Killing The Elephant By George Orwell Character Analysis

Improved Essays
Plenty of people would see Orwell as a brave person for killing the elephant and saving all those people. In reality, he was just scared and ended up doing what the crowd expected him to do. As a policeman, his duty was to protect the crowd from the wild elephant, but killing the elephant just because people were cheering for him to do it was the issue. Looking at how Orwell handled the situation tells a lot about him at this age. Like how during his younger days, Orwell made poor choices, which lead him to act foolishly.
Orwell appeared to be insensitive and tough throughout the story. In the essay, he didn’t seem to care or feel bad about the dead guy. Instead of calling help for someone to take care of the body, he just asked for a
…show more content…
There was nothing humane in killing that elephant; he was lacking the basic knowledge to kill it painlessly. His job as a policeman should be to protect people. He was aware that elephants suffer from must, which can be a handful to handle. Yet he did not know how to painlessly put down the elephant. Orwell was trying not to be cruel but his action ended up being that way, “I sent back for my small rifle and poured shot after shot into his heart and down his throat. They seem to make no impression.” (¶12) A good amount of people would try to kill an animal as humanely as possible. Orwell did try to avoid making this elephant suffer. The first shot did not go as planned so he kept on going. It was a hideous sight, not just with Orwell trying to end this poor creatures life as quickly as possible but also he himself was vicious. Orwell stated that his hits made no impression to the elephant. Shooting the elephant did not kill it right away, however, it did damage to the animal. His technique to killing the elephant made no impression to him, but clearly, it did to the elephant. It added a great amount of discomfort to the elephant. The way it’s just laying there surrounded with blood, and people watching it must have been a revolting sight. The entire event, however, left a great impression to him. This experience will forever haunt him and will be in grieved in his

Related Documents

  • Improved Essays

    The police officer is not justified in his actions as he shoots the elephant to maintain his pride, the elephant is already in peace and there is plenty of social pressure. Pride can oftentimes cause people to make dreadful decisions. In the story, “Shooting an Elephant” the police officer has to make a decision that can affect his pride. The police officer “was hated by large numbers of people.” He does not want to increase this hatred, so he makes a choice which will earn him some respect. In paragraph seven, the police officer states, “To come all that…

    • 716 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    Orwell thought deeply before shooting but killed the elephant for selfish reasoning. He shows how imperialism took the best out him. Although he had the title of power amongst the people, it was the people’s power that influenced him in shooting the elephant. He didn’t want to appear as a coward and hoped that by killing he would no longer receive the hatred that he did. But as I predicted, his actions did not change their viewpoints on…

    • 641 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    So when an immediate danger surfaces police officer are usually the first ones to respond to the threat. It is then up to the officer if the threat needs to be put down, restrained, or left alone. Orwell was called out of help to take kill a rampaging elephant that was destroying the city, but once he saw the elephant it was aimlessly wandering the jungle hurting no-one. But since this elephant was already known to cause damage, Orwell knew it was possible that the elephant could charge again killing multiple people. So Orwell thought about not only the elephant’s life, but the people he is supposed to be severing and protecting.…

    • 827 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    I believe that he was morally wrong for killing the elephant. It shouldn’t matter how much a crowd pressures you, you should be able to stand strong morally and be able to say no. Social pressure is hard but we are all raised to have some sort of morals and those morals can become foggy. They had not shown much interest in the elephant when he was merely ravaging through their homes, but it was different now that he was going to be shot (Orwell). All the crowd cared about was meat and to have some fun and this was exciting to them.…

    • 701 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Superior Essays

    The boy in “The Snake” possesses has the idea that snakes can only be ugly and dangerous. He refuses to even consider the idea that a snake could be beautiful and harmless, even though an outstanding animal is present right in front of his eyes. He only sees an animal that kills and could in no way be beautiful. It was this childish reasoning that leads him to kill the animal. He did not care about the consequences for killing, and he was joyful even after his uncle tried to show him his wrong doings.…

    • 1565 Words
    • 7 Pages
    Superior Essays
  • Improved Essays

    “The insults hooted after me when I was at a safe distance, got badly on my nerves” (Orwell, 1) shows how little the people thought of him. As an elephant rampages, he returns with a rifle to defend himself but the crowd mistakenly takes it as he is going to shoot it. Due to the past disrespect of the people towards Orwell, he could not just run off, “and my whole life, every white man’s life in the East, was one long struggle not to be laughed at.” (4). As a result, he has an inner debate in believing if killing the animal was the right thing to do or not. The statement, “it seemed to me that it would be murder to shoot him” (4) allows the readers to understand the importance of the elephant.…

    • 1155 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    In George Orwell’s “Shooting an Elephant,” Orwell kills an elephant not by his own volition but by the crowd of excited people waiting to see an elephant get its brains blown out. Orwell had no fondness for the people within the mob, and even said, “I had no intention of shooting the elephant,” (Orwell 136). Orwell knew it is not right to kill the beast, and even though the elephant killed someone during its blind rampage, the owner could have made better precautions to prevent the elephant from breaking free. It was not Orwell, the shooter, who wanted the elephant dead, but the audience with their excited chatter and superior numbers wanted to be entertained by the killing of such a large creature. The law justified Orwell’s decisions as right because of the elephant’s mauling of the man, but Orwell knew he killed the elephant just to keep the little respect he had from the crowd.…

    • 818 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Superior Essays

    During the essay, Shooting an Elephant, Orwell had a difficult time deciding whether or not to shoot the elephant that had previously ravaged a town. Once Orwell finally located the renegade elephant, he noticed that the elephant has calmed down and was eating peacefully. However, Orwell noticed that a group of sever thousand Burmese had been following him and expected Orwell to shoot and kill the elephant. Orwell knew that the Burmese would use the elephant for meat and other materials. Orwell, however, did not want to shoot the elephant, as he clearly stated on page 1323, “…I did not want to shoot the elephant.” Orwell found himself in a difficult position, he didn’t want to shoot the elephant, but the Burmese wanted him to.…

    • 1396 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Superior Essays
  • Improved Essays

    Think Twice Before You Shoot In “Shooting an Elephant,” from The Norton Reader, George Orwell explains his personal experience in an imperialistic county where he feels as though he is forced to shoot an elephant that had escaped into a town killing a man. His thoughts were not set on killing the wild animal but under circumstances, Orwell felt as though he would be seen as a fool to the natives if he did not live up to the expectation of the natives to kill the elephant. Once Orwell shot the elephant he had to watch as it lay slowly dying, seemingly not wanting to die the elephant remained to hold on to the life he had left. Orwell ends up killing the elephant once and for all after many brutal attempts, and then he sits analyzing weather…

    • 796 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    It's contradicting because although he didn’t want to kill the elephant, he was glad that the elephant killed the coolie. In his mind, it wasn’t moral to kill the elephant, but since he had to keep his stature and respect he had to. In my opinion, the theme for this story was listen to yourself. Since the narrator explains that he killed the elephant to not look like a fool, he had to listen to his self to find out what to do and keep his…

    • 735 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Improved Essays