Burmese Days as fiction.

In Burmese Days, there are several give-aways that imply that this is a work of fiction as opposed to a historical document. If this were a true historical document, it seems unlikely that the author would need to use literary devices to draw the reader into the story. The fact that such literary devices blatantly exist within the story is a clue to us that the author is leading us down a pre-designed path: the life of Flory.

First and foremest, the telling of the story comes from the viewpoint of an omniscient narrator. The narrator is privy to the intner thoughs, motivations, adn histories of the characters. In a real-world situation, this is obviously impossible. Not only does the narrator have the ability to go deep within the characters, he also has a vision of their pasts and futures. If the narrator's power spreads beyone the limits of time, it is clear that he must indeed be telling a fictional story. With this framework in mind, it is clear the Burmese Days is a fictional story. However, what we must next consider is how much truth is in the fiction. Is the story a re-told embodiment of the author's experience? Or is it closer to a work of fiction specifically contrived for the purpose of engaging the reader? The evidence would seem to indicate the latter. Rather than present the tale from a relatively objective and grounded point of view, the author resorts to overstatemetn and use of stereotypes to tell his story.

Examples of overstatemetn or embellishment are found throughout the story. These embellishments are simply too contrived to be anything but a literary device. In particular, we can see the use of stereotypes by the author. The euorpeans, with the exception of Flory, are simply too European. They dally most of the time - rarely going to camp to work. They are snobs - to an extreme, and maintain the facade of the imperialist Brit better than they should. The stereotypes of Europeans are of boozing, womanizing, and brutalizing the populace w/out any regard for the locals. It is this extreme fulfillment of the European stereotype that sticks out.

The natives also fall into some conventional stereotypes. The villan, an evil buddah-like slug of a man, fits perfectly into the stereotype of some decadent provincial thug. His obesity andmoney are a testament to his low-handed deeds. Like Boss Hog, in "the dukes of hazard" he is the man that we love to hate. Dr. Veraswami, as well, fits into a european stereotype. His is the local we love to love - educated, well mannered, and ultimately obedient and loyal like a dog.

Last but not least, Flory fits into the stereotype of the "brit w/ a conscience". He is sulky, melancholy, and thinks rather too hard about his pitiful existence. He criticized the English practices, and serves as a moral counterpoint to his fellow europeans. Unfortunately, this also is contrived and the pronounced and intractable ideological differences between him and the other Europeans works as a device to dcraw our awareness to his confict.

In addition to the use of stereotypes, Orwell also embellishes some scenes to a fictional and almost movie-like level. The occurences are too spectacular to be truth. They are used, instead, to get the reader's attention and keep it. For example, when the European club comes under attack by the villagers, it seemed more like an Indiana Jones adventure than a historical account.

Finally, the ending of the story restates the contrived nature of the story. Flory's death, and especially the dogs, is meant to grab the reader and say "SEE? THERE IT IS" When the author closes on that note, and begins to go into the "where are they now" section of the conclusion, it is as if we have jumped right to the end of some disasterous fairy tale. The ending is far too mcuh like a fairy tale to allow us to consider the story as a kind of fact.

In all, it's clear that this story is more like an episode of Indiana Jones than it is like the lives of Kipling's "Soldier Tales" the devices that orwell uses are obvious, and quite recycled. They force us to view this story as a kind of fiction w/ questionable historical content.