Moral Dilemmas Essay

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Every individual faces a moral dilemma where a conflict is taken place when being torn between choosing two or more actions and the moralities of reasoning with the choice. Nonetheless in the end, it is always the action that exposes their true values. In George Orwell’s short story Shooting an Elephant, the character conflicts a decision of whether to become someone that is powerful, robust and to be envied towards the society or to do what is morally right. The author based his work on moral dilemmas and gave the audience an overview of the hardships an individual goes through when they actions reveal their important values. In Shooting the Elephant, the protagonist has a similar moral dilemma to Othello but having the expectations of the society playing the reason for his moral conflicts. The protagonist conflicts his values so that he doesn’t appear to be pathetic from their view. Even though he knew it was morally right not to harm the elephant, he acted against it and killed the elephant. He asserts, “I was only an absurd puppet pushed to and fro by the will of those yellow faces behind.” This simile compares the protagonist to a puppet as the society’s the one that controls the fate of the individual. It makes the readers understand the pressure and the emotions he’s confronted better. Orwell conveys to the audience about the thoughts and emotions the protagonist considered that lead to reveal his true moral compass. In the text, Orwell uses sensory imagery to paint a vivid image on the ‘sight’ he was seeing when he was at duty. The view he sees when doing his job is “the wretched prisoners huddling in the stinking cages of the lock-ups…grey cowed faces…..scarred buttocks.” The imagery gives details on the prisoners his in charge of and suggests that he doesn’t like his job. He’s in a moral dilemma as he doesn’t like his job but at the same time, it’s a job

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