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Shooting An Elephant

Decent Essays
People do not always do what is right. Sometimes, they stray from the path that is laid out in front of them. George Orwell shines light on this topic. In his story Shooting an Elephant, Orwell talks about being a British police officer in Burma. The Burmese people really didn’t like the British people at this time. The entire time the British occupied this Island, there was a power struggle. In George Orwell’s narrative essay Shooting an Elephant, the three main messages are imperialism, peer pressure, and fear.

The first message in George Orwell’s Shooting an Elephant is imperialism. Imperialism is when a strong country takes over a weaker country and runs it. This is what the British did to Burma. Throughout the story there is a constant power struggle between the Burmese and the British. At the beginning of the story it looks like the British hold all the power. But, at the end of the story the reader realises that the Burmese people actually hold all the power. He did not want to make the people with the power angry.

In Shooting an Elephant by George Orwell, the second message is peer pressure. Peer pressure is often related to hormone-crazed teens who don’t know how to control their emotions. This is not always the case. The British police officer knows that he should not shoot the
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Fear can make people do things that they would not normally do. People who are driven by fear are people who can do anything. The elephant is afraid so he tramples over houses and people. The police officer is afraid that the Burmese will laugh at him if he does not shoot the elephant. This fear eats him alive until he does something he knows he will regret. Orwell says on page 1324, “For at that moment, with the crowd watching me, I was not afraid in the ordinary sense, as I would have been if I had been alone.” Fear is the driving force for people to do unforgettable
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