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Shooting An Elephant Essay

  • Submitted by: angieepants
  • on April 1, 2009
  • Category: English
  • Length: 256 words

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Below is an essay on "Shooting An Elephant" from Anti Essays, your source for research papers, essays, and term paper examples.

George Orwell’s essay ‘Shooting an Elephant’ presents remarkable insights of human mind and human nature. The story mainly focuses on Orwell’s behavior under peer pressure. “Should I shoot the elephant or should I not?” or “Will I lose face with these people if I don’t shoot the elephant?”
First, Orwell expresses the pressure he feels as an Anglo- Indian, European imperial policeman in Burma. He would give in to what he thought the people of Burma wanted, not what he wanted. But secretly, he hated where he lived, he hated the government in Burma. He also hated the people of Burma. Although he felt hatred for everything around him, he felt as if he had to go along with everything and everyone else just to live in peace.  
When the elephant situation aroused, he felt the peer pressure to shoot the elephant. Orwell, simply to avoid looking like a fool or what they consider to look like a fool, shoots the elephant. Maybe if the situation were to kill a person, he would have thought it through more thoroughly. Just because elephant is an animal, he didn't value the life of the elephant. Even though I think he should have made a better decision about shooting the elephant, I can see how he would have felt when thousands watched him as he stood before the elephant. Also, he wasn’t sure of what kind of reaction he would get from the people of Burma. Would the reaction be disappointed? Or raged?

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