?Shooting An Elephant? Essay, Research Paper
In “Shooting an Elephant” , human nature is the same as it would be in just about any story that we would read or hear. Human nature is no different in Burma than anywhere else in the world. In this story we see different degrees of human nature, from completely normal to in some cases extreme. This essay is mainly focused on peer pressure. “Should I shoot the elephant or should I not?” or “Will I lose face with these people if I don’t shoot the elephant?” In this essay, I will discuss the traits of the different characters.
Orwell was the kind of person that did not have a very high self-esteem. He did not have his ducks in a row, so to speak. I don’t think that Orwell was one to function under pressure. He would give in to what he thought the people of Burma wanted, not to what he wanted. But secretly inside he hated the environment in which he lived, he hated the imperialistic government in which resided in Burma. He hated the residents of Burma. He stated that he would love to stick his bayonette into the stomach of a Buddhist priest. He felt all of this hatred for the people around him, but yet he felt as if he had to go along with everything and everyone else just to live in harmony.
As Orwell was summoned to the “tiny incident” as he called it, taking care of the elephant situation, he found that the residents of the village did not know exactly what was going on with the elephant until they found out that there could possibly be a shooting, or at least some excitement. For example, he asked some of the villagers if they had seen the elephant. Some said that the elephant went to the left and some said that the elephant went to the right and some did not even know about the elephant at all. The people seemed to be only out for themselves. They were not interested in the situation until they found out that they might be able to benefit from it. This is typical of people in any culture, especially in present times.
In the last paragraph of Orwell’s essay, there had been two men that had feelings on the shooting of the elephant. One implied that it was okay that the elephant had been shot and that it was justified. The other implied that the elephant was worth more alive than a dead Indian coolie was. This also is typical of certain people in this world today. I think this is an example of difference of opinion.
On the whole, most people, like Orwell,, subside to peer pressure, simply to avoid looking like a fool or what they consider to look like a fool. Peer pressure can make or break a person especially this day in time.