Critical Response- George Orwell's Shooting and Elephant

Topics: George Orwell, Fiction, Rage Against the Machine Pages: 2 (382 words) Published: December 6, 2000
Critical Response Essay

I class, we read a short story by George Orwell called Shooting an Elephant. It was a story about courage, judgment, and the pressure of peers. I personally did not like this story. I found it boring, pointless, and just another "hasn't -this -happened -to -you" story about nothing. However, it was very well written, and if I had to critically respond to this story, I would praise the author on a number of things.

The story opens by describing the relationship between the town and himself, a sort of sub-division police officer of the town. Description is definitely not lacking in the opening, as words such as "aimless", and "petty" are used to describe the town, and the way it treats it officers. It describes the kind of ignorance the town has to outsiders and anyone they do not "approve of". The story opens well, and clarifies right away, the who, what, where, when, why and how. No questions are asked and all confusions are quickly abolished.

The second paragraph describes very vividly how he the narrator feels about his job choice, and his views on the village. He says "…I was stuck between my hatred of the empire I served and my rage against the evil-spirited little beasts who tried to make my job impossible". The narrator not only is in a place where he hates, but he also hates the people he works with, and works for! Wow, how'd he end up there?

Basically, the story line goes along to tell the tale of an elephant that needs to be killed, because it got out of the zoo and endagers the community. The story describes how the main character feels about himself and the pressures of the community. A showdown climaxes the storyline between the elephant and the narrator, and the entire village is there to witness and entice the main character. Good detail is prevalant during the end of the story.

In conclusion, the story of this guy, the officer, and how he encountered the perfect example of cracking under pressure, is to me, just...
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