Shooting an Elephant Essay

1148 WordsMay 13, 20135 Pages
Thao Pham English 101 Paper #1 An Act of Belonging Humans are often unconsciously considering themselves as a freedom creature which means they have all rights to do anything they wish for. However, that freedom does not mean the real freedom, instead, it is limited and is under control of rules and norms created by a certain society, in which we are living. As people wants to be fit in their society or groups, they must obey and play the rules constructed for that particular society, even if the situation puts them into dilemma, whether or not they want to follow, they have to act a certain way that satisfy the majority in order to be a part of that society. It happens the same in “Shooting an Elephant”, written by Eric Arthur Blair, whose pseudonym is George Orwell, when the narrator also has to act his particular way in order to please the crowds and also gain reputation for himself, even though he did not plan or even want to do it. By using metaphor, Orwell has implies a sociological idea which is still exist and valuable to our nowadays modern society. Setting place at the time of British imperialism, “Shooting an Elephant” is not just about killing the elephant, but it is beyond that plain context. Specifically, Orwell wants to emphasize, indeed, how being a despot, which is being British imperialism, can kill one’s freedom. Through the process of shooting the elephant, it is easy to recognize that killing the elephant was not what the narrator wished for. It was not a desire of his own mind, but a “must” action that he had to go against his judgment in order to impress the crowds, in this case is the Burmese, and tries not looking like a fool. Orwell is stuck between his hatred for the imperialism and the resentment of the Burmese towards him. Despite the rage against the Burmese, he was still on their side rather than support his own root. He writes:

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