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Critical Analysis of Shooting an Elephant by George Orwell

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Critical Analysis of Shooting an Elephant by George Orwell

"Shooting an Elephant" is perhaps one of the most anthologized essays in the English language. It is a splendid essay and a terrific model for a theme of narration. The point of the story happens very much in our normal life, in fact everyday. People do crazy and sometimes illegal moves to get a certain group or person to finally give them respect. George Orwell describes an internal conflict between his personal morals and his duty to his country to the white man's reputation. The author's purpose is to explain the audience (who is both English and Burmese) about the kind of life he is living in Burma, about the conditions, circumstances he is facing and to tell the British Empire what he think about their imperialism and his growing displeasure for the imperial domination of British Empire.

Orwell?s extraordinary style is never displayed well than through ?Shooting an Elephant,? where he seemingly blends his style and subject into one. The story deals with a tame elephant that all of a sudden turns bad and kills a black Dravidian coolie Indian. A policeman kills this elephant through his conscience because the Indians socially pressurized him greatly. He justified himself as he had killed elephant as a revenge for coolie.

The structure of this essay can be a role model for a perfect narrative descriptive essay. The trick in creating such effective narrative descriptive essay is to provide enough concrete detail to show readers what happened. The reader should feel what it means to be there in their experience. He almost shows the graphical representation of that event. As a very minor example, that Orwell does not say, "I took my gun"; instead,...

... middle of paper ... to be reasonable.

Morally, I think this story clearly states that people would do anything to avoid being embarrassed. From my understanding, I think that this story teaches us that we should be open to hear people?s opinions but we should follow our instincts. We should not allow others to make the decisions for us. The police officers just shoot the elephant because people wanted him to do so. This essay is trying to help us to see that we should look at the pros and cons of an issue rather than making a quick decision that can affect someone. I cannot condemn the author for shooting the elephant, though he knew it was wrong. Nor can I condemn him for giving in to the natives and not sticking to his guns. He does not want to appear foolish to others like all of us do.

Works Cited:

Orwell, George. ?Shooting an Elephant.? Bloom and Smith. 464-69.

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