George Orwell Shooting An Elephant

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To Shoot or Not to Shoot In George Orwell’s’ essay, “Shooting an Elephant”, he finds himself in a personal struggle on whether or not to shoot an elephant. The story is set in Moulmein, located in Lower Burma, where George Orwell was disliked by the Burmans because he was European. One day there was an incident where a tame elephant went crazy and escaped from its owner. Orwell was a police officer in the town when this happened and he was called to help. The natives who once hated Orwell looked at him in amazement when he was considering shooting the animal to protect the people. Although he was hated by the natives, Orwell felt it was necessary to shoot the elephant and impress them so he was not ridiculed by the natives. The Burmans insisted on George to shoot the elephant, and he did, even though he…show more content…
Orwell even states in his essay that “as soon as I saw the elephant I knew with perfect certainty that I ought not to shoot him” (287). He had no intention of hurting the animal and wished he was not pressured by the natives. When Orwell was first notified of the incident, he went to the scene to examine what happened, without any intention of killing the elephant. He only brought a gun for his own safety and he was unexperienced with an elephant riffle. George noticed that the elephant appeared to be over its stage of outburst and felt it was no longer necessary to harm the animal. The elephant was worth much less dead than alive, and the elephant’s owner would be very upset with him if he killed his elephant. He says multiple times in his essay that he did not want to shoot the elephant, even though he knew he had to. Even with this considered Orwell looked around and saw the thousands of Burmans, who were waiting and watching his every move like he was a celebrity, decided to go against what he morally thought was wrong and shot the
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