Burmese Days

The Orientalism in Burmese Days College

George Orwell had been a police official in Burma for five years, so he witnessed the real life in Burma and the rigorous management of Britain. However, he gave up this high-paying job because he opposed British colonization and racial discrimination. Afterwards, he wrote the novel Burmese Days to satirize the British colonial domination and imperialism. In the story, Orwell shapes a character named Flory, who is obsessed with oriental culture and hates the racial discrimination. He also reflects Orwell’s own experience and personal characteristics. Additionally, Orwell also creates two typical Burmese, Ma Hla May and Dr. Veraswami. In the article “Kipling, the Orient, and Orientals: ‘Orientalism’”, author David Scott argues that some European writers may hold an assumption of the unfamiliar orient, which is called Orientalism (Scott 300). Although many people consider that Burmese Days opposes imperialism, I will show that Orwell cannot completely evade the worldview of Orientalism in Burmese Days, especially in the description of characters. This can be viewed in the negative images of Ma Hla May and Dr. Veraswami, and Flory’s contradictory behaviors in Burmese Days.

For instance, when Orwell represents Ma Hla May, he...

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