colonial "pawns" become metaphorically covered in it, leading him to and executing his death. While harrowing, this story brings up many points of the British truculence and provides an insightful view into the lives of the British colonies.
A Hanging by George Orwell gives insight into how crimes were handled during the times of the British Empire. Orwell understands that the Hindu prisoner is just another human, like him, when he notices he avoids the puddle, even on his walk to death. However, when the prisoner is getting killed; all the guards and officers seem to forget that he's a human. They care more about their annoyance towards the noise, not the fact that a "healthy, conscious man" is being unfairly killed. When Orwell talks about the dog's reaction, "...but when it got there it stopped short, barked, and then retreated into a corner of the yard, where it stood among the weeds, looking timorously out at us"; it shows that even the dog sees that the killing is inhumane. Like previously said, this can be perceived as symbolism of British attitude and behavior towards their subjected and conquered peoples. They will do things that are beneficial for themselves without thinking twice; even if it's cruel. Like Orwell mentioned in "Shooting an Elephant", he felt like he had to shoot the elephant; just as a European general might need to kill in order to achieve imperialism; to maintain his and his country's reputation and superiority. Along with the feeling of necessity to maintain the superiority, they are able to easily move on, because their benefits; of the guards, officers, and imperialists, outweigh the thought inhumane acts, such as of murder.
In the reading, "A Hanging" by George Orwell, it is disturbing to hear that the reactions toward the hanging of the prisoner were so different, and were taken quite lightly. Death now is agreed to be, universally, a dreadful act that must be only inflicted on those who "deserve it". But even then, it is not a laughing matter, it is an extremely serious and touchy subject. However, during the time of imperialism, it seemed to be a regular event for those in the area. Once the act was done, the Europeans and natives went on with their life, and went out to go and have a good time. They completely disregarded their previous encounters of a man, in perfectly good health, that was discarded from their life in an extremely inhumane way. The only sympathy they felt was when their own ears were affected by the noise that the man created, because he was in such immense pain. Despite this, their sorrows for the man were outweighed by the considerable amount of prestige and feelings of superiority over the the other cultures.
It is interesting that the death sentence has no details , because it allows the reader to see the act of killing another human being as a necessary ritual , by simply following orders without predjudice or forethought. The readers might have reacted differently to the death if Orwell had included the crime that the man had committed. Death shouldn't be taken lightly, as mentioned earlier, but it is not apparent whether or not this man is innocent by today's standards. The witnesses of the hanging may not have been informed of this detail either.
The symbolism was that the British imperialists had no compassion for the conquered people. This was just one incident out of the many that the Indians have endured, and they had to watch their fellow people die without explanations. They became used to this concept and how they were indirectly oppressed on a daily basis. They were ruled by the British, who came in and conquered them. But also, they had to witness torture, and have the thought in their heads that that could be them one day, in that same position as the British walk away like their own death was nothing.
"A Hanging" by Orwell goes more in depth about the poor conditions of Burmese jails mentioned in Orwell's "Shooting An Elephant." Right away Orwell describes the horrible conditions of the jail in Burma, which not only set the mood, but also helped to foreshadow that the prison warders would have no sympathy at all for the Burmese prisoners. He then described the execution of a Hindu prisoner and the reactions to the execution.
Like Ayesha said, the dog that wanted to lick the prisoner and the fact that the prisoner stepped around the puddle both signify that the prisoner was human like any one else. Furthermore, he was healthy and Orwell realizes, "..the unspeakable wrongness, of cutting a life short when it is in full tide." The other people there seemed to have the similar disgust to the execution and its immorality as Orwell. In reality though, they just didn't want to see the graphic killing because their laughter minutes later show that they didn't actually care about the prisoners life at all. After Orwell describes what everyone was talking and laughing about after the execution, he ends the story with the sentence, "The dead man was a hundred yards away." That quote leaves a really uneasy feeling.
In George Orwell's "a hanging," we are introduced to a Burmese jail which demonstrated Great Britain attitudes towards crime in her colonies. More specifically, we are acquainted with one incident where a Hindu was set to hang at the gallows. His crime is unknown but can either be assumed to be against British imperialism or similar to a petty crime. This is indicated when Orwell stated "... when he heard his appeal had been dismissed, he pissed on the floor of his cell. From fright..." If indeed the prisoner had committed a serious crime, he would have known he wouldn't have won an appeal so this reaction wouldn't make sense. Nevertheless, on this specific day, the prisoner is ordered by six warders to the gallow. Contrary to what one might suspect, the prisoner didn't put up any resistance. This is symbolic of how overall defeated attitude of India during the British occupation. Yes, there were many resistances, but they weren't large enough to oust the British. Therefore, overall, many Indian subjects could not foresee an independent Indian state.
Approaching the gallows, four important events occur for Orwell. The first was the superintendent angrily awaiting a hanging which should have already occurred. This demonstrated the mechanical process of the prison system and shows how those involved liked to have seen themselves performing a job rather than murder. Second, Orwell noticed a dog which somehow made it into the confines of the prison and happily jumped on and barked at the prisoner. Like Ayesha said, the dog doesn't see a difference in the officials or the prisoner. This shows the actual equality of them. Third, the prisoner is seen side-stepping a puddle. For any ordinary human, this is expected. But this act further cements the fact that the prisoner is indeed a human, not just an obstacle at one's job. Finally, when the hanging is about to take place, the prisoner is seen praying or calling out his god "Ram." For a time, all those in the prison become still and wait on killing the man. For a moment, they truly see a devout living man instead of a prisoner.
Despite these insights into the humanity of the prisoner, he is eventually ordered to die. As Lila said, this was to the benefit of British imperialism. The warders and officers were tasked with performing this duty for their mother country. They did this to demonstrate they're strength and help solidify their rule over the natives. However, they still committed murder. Moreover, they even joked and laughed after the fact. They seemed to make fun of and make light of the situation. In a sense, this was to further remove themselves from this sinful act. The possibly couldn't bear with themselves for doing it, so they decide to make it seem like it was no big deal. Whether or not deserving, the hanging of anyone is a horrible offense to humanity, especially to a living and strong man. In conclusion, British imperial illustrates the ability to force men to kill others all in justification of Britain "flexing her muscles."
Orwell is quite the amazing writer. In all of this books and short stories, he has characters and events which become alagories for real life situations. This is ever so true in "A Hanging". For starters, it is set in a Burmese prison where Orwell worked. Setting this story in a prison is not ony done since this is a true story. It's set in a prison to show how the people being controlled by Great Britain in her colonies live like prisoners. Their induvidual rights have been taken away in favor of British growth and prosperity. Any action which is in conflict with the British's control over its colonies is a crime. The British want to use there colonies as a way to gain resources, and barely cares for the welfare of its colonial subjects.
The main plot of this text is also very alagorical. A Hindu subject has broken some law, either a petty crime or did something in conflict with the British's control of Burma. He has been sentenced to death. This Brute force approach to dealing with conflicts in her colonies shows how the British, like so many other imperialistic nations during this time period, only care about extacting resources from the colonies and the iron fist approach to governing the colonies. En route to the Gallows, where this man will be hanged, a dog suddenly apppears. This animal knows no difference between criminal and officer and treats them all equally as dogs do. This dog represents reality. All the men in this colony are people and all people should be equal. However, the British make it their goal to show how in fact NOT all people are equal and in the eyes of imperialism this is evidentally true. A final point to make is on the "worklike" approach the prison guards take to hanging their prisoners. They act robotic, worring about how long it takes rather than truly understanding the horrible crimes they themselves are commiting. In a sense this could represent "the white man's burden", and idea that stems from the understanding that it is the white man's job to deal with thing in "uncivilized places". They are the gods of their colonies. They are the decided between the living and the dead. They are in control, while the natives have to live being subordinate to them.
The essay, "A Hanging" is George Orwell's reflection on one of the executions he had to witness as an officer of British imperialism. Orwell's obvious discontent for how the British carried out their authority is displayed throughout the essay in his descriptive language.
The opening lines of the essay describe the setting, a jail of inhumane conditions, seen in lines such as "A sickly light..." and "He was a Hindu,a puny wisp of a man...". Later, when he is escorting the prisoner, Orwell explains the realization that he's actually about to take part in cutting short the life of a man who is just as human as he is. He even says, "He and we were a party of men walking together, seeing, feeling, understanding the same world; and in two minutes, with a sudden snap, one of us would be gone--one mind less, one world less". But it's not only Orwell who sees how inhumane the situation is, Francis and all the other officers show a clear impatience during the execution also, showing that they too recognize their immorality. And as Lila said before, even the dog who comes out of nowhere recognizes it.
Even though the descriptive language throughout the essay evokes multiple emotions in person reading it, the most poignant part of the essay is the last two sentences, "We all had a drink together, native and European alike, quite amicably. The dead man was a hundred yards away". The striking contrast between the two situations really show the dehumanization of British imperialism and British rule. I honestly wouldn't be very surprised if the lighthearted atmosphere at the end is really just a false emotion, used as a coping mechanism for the officers of the jail.
“A Hanging”, by George Orwell, perfectly portrays the effect of British Imperialism on its subject people. Orwell’s writing takes place in a Burmese prison, in which the cells are described as “...small animal cages” that are “...quite bare within except for a plank bed and a pot of drinking water.” Through these descriptions of the cells, it is clear that the prisoners are trapped in an unhealthy setting. One of the prisoners was also described as “...a puny wisp of a man, with a shaven head and vague liquid eyes. He had a thick, sprouting mustache, absurdly too big for his body, rather like the mustache of a comic man on the films.” Although it has been made quite clear that this prisoner is not in a healthy physical state and has not been properly taken care of, the “Indian warders” still found it necessary to have him be guarded by six large men, who handcuffed him and lashed his arms to his sides, while the guards never took a hand off of him. This represents how, due to imperialism, the British must always keep a strong sense of control even when it is unneeded.
While heading to the gallows, a dog had ran to the prisoner and tried to lick his face. Everyone was taken back, since this man who everyone has tried so hard to only view as a prisoner, has now been shown by the dog as a “healthy, conscious man” who’s life was “getting cut short when it is in full tide.” The prisoners humanity is also shown when he avoids stepping in a puddle, which seems to have a strong impact on Orwell’s view of the man. Although he is about to be killed, he still has the natural instinct that any living man does to avoid the puddle. Once the time becomes even closer for the man to be killed, he begins to cry out to his god. Now that everyone has been exposed to the prisoners capability to live a full life, they become desperate to “...kill him quickly, get it over, stop that abominable noise!” This shows that even though some people believe that this man should not be killed, in the face of imperialism, they must do what they have to do to remain in control.
Although it is not said what the prisoner is being punished for, it can be assumed that it is for a minor inconvenience that the British did not like. After the killing, everyone is laughing and continuing on with their lives as if nothing has happened. This shows how situations as the one described in this story have become normal, everyday tasks in which everyone has become numb and used to.
In George Orwell's "A Hanging" the readers receive information about how poorly the Indian people were treated under British rule, but also get an understanding on how the jail officers, specifically Orwell dread for hanging the Indian prisoners. In the first paragraph of this reading it states" We were waiting outside the condemned cells, a row of sheds fronted with double bars, like small animal cages. Orwell and other officers were outside the convicts cells and Orwell recognized that the British have locked up and treated the native Indian people like animals.
In addition to explaining how poorly Indians were treated under British rule, Orwell's writing shows that Orwell and the other officers knew that hanging these convicts was immoral. In this reading Orwell specifically states "I saw the mystery, the unspeakable wrongness, of cutting a life short when it is in full tide." Orwell has recognized that hanging these Indian convicts is immoral, but he continues to do it because it is his job as a jail officer in India, under the rule of the British empire. In addition to Orwell, many other officers recognized how gruesome the hangings were. Orwell wrote about "Everyone changed color...The same thought was in all of our minds: oh, kill him quickly, get it over". All the officers present for the hanging of this man all wanted the hanging to be over as soon as possible because the recognized how inhumane it was.
George Orwell's writing helps provide information from a first hand account, about the gruesome and immoral aspects of the British Empire.
In "The Hanging" by George Orwell, it shows the brutal conditions of Indian prisoners at the time. No offence was shown, so it could have been something small to major. The author writes about the state of the prisoners in the cells as seen when he states, "a puny wisp of a man, with a shaven head and vague liquid eyes". This shows the starvation of the prisoner or possible dehumanization of the man. In the Holocaust, prisoners had there head shaven to remind them more of animals and not people. This can show what they might have been trying to do, dehumanize them so they can feel no remorse. The prisoners at first wasn't even seen as a functioning human being until he was concious of avoiding a puddle. And once they actually felt that he was alive, they started feeling remorse and just wanted to get it over with. This is probably because instead of an animal, they see a fellow human instead. And much like other tragedies such as this, since it happened a lot, everyone just became used to it and stopped caring. The guards or the officers, felt like they had to do it because it was there duty, and since they became so desensitized it didn't matter to them any more. To add a bit, since they weren't the ones doing the killing, they probably cared even less about it. George Orwell's writing shows us how the British viewed there prisoner, and why it was some what easy to carry out the cruelty.
In George Orwell’s story “A Hanging” one of the most prevalent themes is the dehumanization of the subject people under British rule. At the beginning of the essay Orwell feels no sympathy for the prisoner as he makes his way to certain death, for he fails to see him as a human being, capable of feeling and thinking in the same capacity as Orwell himself. This is until he observes the undeniably human act of the prisoner avoiding the puddle. It is in this moment that he realizes that the prisoner is a person just like him, who likely doesn’t deserve the fate he’s been dealt. This idea of the prisoner being undeniably human is seen again when the dog, possibly representative of innocence, runs for the prisoner seeing him as the same as the guards and the warders. Finally, this idea is further established when at the gallows the prisoner begins to cry out to his god, and everyone, not just Orwell, becomes unsettled by this display of liveliness, seen in the quote “The Indians had gone grey like bad coffee and one or two of the bayonets were wavering.” By this point Orwell wants nothing more than for the prisoner to be executed, so the crys will end, and he will no longer have to grapple with the morality of the situation. It is here that the theme of the oppressors dehumanizing those which they oppress, in order to make their jobs easier, can be found. If the oppressed aren’t human then there is no cause for guilt or shame, at least in the eyes of the oppressors. As Therese pointed out, this is a train of thought that can be observed many times thought out history such as when the Germans classified the Jews as “rats” in order to make them easier to kill, and again in the Rwandan Genocide when the Tutsi were made out as “cockroaches” in order to justify their annihilation. It is clear that this policy of dehumanizing their subjects made it easier for the British to carry out the atrocities they committed, and to see them as human, if only temporarily, would be an inconvenience to their rule.
"The Hanging", written by George Orwell presents the horrible conditions for Burmese prisoners as well as showing the brutality of imperialism. The prison was extremely inhumane and treated the prisoners terribly. The one prisoner that was on his way to be hanged was just an ordinary human being. In the reading it states, "When I saw the prisoner step aside to avoid the puddle, I saw the mystery, the unspeakable wrongness, of cutting a life short when it is in full tide. This man is not dying, he was just alive as we were alive... and in two minutes, with a sudden snap, one of us would be gone - one mind less, one world less." Here, Orwell is enlightened in the fact that the man is just like him; he avoided the puddle just as Orwell did showing how the man still cares about the little things that normal people would do in a normal life. Also in the story it states, "It was a large woolly dog... it had made a dash for the prisoner, and jumping up trued to lick his face." This shows how even an animal still thinks there is good in the man through the attempt the dog made to embrace him. After the prisoner was hanged everybody resumed their normal day and even laughed about it. "... it seemed quite a homely, jolly scene, after the hanging... We all had a drink together, native and European alike, quite amicably. The dead man was a hundred yards away." This shows how the Europeans just ignore the brutality that is happening in their colonies and "walk away" from it. Another example of imperial powers wrongfully killing natives was in The Congo Free State. There, King Leopold had no mercy to the indigenous population; he ordered limbs to be cut off for the most minor issues. He never went to his privately owned colony as this shows how he had no cares of what happened to the natives and "walked away". Thus, the reading shows how brutal the officers were to the Burmese, but most importantly shows how Europeans walk away from the killings, a common theme in imperialism.
In "A Hanging" Orwell describes how the Burmese jails were and how the jail workers treated them. Orwell wrote, "We
were waiting outside the condemned cells, a row of sheds fronted with double bars, like small animal cages. Each cell measured about ten feet by ten and was quite bare within except for a plank bed and a pot of drinking water." This shows how the British didn't care much for the Burmese. These cells were for convicted prisoners who were going to get hung/ killed. It wasn't until the man was taken out of his cell to be executed that Orwell really understood he was taking a healthy persons life. "When I saw the prisoner step aside to
avoid the puddle, I saw the mystery, the unspeakable wrongness, of
cutting a life short when it is in full tide... All the organs of his body were working --bowels digesting food, skin renewing itself, nails growing, tissues forming--all toiling away in solemn foolery. His nails would still be growing when he stood on the drop, when he was falling through the air with a tenth of a second to live. His eyes saw the yellow gravel and the grey walls, and his brain still remembered, foresaw, reasoned--reasoned even about puddles." Orwell thought that he was a healthy person who shouldn't die. He started to feel sympathy for the man that he hadn't before. At the top of the hill the man started to call out to his god and Orwell saw even more that he was a person, he was a living, breathing human. All the people at the hill wanted him to die fast so that he would stop calling out to his god. After the man was hung the warders went back to the prison and everyone was laughing and not acting like they just killed a man. Orwell wrote, "I found that I was laughing quite loudly. Everyone was laughing. Even the superintendent grinned in a tolerant way." This story shows how imperial leaders choose to dehumanize the natives in the land they took so that it was easier and when they let themselves see the natives as real human people it was much harder for them to do what they were supposed to and to take over the countries.
This reading really opened my eyes to the reality of imperialism in India and what truly went on behind the scenes. To start off, all of the prisoners that are mentioned are said to be hung within the next week or two. It is hard to believe that there are that many people in that one jail that were sentenced to death within such a short period of time. I think that this just shows the unjust nature of the British laws on the natives and really sums up their overall treatment by colonial officials. Regarding the description of the jail cells, I could not see them being any worse, with just a plank bed and a water pot. The event of the hanging itself was truly amazing to me. Starting from the superintendent, this situation seemed quite unusual for something that involved the killing of a human being. Here these people were, about to hang a perfectly well and alive man, and they are worried about getting the hanging over with quickly. When the criminal had started yelling, "Ram" over and over again, the men could not face the reality of what they were doing to this man and just wanted him to be killed so they did not have to here him cry anymore. And afterwards, the warders had acted like nothing had ever happened. They completely disregarded the fact that they just hung a helpless man and continued having a good time. I think that this hints at two different things about imperialism. First, I think that they acted this way because a hanging was a normal occurrence in the colonies due to the ridiculous laws and punishments implemented by the British on the Indian natives. Secondly, I believe that this is really how the British people had to act since this brutal treatment was carried out on an everyday basis. After a while they had to get used to it and the only way they could continue on was to completely ignore the terrible things that they were doing to the people of India. I also agree with the insightful comment that Christian made regarding the nature of the dog that appeared before the hanging. The dog absolutely represents reality and how thing should really be in the world. He comes into the scene and acts like nothing is going on. Nothing should be really going on because likely, this prisoner is about to be killed for something that does not deserve that type of punishment or any punishment at all. In both this story and "Shooting an Elephant", Orwell hints at the reality of Europeans in the colonies. He claims that he does not want to carry out these inhumane acts against the natives, but it is his duty as a police officer. I believe that this was the case for many Europeans during the time of imperialism and having no emotions or reactions was the only way to cope with the cruelty of their actions.
"A hanging" by George Orwell displays how cruel the British treated the Hindu prisoners. At the end of the reading, everyone was joking and laughing about the hanging of a prisoner, although just moments before the officials were hesitant, and almost seemed nervous. As Matt, and Ayesha mentioned, it seems that joking around is how the officials dealt with the horrible things they did to the prisoners, because they do it so often. For instance, the superintendent acted like it was an accomplishment that they just hanged a man, and offered everyone a drink. "The dead man was a hundred yards away". Orwell describes how the Hindus were treated, and how disrespectful the officials were to them. "Each cell measured about ten by ten feet and was quite bare within except for a plank bed and a pot of drinking water" ; this quote from the article shows that the prisoners weren't given the proper necessities, as they had one pot of water for several men. Orwell also mentioned that the prisoners were very skinny and their hair was shaved off; showing how little the officials cared about the Hindu prisoners. Lastly, the quote " ...oh, kill him quickly,get it over, stop that abominable noise!" , explains how the hanging of this prisoner was just like any other.
George Orwell’s “A Hanging” was very thought provoking concerning the issue of the cruel and inhumane treatment of Burmese natives by the British. As many others have pointed out, Orwell describes the jail cells of the prisoners as “small animal cages” and states that “Each cell measured about ten feet by ten and was quite bare within except for a plank bed and a pot of drinking water.” The prisoners were provided the bare minimum to simply keep them alive until they were ready for public execution. The cruelty did not end there, the prisoners, and natives in general were further dehumanized by the Europeans. At the beginning of the passage Orwell and the other spectators feel little to no sympathy for the prisoner as the officers bring him to the gallows, but it is when the prisoner avoids the puddle that Orwell is reminded that the prisoner is a human just like him. Another turning point in the passage is when the dog runs to the prisoner, representing that the dog sees all humans just the same, no matter their race or occupation. The officers and spectators understand that the public executions are inhumane and immoral, yet they continue with them because it is their job, and it has been normalized. When the prisoner is executed it is evident that the people watching feel sympathy for him. Orwell states “Everyone had changed colour. The Indians had gone grey like bad coffee, and one or two bayonets were wavering…the same thought was in all our minds: oh, kill him quickly, get it over, stop that abominable noise!” For a moment they dreaded observing the killing and couldn’t wait for it to be over, yet when it is over they resume chatting and going about their day as if nothing had happened. This passage gives a clear insight into the views of the British toward the natives, and the gruesome and immoral treatment that the natives faced.
The story "A Hanging" by George Orwell is quite intense. The story is based in a jail yard in the country of Burma. It exemplifies the callous disregard for and inhumane treatment that the British inflicted upon the subjects of their imperialistic quest. The cells that the prisoners were in were described as "a row of sheds fronted with double bars, like small animal cages." and each cell only had "a plank bed and a pot of drinking water." Their jailers didn't care about the prisoners and treated them like animals. The story is from the perspective of one of the guards at the jail while a prisoner is being marched to the gallows. The prisoner wasn't putting up a fight and he was cooperating, yet the guards handcuffed him, attached the handcuffs to their belts as well, tied his arms to his side and all 6 guards held onto him "like men handling a fish which is still alive and may jump back into the water".The guards were also irritable that his death was a little behind schedule, as if it was an appointment they were late to, not the murder of another living being. As the prisoner was marched to his death he avoided a puddle which made the narrator have an epiphany. He realized that a healthy, able-bodied man, who was still akin to his surrounding and aware of what was going on as much as everyone else, was about to be killed in a split second. He thought about how wrong it was to be "cutting a life short when it is in full tide". He thought about how he would be like each and every one of them until the rope made the world one life less.
Another example of how the British prison guards were inhumane was when they came across the dog that was barking and trying to play with them. They threw stones at the dog and later dragged it along by feeding a handkerchief threw it's collar. In my opinion the dog being in the story could be for a couple of reasons. It was symbolic of the fact that in reality, the prisoner and the guards were seen as equal in the dogs eyes and he wanted to play with all of them. The dog could also potentially be the opposing side from the British and feel sympathy for the prisoner as opposed to treating him like dirt since the dog "had made a dash for the prisoner, and jumping up to lick his face". The dog could also be symbolic of the happiness and joy that was taken away from his upon his placement in the prison.
Once the prisoner was all set up to be hanged, he started to yell out in a rhythmical manner for his god, Ram. The hangman and the superintendent let him yell out for what seemed to be minutes before pulling the lever. They drew out the last few minutes he had alive in a torturous way of not knowing how much longer he had before he was killed. It was becoming loathsome and tedious for the guards as well. "each cry another second of life; the same thought was in all our minds: oh, kill him quickly, get it over, stop that abominable noise." They could either have thought his yelling was abominable out of disgust for him as a living thing or because they started to feel bad and the guilt and compassion were getting to them. Later they went back and fed the other prisoners breakfast and were jolly and joking around about how he was quick and in one shot whereas for others, the hangman had to pull their legs to kill them after the hanging.
Personally, I find this horrible that people could do this to other human beings without much of a care.
"A Hanging" by George Orwell shows how the Burmese prisoners were treated by the British. The way Orwell alone describes the cells as "small animal cages" and the Hindu as a "puny wisp of a man", shows that he has no respect for the Burmese Natives, and shows that the prisoners are being mistreated. It is not until the prisoner walks around the puddle that Orwell realizes he is a normal man just like himself that has thoughts, and feelings, and who is living the same world he is. Orwell never thought about how inhumane the killing of these Natives are. Even though the crime is not specified, we can most likely assume it was something minor that the British weren't quite fond of. Once being at the gallows, both Orwell and the wardens want this killing to be done as quickly as possible. "The Indians had gone grey like bad coffee, and one or two of the bayonets were wavering", "the same thought was all in our minds: oh, kill him quickly, get it over, stop that abominable noise!". However, this uneasy feeling didn't last long for everyone was laughing and making jokes afterwards, the superintendent congratulated them and even invited them to have a drink with him. "We all had a drink together, native and European alike, quite amicably. The dead man was a hundred yards away". This proves that the British didn't see the Burmese as human beings, and took up every chance they had to dehumanize them. The only time anyone felt any sense of morality was when it was staring them in the face.
The horrific and abusive descriptions of European cruelness toward the indigenous peoples of imperialized and colonized areas is a theme which is very blatantly reflected, not only in this excerpted writing by George Orwell, but throughout the course of the nineteenth century. Regrettably accurate in this particular reading is the depiction of British attitude towards natives and the absolute blindness and ignorance with which they observe indigenous way of life; most tragic of all, I consider, the lack of morality these British colonial officials deal with the natives as detailed in the reading, and their efforts to strip them of their humanity so that they need not deal with the guilt and burden of their atrocious misconduct and intrusion upon the peaceful living of innocent civilians. As accounted by George Orwell, the jailed natives are confined to "...a row of sheds fronted with double bars, like small animal cages", measuring "ten feet by ten" and furnished with only "a plank bed and a pot of drinking water." The outright comparison of these conditions to those provided to animals clearly highlights the, whether conscious or not, efforts of British colonizers to strip conquered peoples of their humanity and perceive them as being less like humans and more like lowly, incompetent, worthless creatures; not simply out of carelessness, but in an almost deliberate attempt to symbolically degrade natives to an animalistic level and thus make it easier to treat them with the cruelty that they do. This becomes increasingly apparent towards the conclusion of the excerpt, during which Orwell and his companions begin to discuss the hanging of a man in a joking and lighthearted manner, despite the fact that Orwell, just moments before, had entertained a moment of clarity in which he internally lamented over the upset he felt over putting the Hindu to death. Regardless of whether he or these men acknowledge the truly despicable nature of the hanging they have just taken part in, they immediately and inevitably resort to dehumanizing their experiences as a way to justify all they have done; and thus is a much greater reflection of imperialism as a whole.
“A Hanging” by George Orwell is a story that is a good representation of how the British chose to treat people in their colonies. The entire passage can be used as a symbol for all British colonies and the treatment of people in these places. For this story specially, I believe it was written to show the ignorance of British soldiers towards the treatment of natives which they are colonizing. “A Hanging” proves that soldiers became immune to seeing such horrific things done to natives, and even inflicting horrible pain themselves- represented by the hanging of a Hindu, for a most probably petty, irrelevant reason This clearly shows that the British only cared about what will benefit them, even if it comes at another’s expense. Generally, with the two readings we’ve been assigned so far, Orwell has portrayed the fact that the officers feel as if it is their duty to commit crimes of humanity against the indigenous. And unfortunately, that is no doubt a humanitarian crisis. Orwell leaves behind stories which show the behind the scenes of what really happened in the British colonies, the things that individuals do not enjoy discussing. For that reason exactly, is why we should look back on these passages and attempt only to imagine what these natives went through & why the British acted in disturbing ways.
"A Hanging" is a short story by George Orwell about the execution of a prisoner by hanging. Orwell, who used to be an imperial police in Burma, is able to give the readers a true insight on the thoughts and actions of European imperialists as they are sent to forcibly occupy an oppressed region and carry out executions. First, setting the dark atmosphere of the jail, Orwell describes the cells as "... a row of sheds fronted with double bars, like small animal cages." Describing the prisoner's cells as animal cages reflects on the British police's attitude towards the prisoners. They see them as animals, inhuman, mere subjects of the land that is up for their own taking so they can take advantage of the land and resources. Then, Orwell describes the Hindu prisoner as a "puny wisp of a man" whom the police handle like he's a "fish which is still alive and may jump back into the water," further instilling the dehumanization of the Indian subjects. As they are all walking to the gallows where he is to be hanged, a dog jumps on to the prisoner, indifferent to him and the chains around his hand and the armed men flocked on his sides. This dog can't tell between the prisoner and the police and what is about to happen. This dog wasn't subdued by British power but instead unfazed by the atrocities of British imperial rule which made all the police just stand back, aghast. As they continue to move, Orwell notices things about the prisoner like his "bobbing gait" and that he stepped aside, despite being held by the men, to avoid stepping in a puddle. It wouldn't be expected of an animal to avoid stepping in a puddle, presumably they wouldn't care for it and step right through it, which is why it was so unexpected of him. This made Orwell realize that the prisoner was a human being, a healthy and conscious being. He realized there was an "unspeakable wrongness" in killing him, but proceeded to make his way to the gallows. When the prisoner was reading for hanging, he began to cry out the name of his God. "Everyone changed color," his cries, each being another second of life, startled the people who were all wishing for the same thing, for him to die already. It seemed as if the jailers were more tormented by the hanging then the prisoner. After the execution, there was an enormous relief and the warders were laughing, drinking, and telling jokes. One would expect a more solemn attitude after the killing of a man. However, a relief for escaping the terrible scene of execution was bigger than the despair for a person's death. This story reflects European imperialism and how British soldiers are sent to forcibly occupy a foreign nation. The British degrade the humanity in their subjects to make their jobs easier because if the people they are oppressing aren't human, it'll mitigate the guilt of the oppressors. Under the pretense of the civilizing mission, a white man's burden, Orwell views the Europeans as slaves to the imperial ideology.
Frankly, this was disturbing to read. Aside from the political connotations, seeing human beings have an utter disregard for the lives of fellow human beings is disheartening, to say the least. Orwell's description of the narrator watching the prisoner as he walked to his death was especially interesting. He took note of the little things that related the prisoner to himself: how he stepped to avoid a puddle, how his fingernails were always growing, et cetera. Overall the treatment of the prisoner was outright inhumane and it was even worse seeing that nobody even cared when he was hanged.
British imperial rule is easily characterized through George Orwell's "A Hanging." To start, an Indian man is to be hanged, along with other colored prisoners in his jail cell. Unfortunately, his day of unjust death had come. Ironically, all of the guards who escorted the prisoner were also Indian. The use of these guards truly depicts Britain's policy of indirect rule, in which only the highest authorities were white and the rest were employed natives. Orwell did not specify as to why the man was sentenced to death but one can conclude it was without a justifiable reason. "It is curious, but till that moment I had never realized what it means to destroy a healthy, conscious man. When I saw the prisoner step aside to avoid the puddle, I saw the mystery, the unspeakable wrongness, of cutting a life short when it is full of tide." The death of any person should be deceived as monumental but during British rule in India, native deaths were too often looked past with little regard. Later on when the group of men reached the gallows, it was discovered that even the hangman was Indian, thus illustrating the true inhumane actions that took part in India. Not only were Indians being affected by the British, but also by their own people who were persuaded to aid the British in the oppression of their own race. Also in the case of the Amritsar Massacre, Indians were inflicting pain on other Indians based of the orders of a higher ranking British authority. In expressing the reactions to the hanging of the Indian man, "Everyone had changed color. The Indians had gone grey like bad coffee, and one or two of the bayonets were wavering." It wasn't until during the hanging that the Indians had realized what action was committed to their own people. The hanging of the Indian man in the gallows symbolizes the way in which the British were able to rule India; through oppression and with the aid of the native population.
This short story demonstrates prime examples for the mistreatment Hindus reciecved under British rule. The prisoners in the “small animal cage” cells were severely dehumanized and looked at as a burden on society. It is not until the man walks around the puddle when Orwell realizes that these natives are real people just like him. You can see prior to the hanging that the officials show reluctance or a sign or sympathy towards their immoral wrong-doings, but this does not last long as the hanging continues and is then forgotten. Laughter and jokes fill the air, and the mans death is merely a distant memory, “The dead man was a hundred yards away”. British rule played off events such as this and chose to ignore them as some type of validation for the cruelty being afflicted on the indigenous people’s, so they could continue to weed out the weaker men and further their European superiority.
In the reading, "A Hanging" by George Orwell, it gives the general relationship of the Eurasian officials and to the Indian prisoners. During this reading Orwell goes in depth in the way the officials came emotionless to the killings of Indians, as they were taught by the British that these natives are rarely close to animals and are unhuman. This unequal treatment wasn't uncommon with imperialists who set out different parts of the world to take over. With imperialism brings the motivation of one to think they're superior over their people which they conquered. As proven in the story, the natives became prisoners in cells which were comparable to 'small animal cages'. Orwell also proves an analysis that he sees that these Hindus are just like himself, as they are 'alive just as we are alive'. However, at the end of the short story, the narrator's mindset changes back to the way most of the Eurasians' mindsets were, that they were superior over the animal-like natives. This is proven when explains one of the officials sharing a story of one of the prisoners that was making a big deal getting out of his cell, as the narrator 'was laughing quite loudly'.
“The Hanging,” written by George Orwell, depicts the cruelty and brutality cast on the Burmese people, specifically prisoners, by the British and the harsh conditions they faced. It impeccably displays the effect of European imperialism on it’s subject people’s. The Burmese prisoners were treated without any humanity, residing in jail cells much like small animal cages and given no more than a place to sleep and drinking water to share. Hygienically speaking, they were unkept, as well as beaten down and completely desensitized to the hanging process. British officials in the prison often seemed to be impatient and without any compassion for the men that would soon be losing their lives. The hanging of the Burmese man was treated more like a simple task than a murder. The hanging of the man seemed to be entertainment for all others not involved, as they followed behind to watch. British imperialists seemed to have no issue inflicting harm on anything or anyone standing in the way of their goals. This is evident as “a young Eurasian jailer picked up a handful of gravel and tried to stone the dog away,” leaving the dog “still straining and whimpering.” The man being hanged was just like any other healthy and able man. Orwell describes him as conscious and alive, capable as reasoning just as he is. He explains the “unspeakable wrongness, of cutting a life short when it’s in full tide.” The hangman was servile to British authorities and crouched in fear of what was to come. As Allie stated, those watching treated this hanging as if it were normal and like any other, exclaiming “oh, kill him quickly, get it over, stop that abominable noise!” The superintendent seemed apprehensive at first to end the life of the prisoner but he performed as was expected of him. Orwell described the scene as “jolly” after the hanging and the air was filled with relief. Before the moment had passed the European and Asian people alike seemed to have forgotten the terrors and continued on enjoying and quite possibly celebrating what had occurred, as if the dead body was not placed only “a hundred yards away.” It seems that instances like this occurred often and the officials had become accustomed to them. British treatment of the Burmese was inhumane and sadly treated as the norm.
George Orwell's "A Hanging" brought insight into what it was like inside a prison where you don't know whether you'll be the next to be hung or if it'll be the person next to you. It is ironic how the speaker is talking one moment about his fellow prisoner saying "He and we were a party of men walking together, seeing, hearing, feeling, understanding the same world; and in two minutes, with a sudden snap, one of us would be gone- one mind less, one world less." As if he feels a personal connection with this other prisoner and empathetic to his struggles almost to a point where you think he might try to do something to stop the hanging or sacrifice himself for the hanging and then suddenly a few minutes later after this prisoner had been murdered the speaker is out laughing with others like nothing ever happened he states "We all had a drink together, native and European alike, quite amicably. The dead man was a hundred yards away." What is noticeable about these two moments though is the actions/placement of the dog. The dog seems to symbolize a type of connection of equality and individual thought among the prisoners. In the beginning you see the dog appear in the yard very happy to see all these diverse human beings together. The European jailer, although as much a prisoner as everyone else, tries to stone away this dog or equality because he's seen as superior because he is white, but the dog manages to avoid being hit and still goes towards the other prisoners. While the speaker is having his insightful thoughts about how alike him and another prisoner are and how it is going to be a shame once one of them is gone he is holding onto the dog. After, the prisoner had been killed the speaker let go of the dog as a way of letting go of his own individual thought of them being alike and goes onto laughing and being joyous with everyone else. At this point the dog had lost most of its hope seeing that no matter how much anyone tried there would still be hangings and discrimination based on race.
This reading, to begin, is disturbing, to say the least. The piece, “A Hanging”, does a good job of describing the nature of the treatment natives received during the time of imperialism. For example, it shows how they used natives as soldiers, and, in this case, prison guards. Along with this, those in charge were European/Eurasian. This was a crucial foundation of colonial rule during this time. The reading is also a great example of the attitude exhibited towards the native subject peoples of these empires. They are disregarded as inferior, and meaningless. This is evident mainly in the discussions after the hanging. They laugh in regards to the conditions of what they just experienced, and other similar events. This laughter is a mix of superiority, and of negative feelings. These feelings being guilt, stress, and awkwardness. Despite their attitudes, they are still human. They feel the remorse, but none want to admit it.
The prisoner was a very important symbol in the reading. The man symbolized the subject peoples. He was broken, and seemed careless. But he also retained a sense of reasoning, and humanity. This is seen when he walks around the puddle. This is symbolic of how the native peoples feel under the rule of the European powers. They are broken. Their culture has been targeted, and subdued. Although subdued, the people aren’t reduced to nothing. They remain human; They remain strong. This same scene also shows the use of civil disobedience. This is a showing of that remaining strength. When avoiding the puddle, he does so against the will of those escorting him. It is a small resistance, and does no physical harm. But it was resistance, nonetheless.
After reading this excerpt by George Orwell, I am appalled by the brutal nature of the hanging, and the treatment by the officials. This was a sad part of history, but a crucial one. Through all of these horrific events rose our world today. It was also crucial because in order to be learnt from, mistakes must be made. Now it is vital that we learn from these horrors, and never allow them to happen again.
In "A Hanging" by George Orwell, it displays the monstrosities the British would commit onto the Indian people. In the passage, a specific story of a good conscious man that is hung displays a message in which the reader is meant to understand. I interpret it as Orwell trying to tell the reader for these type monstrosities to never happen again; and to show what these people were being subjected too. He elaborates on the chants of the man as he is minutes away from death, almost crying as he chants to his god. Clearly showing almost the mental torture they would go through before ultimately being killed. The hanging of the Indian man symbolizes the way the British would rule India through oppression and fear. Also, it demonstrated the fact that India men were often used to do the killings and most of the officials in the British rule in India was made up of Indian people with higher up White administrators. Also during the execution of the man, the "Guards" of the prison were wavering and shaken up as one of their "Kind" is being hung. Therefore, "A Hanging" by George Orwell symbolizes and gives an example to way that the British ruled in India through oppression and through the use of Naive people.
As many others have previously stated, "A Hanging" by George Orwell clearly depicts the dehumanizing treatment of the Burmese by the British. At the beginning of the story, the cells that the prisoners are trapped in are referred to as "... small animal cages". These cells were extremely small with only "...a plank bed and a pot of drinking water". As the quotes suggest, the prisoners were not seen as human to the British. As the story proceeds and all is prepared for the hanging, the superintendent of the jail states "The prisoners can't get their breakfast till this job's over". When the superintendent refers to the hanging as a job, it is clearly shown once again that the Burmese are a hindrance in the eyes of the British. When the man set to be hung steps over a puddle, Orwell is intrigued. Until this moment, he hadn't realized that the prisoners were in fact human too. Orwell states "When I saw the prisoner step aside to avoid the puddle, I saw the mystery, the unspeakable wrongness, of cutting a life short when it is in full tide". He goes on to write that the man was just as alive as all of them were "...a healthy, conscious man". After this revelation, Orwell becomes hesitant and anxious about the hanging. Orwell's hesitance however has obviously vanished moments before the end of the prisoners life
when he writes "...each cry another second of life; the same thought was in all our minds: oh, kill him quickly, get it over, stop that abominable noise!". Proceeding the death of the prisoner, the possible remorse that was once felt by all when the man stepped over the puddle is forgotten. The guards and the superintendent were all laughing as if a dead man wasn't less than 100 yards away from them. The superintendent even suggested having a drink, clearly in celebration of yet another burden gone. As Lila said, the British will clearly do anything to achieve successful imperialism and maintain superiority no matter the circumstances, including murder. The British didn't see the death of a Burmese the death of a human but rather the death of an animal. I believe that the British treated and saw the prisoners as animals possibly to make it easier to kill them and maintain the powerful reputation that had. Overall, I was shocked by the actions of the British and imperialists in both "A Hanging" and "Shooting an Elephant" by Orwell.
“A Hanging” by George Orwell, provides the reader with a unique perspective into the treatment of natives in the British Empire. Orwell describes the horrible conditions that prisoners are subjected to, such as the bare cells where the prisoners were kept, and the casual nature of the execution. In my opinion, the most significant part of this story is after the hanging, when the soldiers are joking about a previous execution. Both the British and native troops laugh at the situation described by Francis. Francis explains that during a previous execution, the prisoner had to be dragged out of his cell by six soldiers so he could be executed. All the soldiers laugh at this anecdote, even Orwell, despite his previous sympathy for the condemned prisoners. The light-hearted attitude displayed by the soldiers reveals the true extent to which natives were dehumanized under British rule. Even native soldiers laugh at he joke, showing that they possibly view themselves as superior for siding with the British. In any case, “A Hanging” reveals the brutal treatment and utter dehumanization of natives in the British Empire.
After reading two passages by George Orwell, one can see that he wrote about horrible situations that eyewitnesses actually saw, and not just what a text book says happened. "A Hanging", written by George Orwell shows how the British treated the Burmese prisoners. The way Orwell writes shows the reader how disturbing the situations really were. For example Orwell states, " His nails would still be growing when he stood on the drop, when he was falling through the air with a tenth of a second to live". This shows that the British would kill perfectly healthy man with a long life ahead-- without feeling anything. I agree with Mara that the British soldiers were very ignorant towards the colonized natives. The British would kill many people without thinking, as if they were so used to the actions and scenes. The British saw themselves as superior to the Burmese prisoners. For example, Orwell writes, "We were waiting outside the condemned cells, a row of sheds fronted with double bars, like small animal cages." This shows the British saw the prisoners as animals compared to themselves. George Orwell wrote "A Hanging" to show how the British soldiers only cared about their well being- and only theirs. To conclude, Orwell showed the readers how inhuman the British acted towards the prisoners by performing disturbing acts towards other human beings without any feeling of empathy.
The passage “The Hanging” by George Orwell demonstrates the cruelty that Hindus faced in India. As the prisoner is taken from his small cell to the gallows, you can see how poorly he is treated by the guards and supervisors. In the third paragraph Orwell writes “The man ought to be dead by now, aren’t you ready yet?” this quote shows how rushed and unimportant this is to the supervisor. It also proves how the hanging that will take place has little meaning behind it. As Orwell shares the story of the prisoner, he only starts to think of him as a human when he walks around the puddle. He realizes that whatever crime he has committed does not deserve the loss of his life. Clearly, the other people don’t have this thought and continue to walk to the place where he will be executed. Even the dog notices the lack of compassion shown to the man. As Lila says, this can be compared to “The shooting of an elephant.” The general killed the harmless elephant because he believed it would put everyone else at ease even though it was inhumane.
George Orwell's "A Hanging" is a strong representation of how Europeans treated the natives of the colonies that they ruled. Similar to Orwell's "Shooting an Elephant", Europeans are portrayed as selfish, as they willingly do whatever they feel is just according to them, with no remorse, just for their benefit. Not just socially, as in this text, but politically and economically as well. In the story, the natives are described as inferior as they are caged up, in structures "like small animal cages.." awaiting a severe penalty for a crime that was not stated, likely to be a way of inserting fear among the rest of the natives to instill security that a rebellion will not occur. Overall, the message that the text delivers is one of realization, that European Imperialism came with a heavy disregard for the well being of natives, and this is embellished as everyone goes on with their daily lives after the hanging occurs. This social injustice highlights those of economic and political injustice as well, to bring light to the severity of European Imperialism.
Throughout reading, "A Hanging," by George Orwell, I was left with a uneasy feeling and a sense of utmost regret at the blasé death of this man. I was almost inclined to believe the prisoner had possibly done no wrong, and was targeted for his race or beliefs. The carelessness and quick recovering of the hanging tugged at my most sensitive thoughts. To be able to kill with no thought of remorse requires a certain individual capable of most extremes. The description of the prisoner's conditions, as described by Orwell, represents such harsh extremes and torture to be enacted towards someone. It left me in much despair to see that after the brutal death enacted on the prisoner, most carried on with everyday life as nothing had ever occurred. This is most closely connected to the treatment of the Indigenous peoples by the British. Their sense of superiority led them to believe the natives were non-human and should be treated no better than an uncivilized animal. They led life as they had no blood on their hands, meanwhile every killing they presumed was one of strong animosity. In the eyes of the British, natives were no more human than the lowest evolved creatures of the world, and because of that analogy, should be treated with no respect or dignity. I am proud to say that we, as civilized beings, have come far between this strong gap and hatred of colored peoples. I am appalled at the treatment described in the text, and am glad to say that change is happening and change has occurred.
Overall, I find this story absolutely fascinating. I personally believe Orwell to be one of the best authors of all time, especially having written classics such as 1984 and Animal Farm. I've found that his stories all have a sort of twisted or sick element to them that leaves the reader thinking about the nature of humans or the context in which they were written. I think that the desensitization of the people in the story towards the concept of being hung represents the sheer amount of situations of Hindus being executed as well as the overall treatment of Hindus. Clearly with the actions of those in the story, Burmese and European alike, Hindus are seen as lesser people, and therefore not as worthy of life, which represents imperialism during this era. Also, I find it intriguing that the characters all have such an apathetic outlook towards the death. Throughout the last section of the story, all of the characters laugh and poke fun at other executions. After the death, the characters all go back to their normal daily activities as if it never happened. I've found that Orwell's works tend to have an element like this, such as in 1984. Throughout that novel, members of their society go missing without a trace and none of the citizens are bothered by this. They are so desensitized to this aspect of their society that they don't se it as an issue. The only difference is that "A Hanging" is more realistic to this time period, and the atrocities in the story are based on some truth. In all, I think this story heavily represents the social structure and imperialist system as well as a dark view into the mind of those who've been made numb to horrific everyday situations, and George Orwell executes this brilliantly.
“The Hanging” by George Orwell shows the relations between the Europeans and the Indians. The Europeans were extremely cruel to the Indians and they were constantly dehumanizing them whenever they had the chance too. For example after the hanging of the man the Europeans began to joke about the man try juts hung and they were also joking about how they once had to drag a man out of his cell by his legs so he could get hung. The Europeans get illustrated by George Orwell as selfish in his stories “The Hanging” and “Shooting am Elephant” because although they know that killing and elephant and a man are not is not ok, they are so foucused in dehumanizing them that they don’t even care and they act like it’s fine
“A Hanging” by George Orwell, is a story that tells of the horrors of British imperialism. This passage is a direct example of how natives were treated in the British Empire. Prisoners were subject to bare cells, no bathroom, and unkempt living conditions, bad treatment, etc. Executions were carried out without good reason. In my opinion, the most important part of this story is after the hanging. Both British and native troops laugh and act like it was nothing serious. In fact in the story Francis explains that a prisoner had to be dragged out of his cell by six soldiers to be executed. Everyone laughs, even the native soldiers laugh at this. Orwell comes to realizes that whatever crime the prisoner has committed, his punishment didn't require the loss of his life. “A Hanging” serves as a realistic example of the brutality and dehumanization natives faced at the hands of the British Empire.
As many have stated before me, “A hanging” by George Orwell clearly shows us the dehumanizing treatment of the Burmese people by the British. The story itself can be used as a symbol for the British treatment of its colonies. One example is how Orwell describes the cells as “small animal cages” and how “each cell measured about ten feet by ten feet and was quite bare.” This shows how the British gave these people the bare minimum and could care less about them. Even though they were prisoners they were only prisoners based on the British better judgment. Many people were being sentenced to death for the wrong reasons or for no reason at all besides that they were Burmese. As orwell says “I had never realized what it means to destroy a healthy, conscious man... he was alive just as alive as we were alive.” Orwell sees how the man is just like him, normal and careful. The only difference is, that in a matter of minutes one will be alive and the other will be hanging from a platform. This story just gives us the bare minimum of what it was really like being a Burmese person, living under the British rule and the cruel horrors they went through.
"Shooting an Elephant" by George Orwell describes a major fact about imperialism during the British Empire of, even though the British might rule the colonies sometimes the colonies can be stronger. The short story "The Hanging" also by George Orwell enhances this idea. Not only does this story reveal the horrors about how the Hindu criminals were treated and the conditions they were exposed to, but it also symbolizes and negative effects of imperialism. The dog that started to bark at the warden, slowed down and distracted the execution of the Hindu criminal. This can be related to how the British colonized Africa and India. The dog in this case represents the British, the warden represents the colonized places and the execution of the Hindu criminal represents the economic/social/religious/political activities for the colonized. When the British colonized different areas those areas couldn't perform economic/social/religious/political activities because it was all in the hands of the British. In conclusion, I think this story gave a great representation of how the colonized people were treated.
"A Hanging" by George Orwell shows the relationship between the indigenous people and the Europeans, and demonstrates the cruelty that occurred towards the Hindus in India. We are brought into a prison and are shown a hanging of one of the prisoners yet the crime that was commuted is kept anonymous. Which leads me to believe that either this was an act of dehumanizations or that the crime was done by the Europeans for murdering someone just because of their religion or race. This passage shows the terrible conditions that Indians had to put up with and how the Europeans were portrayed as monsters for not standing up and speaking out against these horrifying acts even when they know what they're doing is wrong. Also the passage shows how the Europeans became comepleately immune to the killings that were taking place and were fine with the way they were treating their colonies. They viewed the prisoners as none other then animals who didn't belong and that is just too appalling to believe. "A Hanging" symbolizes how the British rule their colonies through oppression and fear and shows the social injustices that the ingigenous people had to suffer through under British rule.
The article by George Orwell has a multitude of political controversies, starting with the death penalty and racial treatment. Personally, I agree with the author when she uttered that she didn't agree with the death penalty. I think that taking the life from a person is immoral. Unless the person in question has committed some sort of mass murder, I think that everyone should at least have a chance to live out their life. According to NY Times, there are approximately 8.7 million species on the planet. Humans are by far the most intelligent of all due to the fact that they have a sense of reason that no other species has. We should be protecting our race and not letting one action of theirs define how their life is going to come to an end, because one day we are going to be scrambling to find every human that is still living so we can keep the race going. To conclude, I think that the death penalty that is shown in the article should not be used due to the fact that humanity is the driving force of the earth today.
“The Hanging,” written by George Orwell, shows the cruelty on the Burmese people, specifically prisoners, by the British and the inhumane conditions they faced. Throughout the reading, Orwell describes the horrible treatment the Burmese were subjected to. While reading this passage, I realized how ruthless the British were. They did not view killing a prisoner as murder but merely a task, which is rather repulsing to say the least. "Perhaps he was counting the cries, allowing the prisoner a fixed number--fifty, perhaps or a hundred...We looked at the lashed, hooded man on the drop, and listened to his cries--each cry another second of his life." This clearly demonstrates how the British would be willing to do anything to prove their superiority and successfully achieve imperialism. The British regard the Natives as inferior. This is evident after the hanging of an innocent prisoner. They laugh to what they just experienced. The prisoner symbolized the Natives, who were broken , and were targeted. After reading this piece, I am greatly horrified by the brutality of the hanging, and treatment of prisoners. Sadly, without these mistakes we wouldn't be able to learn, but now we are aware and won't allow them to happen.
The passage “A Hanging,” by George Orwell, we learn about one of Orwell’s experiences as a British officer of imperialism. Throughout the passage, Orwell’s experience symbolizes the real treatment of natives brought upon by the British colonies. For example, Before the Hindu prisoner is hung at the gallows, Orwell believes he is not human and is completely fine with hanging the man and killing him. When the prisoner steps over a puddle he helps others to see that he is actually human. Orwell is one who changes his mind and sees how inhumane the situation is. Also, like Orwell some of the other officers cant stand the hanging and as well believe it is inhumane. Although feelings of inhumanity were exchanged the prisoner was still hung and died. His death benefited British imperialism by making the British appear stronger and helped to strengthen their rule over natives. I believe that British officers have been “brain-washed” into thinking that killing people is a regular thing. They have killed so many people and seen so many horrific things that the officers no longer have feelings towards it. Unfortunately since this does benefit British imperialism it will continue no matter the cost of others
“A Hanging” by George Orwell depicts the inhumane treatment of prisoners, and gives a peek into their lives. It was very eye-opening, as many might relate to Orwell in the beginning, when he views the man as just another prisoner. However, he realizes he’s just as much of a person as anyone else. It enlightens readers to this fact, and shows prisoners are real people with real lives. This passage symbolizes imperialism, in that prisoners are treated terribly, like how Indians are treated by British imperialists. A very intriguing part of this essay is the reaction of the other prisoners. Rather than being saddened or traumatized because of their colleague’s death, they moved on in no time. It’s also upsetting that the prisoners mocked a man for trying to avoid his sentence and save his own life. These prisoners have been so desensitized to death that they view it as a laughing matter. As others have mentioned, we do not know the severity of the crime committed, and can’t know if this punishment was deserved. But assuming it wasn’t a huge crime, this man, as well as other prisoners, don’t deserve to have such a harsh punishment and be treated with disrespect. This also applies to subjects of colonization and imperialism, though it didn’t stop the British from oppressing Indians. This reading was very informative, and it is important to know the struggle and unfair treatment of these prisoners.
It goes without saying that "A Hanging" demonstrates the cruel nature of imperialism. However what's intriguing to me is the world's abhorrent treatment of the accused. Sure the British were horrendous in their treatment, but would the Burmese have been much better if they weren't there. Primitive societies tend to be more harsh to prisoners. For instance, the Aztec sacrificed them, Romans turned prisoners into gladiators, and Hammurabi attached harsh punishments on crimes. Also, it's interesting that even now many modern countries or unjust to their accused. As shown by many European countries lacking an equivalent to the 5th amendment. It's also interesting how it took until the 1960's for Criminals to get their constitutional rights by way of Miranda v Arizona/
"A Hanging", written by George Orwell, describes his experience in viewing the negligence and lack of sympathy given to the Burmese prisoners by European guards. The mistreatment and disregard of the prisoners being sentient life forms, let alone fellow people, by the guards in this reading, can be seen as a smaller scale of British imperialistic ideas and actions made toward the natives of colonized lands. Orwell initially describes the jail cells, as "sheds fronted with double bars, like small animal cages", and continues, stating that "each cell was about 10x10 feet and was quite plain except for a plank bed and a pot of drinking water" , which imply that the basic necessities of any human weren't even met when it came to the Burmese prisoners under the European powers. Later, in a significant paragraph regarding a specific prisoner who is soon being sentenced to death, Orwell mentions that it was only then, when the man stepped to avoid the puddle, that Orwell realized the significance of a life, and the meaning of destroying one, adding of his thoughts that the prisoner, although soon to die, was still perfectly human who had sense to avoid a puddle and whose body processes were functioning. Yet, him and the other guards still hadn't had any sympathy for the prisoner, as in the few moments leading to the hanging, as the prisoner began to cry out for his god, Orwell speaks for all the guards, including himself, stating "the same thought was all in our minds: oh kill him quickly, get it over, stop that abominable noise!" An event that represents how British Imperialists had felt no remorse while letting the lives of millions die under their reign; during the aftermath of the man's death, is when Orwell implies the oversite of the other guards after the hanging. To everyone, the death signified a finished job, and they had ridiculed, celebrated or completely dismissed the fact that they had just ended a man's life, small scale in comparison to the events outside of that prison.