Shooting An Elephant By George Term Paper


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...


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.

Sources Used in Documents:


Orwell, George. "Shooting an Elephant."

Cite this Document:

"Shooting An Elephant By George" (2005, March 16) Retrieved April 22, 2024, from

"Shooting An Elephant By George" 16 March 2005. Web.22 April. 2024. <>

"Shooting An Elephant By George", 16 March 2005, Accessed.22 April. 2024,

Related Documents

The scene of the elephant collapsing after being shot is so poignant it can move any reader to tears. The look of extreme shock and betrayal on the face of the animal expressed through his dying body caused intense anguish to the narrator as he decided to leave without finishing his job completely. "I felt that I had got to put an end to that dreadful noise. It seemed

George Orwells short story "Shooting Elephant" Henry Louis Gates' "What's in a name" versus George Orwell's "Shooting an Elephant" Henry Louis Gates' essay "What's in a name" and George Orwell's short story "Shooting an Elephant" both present central characters who are part of a minority group present in a society that is inclined to discriminate them. Orwell is the narrator in his short story and he discusses in regard to an

Thomas Paine in his essay The Rights of Man suggests that the morality of an issue is based on the equality of an issue. For the existence of all men should be seen as equal. The Monarchy and imperial ways detracts from the equality of mankind and creates a suggestive loophole which gives the rights of man to a select few and thus creates an imbalance. The imbalance can be

He hates what he has become and what he does. He confesses that he secretly roots for the Burmese and roots against "their oppressors (335). He admits he is "stuck between my hatred of the empire I served and my rage against the evil-spirited little beasts who tried to make my job impossible" (335). He is like those in oppression in that he is not free to do what

However, when his assistance is needed by the townspeople, the two very different populations show similar responses to the bloody scene of shooting an elephant, "It was a bit of fun to them, as it would be to an English crowd; besides they wanted the meat," (Orwell, 649). Orwell furthers this blend of modern and primitive as seen through the use of his language. The narrator describes the scene of

So, the reader of this essay was set up by Orwell perfectly: blast away at the stinking rotting, drunken social scene in Paris, frequented in large part by Americans pretending to have talent, and mention that Miller thought this was cool to write about. Then bring in the terrible, frightening and bloody realities happening elsewhere in Europe, and you have shown what a rascal Miller was. But wait, Orwell admits