Select one image and write at least three observations to support each decoding category. Write your observations in complete sentences, using proper spelling, grammar, capitalization, and punctuation. Choice A: “Putting His Foot Down, 1899”
Choice B: Imperialism in China, 1890’s
Indicate Your Selection:
Choice A or Choice B: ___B_______
Five people (represents five nations) is cutting up a pie called Chine (China). Germany, U.K., Russia and Japan already have their knives or hand on the pie, France has his eyes on it as well. A stereotypical Qing official throws up his hands to try and stop them, but is powerless.
The woman on the left represents Queen Victoria of the United Kingdom. The man wearing a helmet represents William II of Germany.
The man wearing green coat represents Nicholas II of Russia. The man wearing red, white and blue striped shirt represents French Marianne. The man on the right represents Meiji Emperor of Japan. Behind all of them is a stereotypical Qing official.
Expressions/ Body Language:
The Qing official is alarmed, and frustrating but could not do anything about it. Those holding the knives ignored the Chinese.
Germany and United Kingdom is arguing over a piece of China.
The title is “Imperialism in China”, the cartoon uses symbolism to reflect author’s opinion on imperialism. In which the pie symbolized China, and the five people symbolized five nations that are dividing China.
This cartoon is meant to be a figurative representation of the Imperialist tendencies of these nations towards China during the decade. Those holding the knives and cutting up the pie called China represent the British Empire, Russia, Japan, and Germany. The alarmed man in the background, ignored by all of them, represents the Chinese.
In the left column, record at least three observations for each category for “Shooting and Elephant.” Then, in the right column, compare these observations to the political cartoon you decoded in Step 1. “Shooting an Elephant”
Comparison to Political Cartoon Action:
The narrator shoots an elephant while it is peacefully eating grass. The narrator decided to shoot the elephant because he realized he will lose face and be humiliated if he does not shoot it. The elephant resisted.
After the elephant got shot, he still struggled to live, breathing dreadfully but powerless. It took him half an hour to die. After his death, the natives had “stripped his body almost to the bones.”
Killing the elephant while it is peacefully eating grass symbolized the barbarity of colonialism as a whole. For instance, China was “peacefully eating grass” on its own, until the conquerors invade it and ripped the peace away. After China got invaded, it still struggled to live. Just like the elephant, the Chinese man in the cartoon is frustrated and making “dreadful noise” hope to stop the conquerors. However, both of them were powerless. The conquerors divided China into pieces and will use all of its resources just like how the natives stripped the elephant into the bones. Characters/Personas:
The narrator, a British
China is the elephant. The five nations are the natives that want the elephant killed. The knives they are using represents their military, is also the narrator in the story. Expressions/Body Language:
The natives pressured narrator to shoot the elephant.
The elephant struggled to live, shot after shot, it still did not die. After the elephant’s death, the natives stripped his body to the bones.
After China got invaded, it still struggled to live — just like the elephant — the Chinese man in the cartoon is frustrated and making “dreadful noise” hope to stop the conquerors. However, both of them were powerless. After successfully killed the elephant or conquered China, the conquerors divided China into pieces and use all of its resources just like how the natives stripped the elephant into the bones. Text/Titles/Direct Statements:
The title “Shooting an Elephant” not only describes the incident happened in the story, but also a symbolism of colonialism and imperialism.
Both the story and cartoon uses symbolism to reflect authors’ opinion on imperialism. In the story is shooting an elephant, in the cartoon is cutting a pie. Summary/Themes:
Orwell uses his experience of shooting an elephant as a metaphor for his experience with the institution of colonialism. He writes that the encounter with the elephant gave him insight into “the real motives for which despotic governments act.” Killing the elephant as it peacefully eats grass is indisputably an act of barbarism—one that symbolizes the barbarity of colonialism as a whole. The elephant’s rebelliousness does not justify Orwell’s choice to kill it. Rather, its rampage is a result of a life spent in captivity—Orwell explains that “tame elephants always are [chained up] when their attack of “must” is due.”
Both the story and cartoon centered on colonialism and both authors criticized imperialism. Imperialism humiliated the occupied people, reducing them to inferior status in their own country, like the Chinese official in the cartoon and the elephant in the story. Both of them were not strong enough to resist the conquerors, but they did not give up. After successfully conquered the elephant/China, the conquerors stripped all the resources off them on their homeland.