Shooting An Elephant By George Orwell Analysis

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The values in a person’s life often result in a difficulty to make a decision in a time of conflict. In the two texts, “Shooting an Elephant” by George Orwell and “The Guest” by Albert Camus, it can be seen that the two protagonists struggle in making a decision due to their values. A personal reflective of myself can also display that I have also dealt with, where my values interfere with a conflict that I was facing. The values in conflict we face as an individual influences us to make a choice that will shape our future.
The essay “Shooting an Elephant” discusses Orwell's values in the conflict of shooting the elephant. He wanted the respect of the people who made it known that he did not belong. However, he had to gain the respect by shooting the elephant which was something he did not believe in. Orwell reveals that the people treats him as an outcast
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“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. Orwell describes the elephant as a “huge and costly piece of machinery” (3) and feels that it is unnecessary to shoot it but this demeanor changes as he witnesses how many of the people is following him. The

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