March 31, 2013
English 101 A30
Shooting an Elephant was set in a southern Burma town during the colonial period. The author George Orwell's, best known for his last two novels, the anti-totalitarian works Animal Farm and 1984, tells of his experiences in the British colony, a province of India. While he was there, he had to do something that created ethical conflicts within himself. Orwell had to kill an elephant that had run rampant in lust throughout a village. In its wake it destroyed a truck, a hut, and a villager. The villagers were obviously upset about the ordeal, and he was called upon to restore the order before anything, or anyone else was hurt. Throughout the course of the adventure, he decided that it was best to kill the animal. His reasons for doing so, however, were not clear-cut. He said his ultimate decision was not to look bad in front of the villagers; which he thought would give him a degree of shame. Orwell’s inward conflict about his rationale, obviously was a slight problem. He seeming was going to have to internalize shooting the elephant, regardless of his ethical and moral agonies. Orwell needed to show solidarity among the people as a man of authority. If he had not, the presence of the troops there would deteriorate to the point of total anarchy. The creature had also trampled a hut, killed a man, a cow, destroyed a fruit stand ate the contents, and destroyed a government garbage van. These are very valid reasons to kill it, and ensure that it would never occur again with the animal in question, as well as maintain order within the village.
The first and best way to justify it is to look at the man as killing the elephant's sexual must. In most countries when a man kills another, he or she is condemned to death or life imprisonment. Why should an animal face any different punishment? The man killed by the elephant has a family that will never see him again, and the contributions he made to his family and community...