Shooting an Elephant

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Jessica DeBruhl
Terry McCammond
English Composition 111
6 February 2013
WP#2 First draft
Pressures

In this essay, Shooting an Elephant, George Orwell, comes face to face with the effects of peer pressure and imperialism. While under constant scrutiny by the people who did not want to be ruled, he felt “stuck between the hatred of the empire I serve and my rage against the evil-spirited little beasts who tried to make my job impossible” (Orwell). George finds himself in an impossible situation of what he feels is right and what the people expect from him. How far would you go to avoid looking like a fool? Many of us would do a whole lot of things but I don’t think we would go as far as shooting an elephant. George Orwell wrote in this essay an incident with an elephant that happened while on the job, he tries to convey to his readers that “imperialism was an evil thing and the sooner I chucked up my job and got out of it the better ” (Orwell). This essay started out in Moulmein, in lower Burma where Orwell was a sub-divisional police officer of the town. Orwell uses the irony of the situation to compare the elephant to the downfall of imperialism. He is very successful in convincing his audience through his own personal accomplishments, imagery, and symbolic irony that not only is imperialism hurtful and wrong towards the Burmese, it also demeans the ones having to implement imperialism. Orwell establishes personal creditability by his other accomplishments. He was a well renounced English author and journalist; two of his top accomplishments are the novels “1984” and “Animal Farm”. Animal Farm is a book most all of us have read by high school. However, Orwell refers to himself as being “young and ill-educated and I had had to think out my problems in the utter silence that is imposed on every Englishman in the East,” (Allen). Readers sympathize with Orwell because they can relate to his emotions in the moments before the shooting. Being...
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