Shooting An Elephant By George Term Paper

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He still has his pride, even if his pride does not trickle down to his work. He is anything but ambivalent about the reaction he will get from the people, and so, he must shoot the elephant to save face, rather than to "serve and protect." This illustrates his ambivalence to everything but his own reputation in front of the people. However, he discovers he has lost more than just is reputation. Finally, the narrator comes to understand that he has essentially given up his freedom in his support of the tyrannical British government. Orwell states, "I perceived in this moment that when the white man turns tyrant it is his own freedom that he destroys" (Orwell). Thus, the narrator becomes even more ambivalent about his duties because he realizes just what he has lost in protecting his reputation, supporting the empire (at least in front of the people), and supporting their tyrannical government of the Burmese. He has lost his freedom, and his own will, and this would make just about anyone ambivalent. Without the freedom and will to do what...

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He is unhappy, and sees no way out for himself until he leaves Burma, and so, his life has become an unending maze of hatred, ambivalence, distrust, and disgust. He is indeed "stuck" between two different worlds, and this makes him hesitant to do anything at all.
In conclusion, it is clear the narrator is hesitant and even confused about his duties because he is caught in the middle of two worlds on a collision course. He hates the brutality and tyranny of the British, but hates the people the British are dominating, too. He has given up his freedom in serving a tyrannical government, and he has also given up his choice because he is too afraid of public opinion. The narrator is an unhappy man who cannot see anything good about his situation, and so, he has become ambivalent and disgusted with himself and his duties.

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References

Orwell, George. "Shooting an Elephant."


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