Essay about George Orwell 's Shooting An Elephant

758 Words 4 Pages
Generally, under the right circumstances, a person will utilize an opportunity that will be beneficial to them. It is up to the individual to seize the moment and grasp advantage of what has been given to them. In George Orwell’s “Shooting an Elephant”, that is precisely what he did. When an opportunity arose, Orwell did what he felt he needed to do to solve the situation he was in; this includes shooting the elephant. Orwell was justified in shooting the elephant because he needed to improve his image, he did not do a single thing wrong in the eye of the law, and it was his job.
Undoubtedly, Orwell had been an effortless target for the Burman people to pursue: he was a European police officer. He stood out against the “yellow faces” that surpassed him day to day. European people were not looked upon fondly due to the power they possessed over the Burman’s. According to Orwell “if a European woman went through the bazaars alone somebody would probably spit betel juice over her dress.” (237). This is just one example of the numerous cruelties the Burmese people bestowed upon the Europeans located by the Empire in lower Burma. Indeed, when Orwell was given the opportunity to improve his image he took advantage of it; what he endured before this opportunity was “perplexing and upsetting” (238) and he craved to progress beyond being known as the rotten European police officer they perceived him as. It does not make a difference whether a person is significant or…

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