Courga in Colin McDougall´s The Firing Squad and George Orwell’s Shooting an Elephant

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A characters courage is not measured by how an action will be accepted by others, but by how their actions stay true to themselves even in the face of a pressured surrounding. Colin McDougall’s The Firing Squad a story about a young soldiers attempt at redemption and George Orwell’s Shooting an Elephant an essay about Orwell’s days in a British colony where he was called to handle the situation with an aggressive elephant are two pieces of literature that demonstrate the effects of courage. Courage takes many forms and in these two great pieces of literature it can be measured by looking at the characters and how they use courage and lack of courage as a driving factor in different ways throughout their story’s.
Captain John Adam and George Orwell, the two protagonist’s show how their characters are driven by how courageous they opt to be. When Captain Adam was put into battle he acted cowardly and ran away. With the Brigadier’s chance to redeem himself Adam saw this as a chance, a chance to show everyone he was not a coward but in fact a courageous soldier. This is true to be because of his reaction when he was given a chance to redeem himself:
Brigadier Hatfield spoke softly. “If that report goes forward from here you’ll be in a bad way- at least returned to Canada for Adjutant General’s disposal, some second-rate kind of discharge, the reputation always clinging to you…” The Brigadier shook his head. “That would be a pity”
If the report goes forward…A pulse of excitement beat in Adam’s throat. What did he mean-was there any possibility that the report could be stopped here, that in the eyes of the world he could retain some shreds of self-respect? Adam’s breath came faster; he sat up straight.
This was the type redemption n...

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...d courage.

Both Captain John Adam and George Orwell demonstrated how their character drove their courage to be deciding factors for major decisions, whether it be negatively or positively. While Adam thought what he chose was a better decision and leading to the end he continued to being a coward until his finale and Orwell failed to be as courageous as he could have been, they both showed how their courage was a driving factor to make the most difficult decisions. Their courage was undisputed displayed in their actions throughout the stories, Orwell failed to find the courage to speak against what happened while John Adam was strong enough to find the courage to go against the pressure of people around him. Both of these stories display the importance of courage, and facing your fear of being shunned by criticizing surrounding and to stand up for what is right.

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