Rhetorical Analysis Of George Orwell's Shooting An Elephant

796 Words 4 Pages
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
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The rhetorical aim of expression can be found in third paragraph of his personal experience. Orwell states, “One day something happened which in a roundabout way was enlightening” (785). He continues to express his personal experience throughout the essay. He writes, “But I did not want to shoot the elephant” (787). Orwell expresses his thoughts on his actions: “I often wondered whether any of the others grasped that I had done it solely to avoid looking a fool” (789). Orwell doesn’t change from first person and only expresses his own personal experience, staying true to the expressive aim of the essay and the development of personal …show more content…
His organization is also effective. First, Orwell talks about his thoughts on how he feels about the situation that intrigues the reader. Orwell writes, “For it is the condition of his rule that he shall spend his life in trying to impress the ‘natives,’ and so in every crisis he has got to do what the ‘natives’ expect of him” (787). Although Orwell knows killing the elephant is not something he wants to do he sees it in his thoughts that he must because of the natives that are waiting for him to kill the elephant. He writes, “I has got to shoot the elephant” (787). Next, in addition to using compelling thoughts, Orwell also descriptively uses emotional appeal to show the emotions of his and even the elephant’s emotions. For instance, in the twelfth paragraph Orwell states, “It seemed dreadful to see the great beast lying there, powerless to move and yet powerless to die, and not even to be able to finish him” (789). He continues, “The tortured gasps continued as steadily as the ticking of a clock” (789). Using the emotionally detailed image of the elephant shows how Orwell saw the elephant and his thoughts on how the animal would not die. However, as the essay closes, Orwell analyzes the shooting and how he felt afterwards. Orwell exclaims that

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