Orwell and Langston - Shooting an Elephant and Salvation Essay

612 WordsFeb 27, 20123 Pages
Aurelian M. Gogean What you give up to fit in? Many people sacrifice their beliefs and values to be accepted in society and to win the societies approval. George Orwell in “Shooting an elephant” and Langston Hughes in “Salvation” deal with the issue of “fitting in” in very different ways. George Orwell describes to us in “Shooting an elephant” the struggle that his character faces when to win the mobs approval and respect when he shoots down an innocent animal and sacrifices what he believes to be right. Orwell is a police officer in Moulmein, during the period of the British occupation of Burma. An escaped elephant gives him the opportunity to prove himself in front of his people and to be able to become a “somebody” on the social…show more content…
His aunt is really excited about him joining the church community: “my aunt spoke of it days ahead”. With his aunt at the church, young Hughes gets sat in the front of the church and with the entire congregation looking at him and the other kids that were getting ready to be saved. One by one they all experience God and His divine touch up to the point where only Hughes is left sitting on the bench. After some more time, he decides that he would rather loose his belief in God and lie about his presence than to keep everyone else waiting and looking at him. He lies and gets up and moves to the “saved” side. By lying and pleasing the society, we find out the effect that this has on the congregation: “the whole room broke in a sea of shouting, as they saw me rise”[pg. 181]. Although different, both experiences show how we adapt and how, especially under pressure, we would do anything to fit in and be accepted by society, whether it is shooting an elephant or lying about seeing God; in Orwell`s case shooting an elephant to gain a small approval and in Hughes`s case lying about seeing God in order to become part of the congregation and to follow an ancient

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