Burmese Days

I denne study guide kan du få hjælp til at analysere det romanuddrag fra George Orwells Burmese Days, som optræder i tekstbogen Wider Contexts (s. 272-275). Udover analysehjælpen kan du finde et summary af teksten samt idéer til fortolkning og perspektivering.

Præsentation af teksten

Titel: “Burmese Days” (1934)
Forfatter: George Orwell
Genre: Short story

Eric Arthur Blair (1903-1950), bedst kendt under forfatternavnet George Orwell, var en engelsk forfatter. Han er særlig kendt for sine politiske værker og dystopiske fortællinger om totalitære samfund – herunder romaner som Animal Farm (1945) og Nineteen Eighty-Four (1949).

I sin ungdom arbejde Orwell som politimand i Burma (det nuværende Myanmar), som dengang var en af de britiske kolonier i Indien. Orwells roman Burmese Days er inspireret af hans oplevelser i Burma.

Uddrag

Nedenfor kan du læse et kort uddrag fra vores study guide til teksten:

Racism and oppression

Both Mr Flory and Dr Veraswami hold racist views, pointing to widespread racism in the social setting. Mr Flory’s racism is revealed when he mentions that it is “gangs of Jews and Scotchmen” (p. 273, ll. 16-17) which benefit from the British Empire. In Dr Veraswami’s case, the racism is internalized, as he believes that Indians are “an inferior and degenerate race” (p. 273, l. 1). He also believes that Easterners are inferior, as shown by the following remark: “ ‘My friend, my friend, you are forgetting the Oriental character. How iss it possible to have developed us, with our apathy and superstition?’ ” (pp. 273-274, ll. 44-1)

Another form of oppression was the exploitation of native resources. Mr Flory mentions the disadvantages brought by the British to the Burmese populations: " 'The official holds the Burman down while the businessman goes through his pockets' " (p. 273, ll. 9-11).  Also, the Burmese were given lower job qualifications than the British. This points to how the British take advantage of the local populations.  It also points to the many ways the British benefit from the colonies - such as having complete control of the trade system.  

The harsh consequences of the British occupation in Burma are briefly touched upon at the mention of floggings and hangings, which Dr Veraswami needs whisky to get over (p. 273, ll. 1-4).

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Burmese Days

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