In "Shooting an Elephant" written in 1936, George Orwell comes off as being a racist and a coward. I believe that he is not a coward. After reading the narration, you must picture yourself during that time in Burma. In the hunt for natural resources the British forced themselves upon the people of Burma. This caused great tension and hate against any whites, Especially the Burman priests who”...none of them seemed to have anything to do except stand on street corners and jeer at Europeans.” Orwell was a sub-divisional police officer in the town of Moulmein in lower Burma. He became a target of harassment and shame from the yellow faced Burmans. After so much cruelty his feelings turned from pity to disgust. He was called out to take care of a problem with an angry elephant in “must.” He was positive in his mind that killing the animal was wrong and he didn’t have the heart to kill either. Elephants were a great deal of money to the people of Burma and he knew if it were to die he would hear from the owners. During the riot, Orwell ran across a Burman worker who was killed under the elephants feet. Seeing this he knew he would need a larger weapon that could kill it in case he had no other option. All the people gathered to see what the end result was going to be, especially since elephant meat could mean good eating. As Orwell approached the elephant, who was eating in a rice field, the people of Burma crowded and hassled him to the point that he either had to shoot the animal or look like a coward for not killing the beast who destroyed the part of the town. Orwell is not a racist. If any group of people humiliated and spat on you, you would have similar feelings towards them as George Orwell. Racists generally show more aggression against these people. All he was doing was explaining the everyday life in Burma for the white Europeans.
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