10 Deductive Essay Topics on Emma Larkin’s “Finding George Orwell in Burma”

Topics and ideas
Posted on December 18, 2015

If you are looking for facts on Emma Larkin’s “Finding George Orwell in Burma” so as to write a deductive essay, there are a handful of great facts from the book which pertain to the book to help you in your writing.

These ten facts can prove most useful in helping you to support the claims you might be making in your next essay:

  1. In the book “Finding George Orwell in Burma”, Emma Larkin shows how the government of Burma uses surveillance, censorship, imprisonment, and the rewriting of history to instill fear in its citizens.
  2. The government has complete surveillance on its people. The Military Intelligence spies and informers are something spoken about often in the book, something which is so prevalent that people are always afraid to speak out or work with foreigners for fear of being reported to the spies.
  3. The emergency provisions act of 1950 provided the government with the ability to sentence any local citizen caught informing foreigners to seven years in prison. This law, and the threat of military intelligence spies contributes even more to the fear of being caught. Fear of having the wrong ideas, of speaking to the wrong person, all of that fear is what breaks apart groups and prevents individuals from sharing their same thoughts or concerns and rising up.
  4. When people do rise up, as they did in 1988, the government rewrites history. “The generals were rewriting history” is a quote from the book which shows how the government rewrote the names of places, streets, buildings, and even disposed of dead bodies and washed away blood from the streets as a way to make all of the people involved in the uprising literally disappear. They did not just kill them, they erased them from history. They erased the memory of the uprising and more. By erasing any evidence of an uprising as well as the evidence of what the government did to those who try to uprising is one of the many ways that the government is able to not only retain fear but use the tool of rewriting history.
  5. The Burmese government has a propaganda branch as well as a censorship board both of which work together to produce specific content which has already been approved for magazines as well as newspapers. These two units even create the curriculum for all schools. By censoring all media, the Burmese government is able to maintain complete control of the people by alleviating any potential for motivation or uprisings, and also ensuring that people only hear what the government wants them to hear. By limiting what people have access to, they limit what people think.
  6. The government even limited foreign influence. Foreign journalists and writers are not allowed into the country and anyone who has a notebook, camera, or other type of photographic film is continually under surveillance for the duration of their trip. Materials can be reviewed by police as well as military intelligence spies who can delete items that they do not want the individual having. They even have the ability to take away the physical instruments such as a camera and immediately deport the person who owned the camera. If an individual is filming or taking pictures of those locals who are filmed or photographed are also at risk for being detained by police.
  7. All of these tools which are used by the government are highly spoken about by Aung San Suu Kyi and reflect strongly on George Orwell’s contents contained in 1984. Panopticon is the term from George Orwell’s writing which remains at the center of this type of surveillance. Other terms are also prevalent. Newspeak is a wonderful term which applies to the content distributed by the censorship board. Room 101 refers most strongly to detainees. Another main theme in the writing of George Orwell is out of surveillance. Big brother surveys every aspect of life and infiltrates even the thoughts of its citizens in much the same way that the Burmese do to their people today.
  8. Aung San Suu Kyi’s father was a democratic leader of Burma until a coup left him dead. Aung San Suu Kyi took over her father’s role and was soon punished by the military leadership in charge. She married an Englishman and with him had two children, but when she spoke out against the corruption in the government she was placed under house arrest and prohibited not only from seeing her children, but in many cases from having her children visit her.
  9. Aung San Suu Kyi was elected in a democratic process once already but the military leadership declared that they were not going to give up their power, after which San Suu Kyi was placed again either in phases of house arrest or would be allowed to leave the country but upon doing so, not allowed back in. She continued to fight alongside her party and to raise international awareness about the seriousness of the human rights abuses. She went on a hunger strike while under house arrest which garnered a great deal of media attention.
  10. As of 2015, Burma had open and free elections yet again, and this time Aung San Suu Kyi’s party was elected yet again. The military has stated that it will not contest the results and that it plans to allow the party to assume its role as the new leader. If this takes place, the new party is allowed the authority not only to elect the leader of the country, but other cabinet members. As of late, the former military power changed the constitution to prohibit San Suu Kyi from attaining the role of president, which is a rule that can be overturned if the military leadership keeps to its word and allows the party and San Suu Kyi to assume the power they have been given by their people through the 2015 elections.

This book is very interesting to research. That’s why there are also 20 topics on “Finding Orwell in Burma” by E. Larkin that can be tackled by writing a deductive essay according to our guide.

Cady, John F. A history of modern Burma. 1960.
Chakraborty, Basanti D. “Aung San Suu Kyi.” A Critical Pedagogy of Resistance. SensePublishers, 2013. 121-123.
Davison, Peter, Hoepffner Préface de Marie Hermann, and Jean-Jacques Rosat. George Orwell. Palgrave Macmillan, 1996.
Harvey, Godfrey Eric. History of Burma. Asian Educational Services, 2000.
Kyi, Aung San Suu. Aung San Suu Kyi. 1989.
Kyi, Aung San Suu. “Freedom from fear.” Index on Censorship 21.1 (1992): 11-30.
Kyi, Aung San Suu. “Voice of hope.” Index on Censorship 26.3 (1997): 162-168.

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