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Critical Analysis of Shooting an Elephant In George Orwells essay Shooting an Elephant the authors character develops from the pressure to make a decision and the horrifying results which follow A potential existed for Orwell to display confidence and high morals but this potential was destroyed when he pulled the trigger The death of the elephant signifies the weakness of Orwells character Orwell is ashamed to had submitted to the pressure of the Burmans but he does so at his own will In the essay his largest fear is that of public humiliation or looking like a fool Orwell 206 Orwells dilemma involves poor morals colliding with common sense The statement The crowd would laugh at me Orwell 204 is shortly followed with the point It seemed to me that it would be murder to shoot him Orwell 204 These statements contradict eachother and add to the climatic decision to pull the trigger Respect among the people is highly valued to Orwell He claims that every white mans life in the East was one long struggle not to be laughed at Orwell 204 This weakness plagues the author throughout the story and displays the softness of his character This softness foreshadows the collapse of his morals and ultimately the slow sad death of the elephant The authors mistake in his desision cost him the goodness of his character and forced upon him the horrifying experience of watching the elephant die slowly in pain This sight was so disturbing to Orwell that he leaves In the end I could not stand it any longer and went away Orwell 206 This quote also hints at the shamefullness that the author feels and the dishonor which prevails over him in the end Orwell does not learn from his mistake He tries to provide a sufficient reason for shooting the elephant at the end afterwards I was very glad that the coolie had been
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