Shooting An Elephant Theme

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When the government is involved, who is really in charge? Is it the government? Or is it the people, who have the control. Many examples have been shown that the people rule over the government. This can be seen in the story Shooting an Elephant. Where a police officer has every right to shoot an elephant who killed a man, but morally has conflict against doing so. There are three main themes or messages in this story, those are peer pressure, morality and action.

First of all, this story has a lot of moral conflict. The story is about a man who is a police officer in Burma, and already he sees how much he is hated by the local people. The main moral choice comes when he is holding the elephant gun and is about to shoot and kill the elephant. This elephant has gone into a rampage and starts destroying the village it was in. It ends up killing a man and this gives the police officer every reason to kill the elephant. There would be no legal reasons he couldn’t kill this elephant. The only problem he has with doing it is morally. He sends for an elephant gun, but originally he wasn’t going to use it, he mainly had that for his own protection. He ends up shooting the elephant against his better judgment.

Second of all, action is a main theme. Choosing whether or not to
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When we have peers and they want us to do something, sometimes it isn’t always easy to say no. In this story, there are over two thousand people watching the police officer as he is aiming at the elephant. He does not want to shoot this elephant, but he knows if he doesn’t, all of the people that came all this way will be disappointed and hate him more than they already do. None of them even say anything to him about shooting the elephant, but they all came to watch. He assumes that they want him to shoot the elephant. He ends up being crushed into the peer pressure, just because he wants to them to like him
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