Analytical response on George Orwell: “Shooting an Elephant.”


Orwell served a people that hated him so much, and he hated too, for his loyalty to the European emperors, but that could not limit him from understanding and meet the expectations of Moulmein citizens, which is shooting the elephant as discussed in the following paragraphs.

Reasons for shooting the elephant

Orwell’s sympathy over the natives overwhelmed him more than his nature as a white thus the situation forcing him to shoot. Despite George’s job with the British Empire, he always sympathized with the Burmese that was under the evil British rules. His feelings over the natives in a white man’s territory make him understand the natives’ worries and feelings hence motivating him to take actions. He looks at the two thousand natives and feels their irresistible wills to shoot the elephant that makes him feel weak and helpless in any other action rather than shooting the animal. He says, “I was only an absurd puppet pushed to and fro by the will of those yellow faces behind.”

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George Orwell’s desire to impress a crowd of natives too motivated him in shooting the animal. The crowd was unarmed by the animal thus he could not only impress the natives by killing it but also giving them protection as his job demands. The natives expected him to shoot it and he submits to that because he wanted them to get satisfied. The Burmese always mistreated him because of his job as a police officer, but this instance gives him a chance to impress the natives by doing what they want, unlike the European masters’ wants. The natives follow him to where the elephant grazed with excited shouts to kill the animal, which differed from Orwell’s initial intentions thus compromising to their demands.

In conclusion, George Orwell shoots the elephant because of the natives’ excitement and expectations that awaken his sympathetic feelings on the Burmese.