Shooting an Elephant

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Analysis Essay “Shooting an Elephant” was written by Gorge Orwell in 1936, but published in 1950. The story is a short bio where he recollects an incident that he faced while serving in Burma. Orwell’s story is entitled “Shooting and Elephant,” however; it is not based on the simple fact that he shot an elephant, but it delves deeper into his emotionally and mental reasoning behind his decision to do so. In the story Orwell is called upon to handle a situation where an elephant is roaming loose in one of the villages. He is to go and see what is going on and to handle the situation as he sees fit. Upon reaching the elephant, Orwell finds him silently grazing by himself and believes that his threat of madness has pass. However, by this time he has a crowd of “yellow faces” (the village people), forming a mass crowd behind him. He then makes the decision to shoot the elephant, even though he had previously decided that he would not have to, for he stated, “As soon as I saw the elephant I knew with perfect certainty that I ought not to shoot him” (Orwell 575). Orwell goes on to explain, that his initial shot did not put the animal down, and after shooting multiple rounds into the animal it still took time for death to come. As tragic as the shooting, suffering, and death of the elephant can seem, they are not the pieces that makes up the foundation in Orwell’s story. Taking a deeper look, one will see that Orwell uses environment, animosity, and outside pressure as his foundational reasons in “Shooting an Elephant”. Orwell began his story with “In Moulmein, in lower Burma, I was hated by large numbers of people—the only time in my life that I have been important enough for this to happen to me (Orwell 572). Orwell starts by communicating to the audience that at that particular time he finds himself in an unhappy place, not only a physical place, but a
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