SHOOTING AN ELEPHANT (JOURNAL)
This story begins in Moulmain, in lower Burma. The author speaks about his experiences while he was working as a police officer. In this time, Orwell was a young inexperienced soldier. He was in that place to protect the Queen’s interests. He had to do unethical things that made conflicts himself. When he mentions that he killed an elephant I feel his pangs of conscience. The elephant destroyed a village before it died. The villagers were furious about all the mess and Orwell was called to restore the order before anything, or anyone, was hurt. While this adventure runs, he decided to kill the animal because he thought that was the best. He needed to show solidarity among the villagers as a man of authority.
The story is very sad when he speaks about all a town hates him. That is not his fault. Likewise, the troops of officers abuse of the villagers and they are humiliated. We could find a guilty. We could say the guilty is the system.
I think the controversial instant occurs when he describes how this death causes division among British because the half of them agree he shoot the elephant, but the other half disagree because the life of an elephant is more important than a coolie. Other strong thing that he mentions is the fact that the rage of the elephant owner is not important because he is only an Indian. Indians couldn’t do anything to protest against British tyranny.
The true and hidden justification for Orwell’s decision is to keep the order and respect within the community. The British presence there has to be kept where respect and discipline are always maintained. If he showed the slightest weakness, the villagers would forget his authority; everything would finish into chaos. He won the respect of the natives but he had to sacrifice many of his good feelings. He had to kill the animal.
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