European Imperialism

World History II

Please read the short story, “Shooting an Elephant,” by George Orwell. Please also watch the music video for Taylor Swift’s “Wildest Dreams.” Links to both are attached to this assignment and are easily found via a Google search. Construct an essay in which you address the following questions:

Who is the narrator in Orwell’s story? Describe his position and anxieties; how does he feel about the Empire, and how does he feel about the native peoples? What is the point of Orwell’s story? How does this story reflect what we have learned about imperialism and Europeans’ attitudes towards it?

“Wildest Dreams” clearly takes place in Africa, but who is missing? How are the colonies (i.e. Africa) and their inhabitants viewed by Westerners (i.e. the people who made this video)? How does this relate to topics you learned about through lecture and your reading?

What similarities exist between Orwell’s story and the “Wildest Dreams” video?

Paper guidelines: The text of your essay must be approximately 750-1000 words. Your essay must make specific references to both Orwell’s short story and the music video and use simplified Chicago Style citations.[1] Your response should be double-spaced and in 12-pt Times New Roman font with 1-inch margins.

Your paper should have a short introduction, and a body section consisting of at least three (3) paragraphs. You should have a short conclusion of 2-3 sentences. The discussion of Orwell’s short story should take up approximately 2/3 of the body of essay, with discussion of the music video taking up the remaining 1/3. You can and should refer to information you learned in your reading and in the weekly lecture, but this information does not need to be identified directly or cited (i.e. do not say, “In the lecture we learned that Europeans felt X about the colonies”; say instead “Europeans felt X about the colonies, therefore….”)

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