Analysis Of George Orwell 's ' Shooting An Elephant ' Essay

842 Words Oct 27th, 2014 4 Pages
Over the years people have all faced many life changing decisions. Once a conclusion had been met and the decision had been made, many of us don’t take the time to look back upon our choice. Reflecting on whether an external influence may have affected our preferred option can also arise questions about our morals at the time of the decision. We can see this quite clearly in George Orwell’s “Shooting an Elephant”. His popular essay uses imagery to recount a moral dilemma he had faced early in life. “There are two Orwells in the story. Each having their own perspectives of the events. The young police officer who undertakes his own journey to meet and shoot the rampaging elephant sees things without the distance that the older author does. This older author Orwell recalls the event after years of pondering it, of being haunted by it. The attitude expressed by the writing Orwell is one the shooting Orwell could not have known, since the event was too close in time to realize it in broader perspective. What the older Orwell is trying to do is to mend his own feelings of guilt by trying to create circumstances that will allow him to live with himself. But he fails. As he looks back at the young Orwell and presents rather matter-of-fact circumstances of the day he shot an elephant, he realizes so many things the young man could not have known, or could not have seen.” (Alam 56) Orwell was justified in shooting the elephant because he was legally allowed to do so and the “tyranny…

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