Conformity In George Orwell'sshooting An Elephant And Who Killed Benny Paby
773 Words4 Pages
According to Margaret Drabble, ¨Our desire to conform is greater than our respect for objective facts,¨ a theme which has been proven in the short stories ¨Shooting an Elephant¨ by George Orwell, ¨The Lottery¨ by Shirley Jackson, and ¨Who Killed Benny Paret¨ by Norman Cousins. Each story displays a different type of conformity, but they all illustrate people disrespecting the objective facts leading to disregarding the result of destruction or loss. In ¨Shooting an Elephant,¨ a police officer is sent to take care of an elephant who had gone ¨must,¨ when a mob formed behind him. The police officer had came to an objective fact, in which he had realized shooting the elephant was a serious offense. ¨As soon as I saw the elephant I knew with perfect certainty that I ought not to shoot him. It is a serious matter to shoot a working elephant - it is comparable to destroying a huge and costly piece of machinery - and obviously one ought not to do it if it can possibly be avoided¨ (136). The police officer realized the possible destruction or loss which would be a result of shooting the elephant. Although he did understand the objective fact, the police officer desired to conform instead.
Conformity is displayed through the police officer giving in to the mobs. The police officer faces conformity when the mob follows him with happy faces and all gather around him in the excitement for the elephant’s death, which would usually be unusual because the man was largely hated. ¨And