Burmese Days by George Orwell

Papers should be four to six printed pages in length (double-spaced, with normal margins and font size). Your essay should be based on the course readings mentioned in the question. Do not merely give me vague generalizations about the various issues. You should draw evidence directly from the documents to support your argument. When you give me a direct quote, or even when you refer to a text, you need to include a reference—either a footnote, or you can use brackets and a page number at the end of the sentence. [Orwell, p. 36] Since all material is drawn from either Orwell or the Andrea/Overfield book, you do not need to bother including a title or a complete citation. A bibliography is also not necessary.
Your paper is due in class on Tuesday, May 1 if you want it back before the end of the semester. If you don’t care about getting the paper back, you can turn it in up until Tuesday, May 8 (the last regular class meeting before the final exam).
1. In Burmese Days George Orwell vividly describes life in a British overseas colony in the waning days of imperialism. What does this book tell us about the interaction between Europeans and the people over whom they ruled in the late colonial period? How do the British characters view the Asians? How do the Asian characters view the British? What do the British see as their mission or role in Burma? Do all of the British characters believe in what they are supposed to be doing in Burma? What sorts of costs—psychological, political, etc.—resulted from imperialism (both for the British and the locals)? Based on what you have learned about imperialism from this book, was the collapse of the British (and other European) overseas empire probably inevitable?


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