Orwell develops a following of the native people after he finds the Indian who has been trampled by the elephant, but doesn't realize that these people are going to make him shoot the elephant. As Orwell comes upon the elephant, peacefully eating grass, he knows that he is not going to harm the animal, but rather watch him and make sure it doesn't go "mad" again. Orwell then notices the immense crown of natives that has formed around him, all hoping to get a little entertainment. It is at this moment that Orwell understands that he must now kill the animal. Orwell writes, "They did not like me, but with the magical rifle in my hands I was momentarily worth watching.
The purpose of the gun was not to kill the elephant but to just scare it with the noise. Little did the officer know the act of grabbing the gun to just scare the elephant would lead to its demise. On the way to find the elephant the officer learned it had destroyed a garden, a bamboo hut, devoured some stock and had trampled a cow. As the officer went further on he found that the elephant had killed a townsman just minutes before. Now thinking that the elephant could be dangerous he asked for a larger and more powerful rifle.
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. When the elephant was going on its rampage the officer wanted to shoot him but once it stopped he could not bring himself to do it. However, when he looked around and saw all of the natives watching and waiting in anticipation for him to kill the elephant, he realized that he ultimately had no way out other than to kill the elephant. This story deals with the internal conflict between his personal morals and his duty to his country but more importantly, his duty to uphold the reputation of the white man in a foreign land .Orwell's decision to kill the elephant is a direct result of imperialism. Imperialism goes way farther than the average person could ever imagine, because it can overtake a persons life and no matter how much they want to do something on their own imperialism is always there in the back of their mind.
In “Shooting an Elephant,” Orwell faces a dilemma: whether or not to kill the elephant. With his final decision, the elephant finally lays dead in front of thousands of people. He explains that he was forced to shoot it because the Burmese people were expecting him to do that. In addition, he has to do it “to avoid looking like a fool” (14) in front of the crowd. 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.
In the article “Shooting an Elephant,” by George Orwell, Orwell struggles with the hatred his town had for him considering him being a European police officer. Eventually, Orwell had come across the opportunity to rescue the Brumans from an elephant that was destroying huts and eventually killed an Indian man. With the intentions of shooting in the air to scare the elephant away, he was feeling pressure for the Brumans to shoot the elephant. Orwell must conduct a tough decision to either shoot the elephant to receive respect from the Brumans, or to wait for the elephant’s owner to take him to a safe place. To begin with, Orwell was a police officer in a town that was anti-European.
The elephant had killed a man earlier in the day, but did not pose a large threat when the officer finally arrived. He originally “had no intention of shooting the elephant” (Orwell, 3) and wanted to deal with the elephant non-violently if possible. A crowd began to grow as the situation began to escalate and the officer requested that an elephant gun be brought out. He requested the gun only be brought out in case it was needed for defensive purposes, but the crowd quickly built up the idea that he was planning to kill the elephant. 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.
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.
He came to the realisation that he had to be the superior white man, they saw him to be and not act like a frightened little boy so he shot the elephant. Orwell intended to kill him quickly to avoid the animal suffering but it was quite the opposite, the elephant died slowly and painfully. The Burmese ripped the elephant apart for supplies. After he had to face the other Europeans living there, the old men agreed with his decision but the younger men thought it was horrible for an elephant to die for killing a collie since saw the elephant was thought to be more important, adding to this, the owner, an Indian but he could not do anything about it due to being from
He arrived where the elephant was and yet again, “I knew with certainty that I ought to not shoot him.” he had already made a decision: he knew that killing the elephant could be avoided. He later noticed the crowed that followed him, suddenly realized that he would have to shoot the elephant because it was what “the people expected” from him. He was torn between letting the elephant live, that was his choice or killing the elephant which he thought would gain him the respect he wanted out of the town. He didn’t want to be laughed about so he went on and shot the elephant going against what he believed what the right thing to
It was a legitimate reason to kill the elephant. If this man was not killed his conscience would have taken over and he would not have been able to do it. As well as in paragraph seven when he speaks about the “white man turns into a tyrant, he destroys his own freedom.” Being ruled over, that everything he does now is not because he wants to but because it is expected of him. 4. The Coolie man who was killed is Orwell’s reassurance to kill this elephant.