'Shooting an Elephant' and Human Nature Article Review by Nicky

This paper analyzes the essay "Shooting an Elephant" by George Orwell.
# 146381 | 1,362 words | 1 source | MLA | 2010 | US
Published on Dec 26, 2010 in Literature (English) , Sociology (General) , Language (General)

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In this article, the writer discusses that George Orwell's essay, "Shooting an Elephant," reveals many aspects about human nature. The writer discusses that Orwell explores the theme of an inner struggle with doing the right things as opposed to doing what looks good. The writer points out that symbolism is an important tool in the essay in that Orwell allows the narrator and the elephant to become powerful symbols that force us to think about circumstances. Irony also comes into play in this essay because with all of the struggles that the narrator experiences, he is still a puppet not only for the Burmese but his peers as he behaves completely opposite from how he would without the constraints of social pressure. The writer concludes that Orwell proves his point that life is never as easy as it seems with the theme of inner struggle represented through symbolism and irony.

From the Paper:

"These instances illustrate how the narrator is constantly struggling with himself. His moral code knows without a doubt that the European influence in Burma is crippling the community but his job prevents him from saying or doing anything to express his true feelings. This struggle with self is reinforced with the shooting of the elephant, which the narrator knows is clearly wrong but feels compelled to do because of the responsibility of his job and the desire to look good among everyone, including his peers.
"Symbolism emerges in the essay in many forms. The narrator himself becomes a symbol of the Burmese people because he is placed in a situation in which he bitterly hates. The Burmese hate him just as he hates those in authority over him. He is also a symbol of British rule itself. He represents the very thing that is oppressing the people and they resent him for it. The Burmese sneer and hoot at him and even the Buddhist priests jeer at the Europeans."

Sample of Sources Used:

  • Orwell, George. "Shooting an Elephant." The Lexington Reader. Lexington: D. C Heath and Company. 1987.

Cite this Article Review:

APA Format

'Shooting an Elephant' and Human Nature (2010, December 26) Retrieved September 24, 2020, from https://www.academon.com/article-review/shooting-an-elephant-and-human-nature-146381/

MLA Format

"'Shooting an Elephant' and Human Nature" 26 December 2010. Web. 24 September. 2020. <https://www.academon.com/article-review/shooting-an-elephant-and-human-nature-146381/>