Situational Irony In Shooting An Elephant

735 Words 3 Pages
Rashaun Richardson February 17, 2016

In the story, “Shooting an Elephant”, the narrator is contradictory in his feelings, by supporting one set of people, the Burmans, but serving another, the British. The reader infers that he can’t decide who to fight for because in the text the narrator explains the treatment of the Burmans by the English, but then tells the treatment of himself by the Burmans. For example, the narrator states that the treatment of the Burman prisoners were horrible, stating that the prisoners were huddled up together in stinking cages. But in the first paragraph he explains that the Burman people talk about him behind his back and laugh at him when he trips and falls. The narrator uses imagery to describe the
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As everyone sees the rifle, they were excited that the narrator was going to shoot the elephant. Instead of bringing the gun to shoot the elephant, the narrator brought the gun to defend himself from the native Burman people. Orwell uses the conflict of the situation to show how everyone plays a role in this British imperial system. The situational irony that Orwell presents, shows us what character the narrator is. He struggles with choosing what society to defend since he is a cop. He is afriad of the Burmans revolting against him and afraid of telling the British about what they are doing to the natives, is …show more content…
But as he shot it numerous of times he describes the elephant dying in a better place than the real world. For example, he states “He was dying, very slowly and in great agony, but in some world remote from me where not even a bullet could damage him further.” The narrator completely thinks that life continues and that he didn't want anything or anyone to let it go. He continued to shoot it to put it out of it’s misery so it can finally die and go to heaven.

In the finale of the story, the narrator feels great in shooting the elephant because he has accomplished something that he didn't want to. 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

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