At first glance, one would think that it makes sense for him to kill the elephant to save his face, but that was not the case. He effectively uses this incident to demonstrate the “real nature of imperialism” (3), where the elephant represents the British Empire. Orwell is ambivalent about the Burmese people. At the beginning of his essay, he recalls how Burmans treated him when he was still working in Burma as a police officer. He is “hated by large numbers of people” (1).
There is a back and forth struggle in his mind about whether or not the elephant needs to be killed. Orwell’s character is fully aware that it is wrong and immoral to shoot an innocent creature, but eventually secedes to the demands of the Burmese, attempting to prove his cooperation and loyalty to those watching. In a way, the Burmese represent the pressures of society. Because of this, the audience can sympathize with the main character. There are always times when we, the readers, are unsure of ourselves, but we eventually make a decision.
The elephant had destructed the majority of the town and killed a villager. The officer knew killing was wrong, it was an animal out of its usual environment and was just scared. The elephant is symbolic in this form destroying the Indian Empire that leads them into poverty and suffrage. It destroyed the town because it was afraid of mistreatment which made it rebellious. The narrator feels that he has been given a performance role because the large crowd of villagers that followed him to see him perform his task.
‘Shooting an Elephant’ by George Orwell (1936) explains his views on how imperialism changed. In lower Burma, during a time when the British Empire had colonised a large sum of the world. Orwell was working as an police officer in the town, in which it’s natives hated Europeans, however, they were afraid to causing any sort of uprising. Yet, they would degrade a European walking the streets, he was subjected to slander and assault just because he was British. Orwell felt anger towards the natives, thinking their sole purpose was to upset him.
Orwell did not like imperialism he thought of it as an evil thing. Orwell worked for a British empire that had tyranny but he was against all that. He liked the idea of Burmese but hated the people of Burmese for personal reasons. One day he had to shoot an elephant. It started with the British people, he was ordered to shoot the elephant because that elephant killed an Indian coolie.
The policeman felt that “The people expected it of me and I had got to do it.” (Orwell, 4) He allowed the natives to dictate his action through their challenges to his authority. As the situation progressed he eventually shot the elephant due to the encouragement of the natives. He did not follow his true ego and did not save the elephant, as he truly thought was appropriate. The elephant ended up suffering tremendously and he regretted going against his own beliefs and
Orwell makes his decision to shoot the elephant appear to be reasonable but underneath it all he questions his actions just as he questions those of the British. He despised both the British Empire as well as the Burmese natives, making everything more complicated and complex. In his essy he shows us that the elephant represents imperialism; therefore, the slow destruction of the elephant must represent the slow demise of British Imperialism.
Orwell writes, "They did not like me, but with the magical rifle in my hands I was momentarily worth watching. And suddenly I realized that I should have to shoot the elephant after all." This understanding by Orwell is how the people, who Orwell was meant to control, had turned the tables and seized control of the situation with their presence alone. How could Orwell waiver the people around him were expecting that the animal be killed? If Orwell had walked away the air of control would be lost, leaving Orwell to the la... ... middle of paper ... ...and poured shot after shot into his heart and down his throat.
After he shot the elephant, he felt extremely guilty and took responsibility to confess his misdeed. Whether you confess or not, it does not ease the blame on your misdeeds. In the story “Shooting an Elephant,” by George Orwell, Orwell is a police officer in lower Burma. He was disrespected by the people. One night, an elephant broke its chains and escaped.
Shooting an Elephant In life we as humans often make decisions that we would not have made on our own if we would not have been influenced by someone else. As humans others' opinions mean a great deal to us, and in "Shooting an Elephant", Orwell shows how true this idea is by the tone of the story. "Shooting an Elephant" is the story of a British policeman in Moulmein, a city in Burma, that is torn between shooting or not shooting an elephant that has gone ramped. The native people did not like him much, but when the elephant went on its rampage they were quick to call on him. What seemed like is should have been an easy task for the officer to do was harder than he ever could have imagined when he can face to face with it.