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George Orwell

  • Date Submitted: 10/07/2012 04:11 PM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 59.9 
  • Words: 442
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How does George Orwell convey his thoughts and feelings to the reader?
In “Shooting an Elephant,” George Orwell finds himself in a difficult situation; involving the killing of an elephant. The fate of the elephant lies in George Orwell hands, only he can make the ultimate decision with the pressure of the “total population”. Orwell's decision results in the elephant being left to die in a deep thick pool of blood of his own. Orwell makes   the readers feel sympathetic by expressing the   pressure he feels as an young police officer serving in Burma, struggling with his morals, and   showing a sense of compassion for the dying animal.
The entire mood of the essay is set when Orwell illustrates the setting to be a “cloudy, stuffy morning at the beginnings of the rains.” This sets the tone of Orwell’s story to be weak and discomforting. He already has established the fact that his character is weak when he introduces the Burma people and how they laugh and mock him, the British officer; “The crowd would laugh at me”.
The build-up of finding the elephant is a metaphor itself showing the destructive power of man: the elephant rampaging spree destroying homes, food shelves, and even killing a man which Orwell described to have an expression of excruciating agony. Upon finally finding the elephant, Orwell says “I knew with perfect certainty that I ought not to shoot him.” But when he lays eyes at the huge mass of people behind him he changes his stance to “…but I did not want to shoot the elephant.” Orwell then repeatedly states how immoral and guilty it is to shoot the elephant. Despite the many reasons to not shoot the elephant such as how it is worth more alive rather than dead, or how he is a “poor shot,” he soon falls into the expectations of the Burma people. Against his will and moral belief he decides to kill the elephant.

Readers sympathize with Orwell because they can relate to his emotions in the moments before the shooting, “as the whole population” was...


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