But one day he is called out by another police officer in the town, because there is an aggressive elephant loose in the city. He starts walk true the city streets to find the elephant but as he walks he started thinking about what he would do when he finds the elephant, because the locals expect him to do the job, which is to shot the elephant. There is a law in Burma fore these sorts of situations. If you can’t control your animal it is in the right of the police to shot it. But this is not what he would prefer to do.
Subliminal Imperialism George Orwell immediately opens Shooting An Elephant by first laying down his perspective on British Imperialism. He states that it is corrupt and that he is against the British oppressors. Although a British officer himself at the time in Burma, he feels a obligated hatred and guilt towards not only himself, but his empire, and the “evil-spirited little beasts,” that inhabit it. Because of this, Orwell burdens only hostile feelings toward the British, Imperialism, and Britain's supposed justification for their actions in taking over Burma.In the essay he writes not only of his personal experience and the elephant, but also how metaphorical the experience is to Imperialism. The mood of the piece is set when Orwell renders the setting as a “cloudy, stuffy morning at the beginnings of the rains.” His tone of speech in turn is thought to be weak and discomforting.
A crisis arose in which he was faced with a hard decision to make. An elephant had gone on a rampage in the village and had destroyed countless huts and even killed a man. When Orwell came upon the elephant, it was clear to him that it had calmed down and that the elephant would cause no more harm to anyone. Orwell was faced with a decision to either shoot the beast or wait until his master returned to get him. However, this decision was made much more complicated.
I decided that would watch him for a little while to make sure that he did not turn savage again, and then go home (Orwell 69)", shows hesitation. At the end he states, "Suddenly, I realized that I should have to shoot the elephant after all. (Orwell 70)" The usage of ''after all'' gives a sense of him not having any choice in the matter. The fact that Orwell actually shoots the elephant gives the reader an uncomfortable feeling because the reader is led to think that the officer is not going to shoot the elephant. The British officer, who is the author of the story, acts as a symbol of the imperial country.
In Shooting an Elephant, the narrator is pressured, by a large group of people in order to please the people who allegedly hated him, to kill a wild elephant. This action clearly shows that not all people think life is precious because the man killed a living thing creature because he wanted to be accepted by the people. Reputation is portrayed as one of the most important things to humans, no matter what the stakes are, whether it’s putting your own life on the line or taking another humans life, such as the story goes as in “A Coward”. People will do almost anything to gain reputation, which I believe to be ridiculous. In “Shooting an Elephant” a man takes the life of an elephant to try and gain some
The narrator remarks on the squalor and poverty of the neighborhood, with its palm-leaf thatch on the huts and unplanned scattering of houses over a hillside. Conscience The narrator’s mental division points to conscience as one of the underlying themes of ‘‘Shooting an Elephant.’’ The narrator must do his duty as a colonial policeman. He despises the native Burmese for loathing and tormenting him as their foreign oppressor; yet he also perfectly well understands their loathing and tormenting; he even takes their side privately. His official position, rather than his moral disposition, compels the narrator to act in the way that he does, so as to uphold his office precisely by keeping the native Burmese in their... Shooting an elephant George Orwell, is the narrator of
George was a British sub-divisional police officer in the town of Lower Burma, Moulmein. George was against imperialism; he believed it was an evil thing and the sooner he got rid of his job the better. One day he was asked by the sub-inspector to take care of a crazed elephant at the other end of town. It’s unfortunate that when he got there he decided, by pressure of a group, to shoot the elephant instead of letting it live. I have been in situations such as this and, over time, I have taught myself how to not give into the complications of life.
The animal does not die immediately and, not being able to bear to see the animal suffer, the policeman leaves. In this essay, the Burmese people feel hostility towards the occupying British. The policemen endured sneers and insults by the young Burmese men, especially the Buddhist priests. The entire mood of the essay becomes established when Orwell describes the setting as a “cloudy, stuffy morning at the beginnings of the rains.” This in turn sets the discomforting tone of the essay. The narrator, a British officer, feels hatred towards the British Empire and also sympathy
Jade Paul Dr. Jackson AP Lang Period 7 15 September 2013 Murder For The Purpose of Image By the end of George Orwell’s essay, “Shooting an Elephant”, Orwell being a police officer representing the imperialistic government, makes a final decision to kill an elephant that has caused destruction throughout a village in Burma. Orwell was not respected by the people he was protecting and in his mind he was trying to keep peace throughout the village, but instead created a disturbance by being in Burma. The people look at Orwell as someone coming from the British government to contain the people and make sure violence and resistance does not outbreak. Orwell tries to change this image of himself in their eyes by killing the elephant but in reality it just inserted more fear into the people. The elephant was used as a display to the people that they should fear Orwell and his authority to intimidate the people.
These European empires believed it was, “the white man’s burden” to civilize the people they called heathens and savages of these countries. However, as Imperialism was broken down, the question of whether or not European conquerors were ever in control remains. In “Shooting an Elephant”, George Orwell first reveals his opposition to imperialism. Then, through the parallels between the British Empire and a Burmese elephant and the action of shooting the elephant, Orwell points out the incomplete control of the British Empire over Burma which also represents the breakdown of imperialism. Although the author was working as a police officer for the British Emperor, he strongly opposed the idea of Imperialism.