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Decisions Many people find it difficult if not impossible to defy the unspoken tradition of modern authority Stanley Milgrims Perils of disobedience shows that an otherwise sensitive good-natured citizen can easily be transformed into a tool and perform actions that one would never do if given enough time to reflect Milgrims study suggests that an individuals need to conform to authority overrides the sense of responsibility to sort right from wrong Langston Hughes in Salvation explains just how severe the personal effects can be for giving in to such pressures and George Orwell in Shooting an Elephant demonstrates how even individuals in positions of authority are not exempt from the rule George Orwell demonstrates that no matter what your beliefs or position in society no individual is absent form the immense pressure to conform Orwell a British police officer in Burma allows an anxious crowd of locals to decide his actions for him causing him to take a life that should not have been taken Upon investigating reports of a rampaging elephant Orwell finds that the elephant has now calmed down and is a threat to no one Orwell states But I did not want to shoot the elephant It seemed to me that it would be murder to shoot him772 Although the elephant did trample a man to death Orwell knows that the elephant is in a calm state and will abide quietly until the elephants owner returns It is the pressure from the crowd that causes this British military officer to make a poor choice that he would not have made if alone Minutes later Orwell would find himself firing bullet after bullet trying to kill the very animal that he had just contemplated Milgrim states ordinary people simply doing their jobscan become destructive agents in a terrible destructive process614 It is this greater evil that causes Orwell to be disgusted with himself Orwell resents imperialism
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