George Orwell Shooting An Elephant Analysis

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“Shooting an Elephant”, by George Orwell, is a story of Orwell as a cop in a barbaric society where the law was never really taken seriously. As you can probably tell from the title of the story, an elephant gets shot and Orwell is the one who did it. Many believe that Orwell killed the elephant because he was peer pressured to do so by the townspeople that were staring at him and mocking him for being a weak coward. That may seem like the right answer, but then Orwell begins to write about the thoughts that were running through his mind. He says, “...I was very glad that the coolie had been killed; it put me legally in the right and it gave me a sufficient pretext for shooting the elephant.”, because he tried to make himself feel better about killing the elephant by saying that the elephant deserved to die for killing a man, thus Orwell said that it was kind of like pleading self-defense. He even makes up another excuse saying that he did it because his people were starving, so he apparently also killed the elephant so it would be used to provide food and material for the people.…show more content…
He even says it himself, “ I often wondered whether any of the others grasped that I had done it solely to avoid looking a fool.” Orwell wants to earn the respect from the people of his community, and he decides to follow their orders so he could fit in and seem like the good guy. Orwell’s story, “Shooting an Elephant”, has a universal message. Not only is it saying that giving in to peer pressure makes you more of a
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