Shooting an Elephant by George Orwell

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Submitted By Pratik
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SHOOTING AN ELEPHANT
PRATIK THAPA

"Shooting an Elephant" tells a story of George Orwell as he struggles between his moral objection to not shoot an elephant and legal responsibility to shoot it. Throughout his adventure, he decides that it is best to kill the elephant however he believes that It is against his rationale. Though, he feels bad about killing the elephant, he kills it at last and he tries to justify his act throughout the whole essay explaining how pressuring and compelling the situation was and why he had to do it.
First of all, he describes how destructive the elephant was. I think this, as his first justification for killing an elephant. He thinks it is important to kill something that is endangering public lives and public property. He quotes, “It had already destroyed somebody's bamboo hut, killed a cow and raided some fruit-stalls and devoured the stock; also it had met the municipal rubbish van and, when the driver jumped out and took to his heels, had turned the van over and inflicted violence upon it.” Even with this judgment, it seems difficult for him to decide if he really has to kill that animal and he waits for alternative.
Secondly, he continues to describe the Elephant being more violent. As he passes, the village, he sees many acts of the elephant that he describes as cruel and unkind. He also sees “a dead man’s body sprawling in the mud.” His use of words such as “head sharply twisted to one side”, “the teeth bared and grinning with an expression of unendurable agony” prove that he is turning his belief.
However, despite all these events, he does not want to shoot the elephant. He sees killing a working elephant is like destroying a huge piece of machinery. In his point of view, it is a huge destruction. So, he quotes, " It is a serious matter to shoot a working elephant—it is comparable to destroying a huge and costly…...

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