George Orwell’s anecdote of “Shooting an Elephant” from 1936 was written for a literary magazine to inform British citizens of the struggles he experienced while working his restricting job, and begins with him dwelling on the concept that he is alone, and the only company he has is the pressuring wills of the 2,000 Indians watching him handle a rifle. He continually arguing against himself on whether or not to shoot the elephant, but the tyrannical British government he works for has placed him alone as a policeman in India with no one to agree with and talk him into doing what Orwell believes to be the best choice, leaving him with the pressure to adhere to 2,000 Indians’ desires that comply with British laws, resulting in his obedience. The ease of this for the despotic British government motivates them to pursue this act of control.
Orwell begins this passage by talking about the “immense crowd” that was continuously growing to watch him shoot the elephant. The Indian’s interest in him skyrocketed when this harmful act became his task. These beginning 11 lines were written to highlight the fact that everyone watching was expecting something phenomenal to come from him, which developed an enormous amount of pressure to decide whether or not to shoot the elephant. Orwell states “it was an immense crowd, two thousand at the least and growing every minute”, which is either true, and shows that he had actual thousands of people expecting him to kill the elephant, putting on
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He repeats over and again that he did not want to shoot the elephant. He confesses, “It seemed to me that it would be murder to shoot him. I had never shot an elephant and never wanted to.” Orwell gives emotional reasons for being against the idea of shooting the animal and not rational. He generalizes all elephants to have a “preoccupied grandmotherly air” and compares the elephant to a cow. The writer uses the simile, “They were watching me as they would watch a conjurer about to perform a trick.” to explain the pressure he had from the crowd watching him. Orwell remarks that regardless of his decision to shoot the elephant, he cannot change the thinking of the public about him. Orwell was moved by the hefty crowd that followed him. He was left with no choice other than to shoot the elephant because that was what the crowd expected of him and this scene signifies the failure of imperialism which is the writer’s overall theme. The sentence, “I stood there with the rifle in my hands, that I first grasped the hollowness, the futility of the white man’s dominion in the East.” helps explain to the reader the real failure of imperialism. Orwell insists that although the white man in the East has power which is symbolized by the rifle, he is still not allowed to make use of it in accordance with his will. He is classifying imperialism as a hollow and futile way of governance. The Englishmen
One day, an incident takes place that exhibits Orwell “the real nature of imperialism.” A domesticated elephant has escaped from its chains and gone berserk, threatening villagers and property. The only person capable of controlling the elephant—its “mahout”—went looking for the elephant in the wrong direction, and happens to be twelve hours away. Thus, Orwell goes to the neighborhood where the elephant was last seen, but the inhabitants give such conflicting reports, as a result, Orwell nearly concludes the whole thing a hoax. Suddenly, he hears an uproar nearby and
Upon seeing the rifle, a huge crowd started to follow him. He had no intention to kill the elephant. However, the crowd was expecting him to shoot it. They did not want to kill it because it had destroyed the bazaar, but rather to enjoy the fun and to get the elephant meat. The crowd’s expectation leaves Orwell no choice but to shoot the elephant. He points out that he had to shoot it to “impress the ‘natives’” (7). If he had not done it, the crowd would have laugh at him, and it would hurt his pride as a white man living in the East. In the end, he decided to trigger the gun and shot the elephant.
George Orwell who wrote a narrative essay Shooting an Elephant” has a tense tone of literature towards his life. He is using a stressed tone due to peer pressure, and lack of confidence toward himself as he is an imperialist who came to protect uphold the laws. He's difficult attitude sets the scene for the story in his eyes. Throughout the story the concept of his decisions and action will be projected through the uses of diction; the write words to express his feelings.
As Orwell glanced at the growing crowd, he instantly perceived the common desires of the people “They were watching me as they would watch a conjurer about to perform a trick. They did not like me, but with the magical rifle in my hands I was momentarily worth watching. And suddenly I realized that I should have to shoot the elephant after all” (3).These people wanted revenge for the death of the innocent man, the meat its carcass would provide, and the amusement of witnessing the shootings “The people expected it of me and I had got to do it; I could feel their two thousand wills pressing me forward, irresistibly” (3). Because of these collective expectations, Orwell had to appear determined, authoritative, and decisive through shooting the elephant or else his reputation and the rest of the British colonizers’ reputation would be
Story is about a Burma village where an elephant got loose and wreaked havoc on the town and kills a villager (a man). George Orwell is the sheriff and ultimately makes the choice to kill the elephant.
The white man’s burden is an idea that the white men have a job to take care of the uncivilized beings and develop them to be a more socially endowed race. Their belief that they are superior to the natives is where this is rooted. This idea excused racism and portrayed it as more of a positive element in our society, rather than the destructive mechanism that it actually is. It also caused white men to truly believe that they are better than any other race out there. In “Shooting an Elephant,” by George Orwell, the narrator’s brain is subconsciously imbedded with this notion. He claims to be opposed to imperialism and everything about it while also hating his job and the people associated with it. These two things cannot go hand in hand.
The animal is a working animal and to do work is to engage in a recognizably social activity; the animal belongs, as Orwell later discloses, to an Indian, a person below the British in the local hierarchy but above the Burmese, a person of some wealth, for the elephant is the equivalent of “a huge and costly piece of machinery” in the local economy (par. 4). Orwell recognizes the facts from both sides of this situation: (1) the elephant should be killed because of
In “Shooting an Elephant,” George Orwell achieves two achievements : he shows us his personal experience and his expression while he was in Burma; he use the metaphor of the elephant to explain to describe what Burma looked like when it was under the British Imperialism. The special about this essay is that Orwell tells us a story not only to see the experience that he had in Burma; he also perfectly uses the metaphor of the elephant to give us deep information about the Imperialism. By going through this essay, we can deeply understand what he thinks in his head. He successfully uses the word choices and the sentences to express his feeling. By reading this essay, Orwell succeeds us with his mesmerizing sentences and shows us the
Orwell next faces the moral dilemma of whether or not to shoot the elephant. At first, it is clear that he does not feel the internal urge to shoot the elephant: "It seemed to me that it would be murder to shoot him" (Orwell.525). However, Orwell's virtue becomes dwarfed as the Burmese's "two thousand wills [press him] forward"(524) to kill the elephant. At this point there is an obvious role reversal as the Burmese begin to strongly influence Orwells decisions. Because he constantly dwells on what the crowd will think of him he shoots the elephant. Thus submitting to the will of the people and committing the immoral deed of abandoning ones own conscious because of the pressure of others.
When you know that everyone wants you to do something and their will is pushing yours, even if you feel like what they want done isn't what you believe should be done. This is the problem that George Orwell faced, he was pushed by a crowd to kill the the elephant even though he felt it was wrong. The essay shows through the language that Orwell uses that his pride pushed him to kill the elephant and the deep regret he feels afterwards.
In this novel Orwell effectively uses 1st person point of view to show the mental change the narrator underwent throughout the course of the story. By the reader having such an in depth point of view in this novel, you are able to see the reasoning and logic that leads to this change in the narrator's ideology. In the beginning when the narrator went to get his rifle he states, “ I took my rifle, an old 44 Winchester and much too small to kill an elephant, but I thought the noise might be useful in terrorem”(Orwell 571). By the narrator stating this in the beginning, it shows he truly did not want to harm the elephant. Also from the statements, “ I had no intention of shooting the elephant, I had merely sent for the rifle to defend myself if necessary”(Orwell 573) and, “As soon as I saw the elephant I knew with perfect certainty that I ought not to shoot him”(Orwell 573), the reader is able to tell initially he had no intention of harming the animal, but was overcame by peer pressure. The point of view is effective in showing this, because in first
. By the type of language and the choice of words that the author used to write his essay, it is very likely that it was written for the British people, to make them aware of the injustice and cruelty of Imperialism in the colonies. The author’s aim is to make the reader feel disturbed and uneasy by describing in detail his negative experiences in India. This rhetorical analysis explores the success of the author in portraying the negative impact that Imperialism had on those being governed under it, but also on the impact on those in power. The way Orwell used the words for describing the scene of shooting the elephant, his aim was to get the reader’s mind to understand the injustice of Britain’s rule over the natives. While Shooting an
One day while he was on his duty, Orwell is informed about the Elephant that had gone wild, and was rampaging the village. The elepahnnt had destroyed somebody's bamboo hut, killed a cow; had turned over and destroyed the municipal’s van. But the worst was to come the Elephant had also killed an Indian black Dravidian coolie. Orwell finds himself in the situation where he needs to take care of the elephant. To protect himself from the elephant Orwell send to bring his riffle, little he knew that action was going to attract a huge mass/ population of exited burnamist, waiting for the fun to start. On the next two paragraphs it is obvius to see that in any moment Orwell’s intentions were to kill the poor animal that went must; however at the moment he glanced back he saw the huge multitude that was following him awith exitment