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Shooting An Elephant Essay

1154 words - 5 pages

The Summary of "Shooting an Elephant"
George Orwell, in the essay, narrated the whole process of killing an outrageous elephant when he was in the post of a police officer in Burma. (One kernel that I have to mention, because it is important for proper understanding of the essay, is that he held the ambivalent feeling for the Burmese. For one thing, he extremely hated the Thyestean imperialism. Second, he was furious about the yellow-faced, evil-spirited Burmese.)

One day, he was informed that an elephant which had obviously lost control under the attack of "must" was ravaging a bazaar, and there was only one felicitous thing to ...view middle of the document...

Anyway, fair to George if no guilty conscience haunted him.

Response of “Shooting an Elephant”
In “Shooting an Elephant” George Orwell writes about his struggles being a sub-divisional police officer in Lower Burma. Being a “white man”, as he puts it, is frowned upon by the natives. In the first paragraph of his essay, Orwell writes “No one had the guts to raise a riot, but if a European woman went through the bazaars alone somebody would probably spit betel juice over her dress. As a police officer I was an obvious target and baited whenever it seemed safe to do so.” Because of these actions, Orwell makes up his mind that Imperialism is an evil thing, and he realizes that the sooner he leaves his job as an officer and got out of Burma, the better. His descriptive words paint a picture of what his job was really like. “The wretched prisoners huddling in the stinking cages of the lock ups, the grey, cowed faces of the long term convicts. the scarred buttocks of men who had been flogged with bamboos...” This setting would have been tough on anyone, but for someone who had to try and be someone they were not, and someone that the natives did not tolerate, was even more of a challenge for Orwell. Even though he was an officer, and someone who should have been an authoritative role, it was almost as if he himself was a prisoner to the natives.

One day, Orwell gets his chance to be the one that everyone comes to. An out of control elephant was ravaging the bazaar. So he loads up his rifle, which he says is “too small to kill an elephant, but the noise might be useful for scaring him off” In my opinion, the right thing to do because I do not condone the killing of helpless animals, if the situation can be controlled. As soon as Orwell gets to the elephant, after some gruesome images of a coolie being trampled by the elephant, he has to make up his mind whether or not to shoot the elephant, which is minding its own business by now in a field a few yards away. Now as the natives and townspeople are following him, basically egging him on to shoot the elephant. Something he clearly does not want to...

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