“I wore a mask, and my face grew to fit it”
In Shooting an Elephant written by George Orwell in 1936, the main character is an English divisional police officer in lower Burma who has to kill an elephant because it is a threaten to the local community. Throughout the essay, the officer is certain about not killing the animal but seeing that he has no other choice, he tries to justify his actions by means of different excuses.
To begin with, the main character has a psychological dilemma since the beginning of the story. He is completely sure about not to kill the elephant, but as the time passes; he realizes that he has no other option but to end the animal’s life. The entire town is waiting, hoping and encouraging the officer to shoot the beast, “I could feel their two thousand wills pressing me forward, irresistible” because the animal has killed one of them. If he kills the animal he will be the hero of the town, but then, he will have to live his entire life with the burden of guilt.…show more content… He feels “stuck between my hatred of the empire I served and my range against the evil-spirited little beats who tried to make my job impossible”. He is trapped in the town, trying to follow English rules in a town inhabited by Burman people. The police officer perceives how futile is “the white man’s dominion in the East” and he is “only an absurd puppet pushed to and fro by the will of those yellow faces behind”. He is supposed to be the colonizer in the colonized land, but in this situation he is the one colonized. Since he has arrived to Burma, he has been trying to impress the “natives”, and this is the exact occasion to do it so. However he is not brave enough to take the decision and shoot the elephant as he is expected to