George Orwell's Shooting an Elephant Essay

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George Orwell's "Shooting an Elephant" In 'Shooting an Elephant,' George Orwell finds himself in a difficult situation involving an elephant. The fate of the elephant lies in his hands. Only he can make the final decision. In the end, due to Orwell's decision, the elephant lay dying in a pool of blood. Orwell wins the sympathy of readers by expressing the pressure he feels as an Anglo-Indian in Burma, struggling with his morals, and showing a sense of compassion for the dying animal. Readers sympathize with Orwell because they can relate to his emotions in the moments before the shooting. Being the white ?leader,? he should have been able to make an independent decision, but was influenced by the ?natives? (Orwell 101).…show more content…
Secretly he hates the British Empire and is on the side of the Burmese (97). The elephant is equivalent to the British Empire ravaging through Burma and disrupting the little bit of peace that they have. So in that instant he felt that he had to kill the elephant. Another aspect that wins reader's sympathy is Orwell's struggle with what he thought was right and what the Burmese wanted him to do. The readers have a sense that he did not have ill-intent to kill the elephant. When Orwell says, ? As soon as I saw the Elephant I knew with certainty that I ought not shoot him? (99). The readers know that cruelty or hatred for the beast was not his motive. Orwell repeats the he does not want to kill it and the readers sympathize with him. Almost everyone has been in a situation were he or she could not base a decision on personal beliefs and knows that going against those beliefs is very difficult. Orwell explains, ?For it is the condition of his rule that he shall spend hid life in trying to impress the ?natives' and so in every crisis he has got to do what the ?natives' expect of him? (100). Readers respect Orwell for his sense of duty. He realizes the his decision must be based on the best interest of the Burmese. Also, Orwell showed great feelings of compassion for the dying animal. He was
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