Shooting an Elephant by George Orwell

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Shooting an Elephant by George Orwell In his essay Shooting an Elephant, George Orwell explains how the controlling authorities in a hostile country are not controlling the country's population but are in fact a mere tool of the populous. Orwell's experience with the elephant provided the insight for his essay, and gives a clear example of the control the natives have over the authorities. The authorities in Lower Burma were there to police the state that their government controlled, but were only accomplished in being controlled by the people of the state. Orwell finds this truth in his encounter with the elephant that has ravaged parts of the city. 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. 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. They seemed to make no impression. The tortured gasps continued as steadily as the ticking of a clock. In the end I could not stand it any longer and went away." Instead of hearing the laughter from the crowd, Orwell was faced with listening to the creature he shot die in extreme pain. This situation put all the guilt on Orwell, to save face he shot an elephant and was forced to watch the creature die. This need not to be laughed at is the control that the people had over the authorities. Orwell could not back down for fear of ridicule by the people who he was to police, so he shot the animal. Then as to further solidify the natives control over him, Orwell was forced to listen to the elephant he shot die in agony. The crowd around him dictated his decision, and Orwell was powerless to their influence.
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