Shooting an Elephant Literary Analysis

Decent Essays

Inevitable Morals
George Orwell’s 1930 short story “Shooting an Elephant,” demonstrates the total dangers of the unlimited authority a state has and the astounding presentment of “future dystopia”. In the story, Orwell finds himself to be in an intricate situation that involves an elephant. Not only does the fate of the elephant’s life lie in Orwell’s hands, he has an audience of people behind him cheering him on, making his decision much more difficult to make. Due to the vast crowd surrounding his thoughts, Orwell kills the elephant in the end, not wanting to disappoint the people of Burma. Orwell captures the hearts of readers by revealing the struggles he has while dealing with the burden of his own beliefs and morals.
Orwell’s …show more content…

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

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