Response Paper #3
Response to Shooting an Elephant
And afterward I was very glad that the coolie had been killed; it put me legally in the right and it gave me a sufficient pretext for shooting the elephant. I often wondered whether any of the others grasped that I had done it solely to avoid looking a fool. (344)
Everyone at one point or another has done something they did not want to do but did only so they would not be laughed at. Certain acts impact others on a greater level than others. For example, throwing out an article of clothing that is not trendy may not have as severe consequences as perhaps a woman having sex with just any man so she will not be ridiculed by her peers for not having had sex in a while. George Orwells acts are certainly understandable though not justifiable. Since the beginning of the essay, Orwell shares his experiences of maltreatment from the Burmese, As a police officer I was an obvious targeta nimble Burman tripped me up on the football field and the referee (another Burman) looked the other way, the crowd yelled with hideous laughter. (338) Thinking back to my own experiences, I remember being teased numerous times about my Indian accent and it caused me to work extremely hard to lose it. The extent of the consequences for my actions is that it is now difficult for me to communicate in Hindi. Orwells actions, though rooted from the teasing from the Burmese, caused him no physical or legal harm, however the trauma of having given into the pressure of the crowd is communicated clearly though his essay.
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