Racism in Burmese Britain owned many colonies throughout the 1800’s including Burma. While the British were able to manufacturing raw materials from Burma until the early 1900’s, British Imperialism would forever influence the Burmese Natives. In George Orwell book “Burmese Days,” racism is one example of this British Imperialism influence. British Imperialism allowed the use of racism to influence the European Club members and British military. Some British authority used racism to diminish the natives, which Ellis, a timber merchant, demonstrated.
Then, superiority ranking and separation started amongst the natives themselves, which U Po Kyin and Ma Hai Mary sought to achieve. Then Ellis and the European Club members pressured Flory to use their views on racism. In George Orwell’s book “Burmese Days,” were four different aspects of British imperialism: Symbol, authority, superiority, and pressure. This British imperialism involving the influence of racism was one aspect of British Imperialism that affected thenative people in Kyauktata, Burma.
The main symbol that portrayed British Imperialism, involving racism, in the book “Burmese Days,” was the European Club. This club located in Kyauktada, Burma and was a symbol of British racism against everyone else that was not British. The European club members consisted of timber merchants and British military policemen. The rules that allowed racism to continue was being contended by Mr. Macgregor; who was the deputy Commissioner, and secretary of the club. This change could not be tolerated by the merchants especially Ellis, who pushed and voiced his opinion on to others about the acceptance of outsiders.
Ellis stats, “He’s asking us to break all our rules and take a dear little nigger-boy into this Club… We’ve got to hang together and put our foot down on this at once. ” (23) This statement shows how Ellis, a British merchant, feels betrayed that they would even consider allowing any outsider to become a member of this symbolic club. Ellis felt that if they were allowed to join the European Club then they would be seen as equals compared to British citizens. Throughout George Orwell’s book, Elliscontinueusly justified his actions of racism by shielded himself behind British imperialism.
Ellis only authority above the native Burmese people was that he was British. Being both ignorant and spiteful, Ellis racist actions peaked when he assaulted a young Burmese schoolchild with his cane, blinding the child, which lead to a rote calling for Ellis to pay. “We know that there is no justice for us in your country, so we must punish Ellis ourselves. ” (247) Ellis’ British pride allowed him to act without thinking in this incident, causing an innocent child to become blind in the process. Ellis demonstrated the abuse of authority in Burma while portraying British Imperialism influence, which was racism.
This type of racism that is directed toward the natives in Burma influenced the natives themselves to segregate amongst themselves to become more like the British. Burma’s natives were impacted by the British imperialism in many different ways. Like the British, the natives began to rank themselves amongst each other trying to become distance from “…those smelly natives. ” (107) U Po Kyin, a corrupt Burmese magistrate, is one native that had been influenced by British imperialism views on racism. U Po Kyin was trying to distant himself from the native stereo type while moving up in political ranks, which included joining the European club.
George Orwell portrayed U Po Kyin as using British imperialism influences by planning to destroy the reputation of another native, Dr. Veraswami. U Po Kyin like Ellis respected out of fear, their characters were similar with the accepting that racism was against his own fellow citizens. Dr. Veraswami describes U Po Kyin in the same way as the native’s describe the British merchants, “You do not realism the influence of that man in the district. No one dare speak against him. ” (149) This fear that Dr. Veraswami has is because he is a victim of British imperialism involving racism by both Ellis and U Po Kyin.
This influence of demining other people just because of their heritage was one bad quality of British imperialism at influence U Po Kyin. Another British imperialism influence displayed racism, as a tool for both superior ranking and separation started amongst them. Ma Hia Mary sought to be nothing more than a British man’s mistress or wife. It was this racism against other Burmese women that portrayed Ma Hia Mary as also was influenced by British imperialism. Realizing that John Flory, her only chance to attain her goals or becoming a British mans wife, was losing interest in her because of Elizabeth.
With the help of U Po Kyin, Ma Hia Mary sought out to destroy Flory’s new relationship and become what she desperately wanted to be, a British women. It was this desire that forced Ma Hia Mary to make a scene causing Elizabeth to end her relationship with Flory. British imperialism influenced Ma Hia Mary to be “…ashamed before the other women. ”(53) if she did not have a British man. For Ma Hai Mary being without a British man would not allow her to be of higher ranking amongst the other Burmese women.
Finally, John Flory was continusley under pressure by the standards of British imperialism rule. Flory has grown up in, in these standards, which include their views on racism. Ellis is the source of this pressure by always voicing his own opinion about the natives. Ellis demonstrates this pressure in racism by having Flory sign a form that he did not want to sign amongst his British club members. “Flory had signed a public form insult to his friend. ” (63) It was this British imperialism pressure that made Flory appeared to view Burmese natives with a racist view.
Flory had to continuously lie to cover for his actions with Dr. Veraswami due to the racial pressure for hanging out with a native. “It always made him ashamed and uncomfortable when it had to be admitted between them that the doctor, because of his black skin, could not be received in the club. ” (39) British Imperialism can be seen here with racism by influencing those around you creating more pressure while damaging the relationship. British imperialism influenced many Burmese citizens and in George Orwell’s book “Burmese Days,” uses one of these influences as racism.
Racism was involved with British authority to diminish power over the natives. Then, superiority ranking amongst the natives and separation between themselves allowed racisms to follow British imperialism. Finally pressure amongst the British swayed their views on racism for one club member. Symbol, authority, superiority, and pressure all are influences that have impact Burma in some racial manor that will forever had damage their way of live. Work Cited Orwell, G. Burmese Days. Harcourt, Inc. , London, 1934.
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