The Price of Pride

Topics: Burma, George Orwell, Shooting an Elephant Pages: 2 (739 words) Published: February 26, 2014
Brooks-Fontana 1
Katy Brooks-Fontana
Enc1101_Essay 3 Online
Dr. Mccarrick
Monday, February 24, 2014
The Price of Pride
In life, we often make decisions that are influenced by others. These decisions may have been different if we acted on our own accord. Unfortunately, we live in a world where others’ opinions, as well as our pride play a great role in a lot of we do.

In “Shooting an Elephant,” by George Orwell, he lives in a country where he is constantly ridiculed and mistreated simply for being a “white man,” when trying only to do his job as a Burma police officer. On a day to day basis the natives sneer and hoot at him while he is on the streets, all of this mistreatment got on his nerves. The natives of the town controlled him whether he liked it or not. Orwell states “I was only an absurd puppet pushed to and fro by the will of those yellow faces behind. I perceived in this moment that when the white man turns tyrant it is in his own freedom that he destroys.” (240) If the crowd would not have been at his heels pushing him he may not have shot the animal. The elephant may have been acting hastily as it was wondering through the bazaar, but an animal’s instinct if they sense danger is to react. Who’s to say the man the elephant trampled, wasn’t threatening it in some sorts. As he comes to the decision of shooting the elephant he states: Brooks-Fontana 2

“To come all that way, rifle in hand, with two thousand people marching at my heels, and then to trail freely away, having done nothing-no, that was impossible.”(240) He already knew in order keep his pride and gain respect of the Burma’s he had to shoot the elephant. When reaching the docile and unaware animal he could have chosen to walk away, but didn’t. I think he was wrong in every aspect for shooting the elephant. I understand, everyday thousands of unexpected disasters occur; and often result in the death of an animal because someone failed to exercise good judgment in the crisis. The...
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