Name: Rubina keshwani Subject: English 2150 T Essay: (Draft 1) Topic: Compare and Contrast. Date: 04/15/2015
The Unforgettable Experience
There comes a time in each and every human being life when they sacrifice their values and beliefs under the pressure of circumstances or people in order to get accepted by the society. “Salvation” by Langston Hughes and “Shooting an Elephant” by George Orwell are both based on an incident where they had to sacrifice their belief under the pressure of the people around them. The main similarity is that both the narrators went through a situation in their life, where they were pressured to take an important decision which had a great impact on their life and so they narrated their own life unforgettable experience. Hughes in “Salvation” briefly describes about his experience when his aunt took him to church to attend a church revival to be saved from sin but was not really saved whereas in “Shooting an Elephant” George Orwell writes about his experience when he was posted as a police officer in the city of Burma and was pressured by the gathered crowd to kill an animal which was left loose. He ultimately decides to shoot the elephant. After reading both the stories I feel sympathetic towards both the authors but I feel more for Hughes as he lost his faith in Jesus at a very young age. I was deeply moved when Hughes says that “I didn’t believe there was a Jesus anymore, since he didn’t come to help me”. Can you imagine the mental state of a child who made such a statement? Kids are too innocent and any incident that has an impact on their mind, leaves in memories for the lifetime. Hughes was just twelve when he had this experience. He was an innocent kid who literally believed that Jesus will come to save him. He writes “My aunt told me when you were saved you saw a light, and something happened to you inside! And Jesus came into your life!” He didn’t experience anything happening to him so he lied to his aunt and all the elders in the church that he saw Jesus. Due to the guilt of lying in the holy place like church he lost his faith in religion along with his innocence whereas for Orwell, he was an adult who describes the struggle he faces under the pressure of thousands of people around him. He states in his narration that he shoots elephant just to win the respect of the crowd when he writes “...he shall spend his life in trying to impress the ‘natives’, and so in every crisis he has got to do what the ‘natives’ expect of him”. He killed an elephant against his own will. He knew if he won’t shoot the animal he would have to face the humiliation from thousands of people around when he say “The crowd would laugh at me”. When we compare both the authors feeling we can say both had a tough time but I feel Hughes was in a worst situation than Orwell as Orwell was matured enough to decide and somewhere he did it to impress the people but Hughes lied to save his aunt and himself from feeling further ashamed in front of the Church. He was later unable to share the guilt with anyone nor was able to bear it. Both the stories took place in different part of the world. One was in the forest of the Burma whereas in other story place was not mention but the setting was described as Church. In both the stories Authors were surrounded by people. Orwell says “But at that moment I glanced round at the crowd that followed me. It was an immense crowd, two thousand at the least and...
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