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Burmese Days

It seems there isnt much on the net about Burmese Days that one can look over when getting ready to write an essay. I have provided one I wrote that is about 2 1/2 pages long and outlines some basic themes as well as analyzes the main character. Tell me what you guys think:
Burmese Days by George Orwell is not a book that commonly comes to mind when one thinks ‘”‘Orwell'”‘ but nevertheless it holds a distinguished place in his career as a writer. The novel revolves around the lives of a handful of high-class English gentlemen living in Burma during the time of the British colonial period. The story focuses on one man in particular; John Flory, who gradually succumbs to his life of loneliness and boredom. Though a ‘”‘pukka sahib'”‘ or Englishman residing in India, John still manages to steer away from racism and keeps a few Burman friends. Here a conflict arises. Each night the English men meet at the prestigious ‘”‘European Club'”‘ to drink and make small talk about the locals. Only Europeans are permitted to gain membership to the club until a certain occasion rises that calls for each ‘”‘whites-only Club'”‘ in India to elect a non European member. All the members are outraged and protest, except for John who supports the election, but does not possess the courage to admit to his beliefs. Behind the chaos and indignation, the European Club is faced with another disaccord, Elizabeth; a newly arrived English girl who has made her way to Burma. Elizabeth immediately attracts John but his insecurity and complete lack of confidence challenge his relationship with her. These sequences of events trigger a circumstance that leads to turmoil at the European club and the eventual downfall of John. The conflicts of John with himself and his society that I felt were important elements in the novel are: discrimination, self-acceptance and isolation.
Discrimination is an unavoidable theme in the book because it plays a role in almost every part of the story. Throughout the novel, the Englishmen (with the exception of John) see themselves as superior in every way to the Indian people. To them the Burmans are nothing more than maids, slaves, and peasants. When the European Club is asked to elect a non-white member all the Englishmen feel annoyed and infuriated that they must choose somebody that they consider of such filth and low rank in society. Discrimination plays an important role because it creates one of the main conflicts of the novel. John Flory does not share the ill feelings of his companions but his lack of courage and fear of rejection cause him to retain all of his feelings and protests; a situation which subsequently tears John”‘”s conscience in two.
Self-acceptance is one of John”‘”s major obstacles as a person. He envisions himself as repulsive and emotionally and physically languid. His pessimistic feelings towards himself prevent him from being able to confess his love to Elizabeth and express his pro-Burma feelings at the European Club. Due to his inability to do so, feelings of cynicism and melancholy build up in John, which in turn give way to less and less confidence. As John continuous his way down his emotional spiral he never does realize that all his fears and problems were caused by fears and problems within himself.
Isolation is an important factor in the story because it creates an inevitable prison of detachment and despair that John has no way of escaping. John does not feel at home with the rest of the few Englishmen living in Burma because of their bigotry, yet he does not fit in with the Burmans because of their low-social rank and Indian ways that are so foreign to him. John avoids the English because of their lack of morals, and ignores the Indians because trying to fit in with them would cause rejection and humiliation with the rest of the local Englishmen. John is at home with no one. He feels isolated and alone. Finally, when he meets Elizabeth he sees a chance to break free of his emotional hell and dedicates himself to her. Unfortunately her feelings are not mutual and she is frightened by John”‘”s aggressive enchantment with her.
In the end discrimination, self-acceptance, and isolation intertwine to bring the tragic ending, and righteous protest of John Flory against morality, society, and justice; his suicide. The bitter conclusion of the story reveal Orwell”‘”s thoughts on his own childhood spent in Burma. It comments on his views of the many injustices of the British brought upon India and their degenerative effects on the soul and spirit of a decent and whole-hearted man.


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