Shooting an Elephant Analysis

Topics: Burma, George Orwell, Shooting an Elephant Pages: 2 (383 words) Published: October 18, 2012
Shooting an Elephant analysis
Giving in can either be good or bad. Whether large or miniscule, situations that are faced everyday require serious decisions. As humans, we sometimes have the inability to decide. In, “ Shooting An Elephant”, choices are made for the pleasure of others. The theme in this short autobiographical essay deeply affects the entire story.

Being unwanted had an enormous impact on Orwell. George Orwell lived in lower Burma where he was a sub- divisional police officer. Sadly, most of the towns inhabitants had a strong dislike for him because of the color of his skin, white. Orwell had to endure cruel insults and hurtful embarrassments. The harmless police officer was miserable and wanted to fit it with the people he was to protect. One day an incident occurred that called upon Orwells assistance, an elephant was on a rampage.

Behaving against his own wishes damaged him. Orwell brought along a rifle on his manhunt to end the elephants disturbance. As soon as he had seen the giant creature he was certain he was not going to shoot him. “ One ought not to do it if it can possibly be avoided.”, was what Orwell had said to himself when coming face to face with the gentle giant. George was sure that animals attack phase was already wearing off. Therefore why the need to shoot it? To please his fellow townspeople.

Orwell succumbed to pressure. “ Here was I, the white man with his gun, standing in front of the unarmed native crowd”, he was surrounded by wandering eyes waiting for him to make his move. Orwell did not want to shoot the elephant, but he needed to do what the natives expected of him. George Orwell shot the elephant not once or twice, but multiple times. Orwell was guilty and ashamed, it took the elephant half an hour to die. Shamefully, he had solely done it to avoid looking like a fool.

The theme in, “Shooting an Elephant”, is that people decide on outrageous choices only to please others. Situations turn out differently...
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