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George Orwell - Shooting an Elephant. Discursive Questions.

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Introduction

004453-035 Discursive Questions ? George Orwell 004453-035 Discursive Questions ? George Orwell Shooting an Elephant Mohamed Ahmed Ramy 12/14/2013 ________________ * Why does the narrator not want to shoot the elephant? (Minimum 3 reasons) The narrator of Shooting an Elephant is George Orwell[1]. He describes his social and inner conflict aesthetically, depicting himself as a ?puppet? that is driven by the will of yellow faces: the Burmese population. Orwell is the sub-divisional police officer of the town, and as an imperialist police officer in Burma he has to endure the natives? overwhelming mockery and hatred. Orwell?s dilemma in Shooting an Elephant is foreshadowed by the essay?s title. He has to choose whether or not to shoot an elephant ? an enormous animal, as he characterizes it. ...read more.

Middle

This reveals the narrator?s empathy with the elephant and strengthens the inner, ethical voice in our narrator, later to be overshadowed by the need to meet expectations ? one of the crucial themes in the essay is the effect of a crowd on one?s judgment. ?As soon as I saw the elephant I knew with perfect certainty that I ought not to shoot him,? Orwell says. Orwell had simply brought a gun to defend himself rather than to shoot the elephant, but his spectators influenced him through their collective power ? the diction of ?certainty? assures readers that the ethical choice is not shooting the elephant, which exacerbates Orwell?s failure to do so because of the crowd?s effect. In addition, Orwell knew that the elephant was worth more alive. ...read more.

Conclusion

Lastly, Orwell says that it would be murder to kill the elephant; the ?grandmotherly air? that surrounds the elephant made Orwell reflect and assured him of the atrociousness of killing the elephant ? but the crowd was waiting, and Orwell did not want to look like a fool. After Orwell?s third shot, ?an enormous senility? fell upon the elephant ? the crowd had won. The diction of ?senility? denotes the decay of mental ability, being unable to think clearly and make decisions, but, perhaps, serves as an allegory to officers becoming a ?puppet[s]? as well as the decay of the British Empire?s rule. Ultimately, Orwell crafts a reflective tone and stressful mood through his writing, which prompts readers to reflect on the motivations behind their decisions. ________________ [1] This is actually a pen name. Orwell?s real name is actually Eric Blair. ...read more.

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