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Essay on George Orwell’s Elephant

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Orwell is a police officer in Burma. So a police officer’s job is to preserve peace in such a place. And the elephant is wreaking havoc, so the locals in Burma expect him to do his job, so he shoots the elephant even though it is against his will. I think it’s circumstantial and social motives. Circumstantial for the reason that Orwell had to shoot even though he didn’t like it but circumstances said so. And social because Orwell doesn’t have any choice but to follow because he has to follow the rules of the society where he is working in. Personal is his fear of being ridiculed or embarrassed as a British Empire representative. Political is a part of the personal as well. He believed that if he appeared frail, it would reflect poorly on the British colonial establishment in Burma as a whole. I believe it is not difficult to categorize Orwell’s motivations because he expresses his feelings in a straightforward and understandable manner in his essay.

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The analytical paragraphs are in the middle while the narrative is in the beginning and end. Advantages: The scene at the beginning of the essay where the elephant is ravaging the town is mostly narrative. The advantage of this being narrative is that the audience feels like they are actually at the scene from the point of view of the speaker. The narrative helps the reader feel more connected to the speaker, and they can imagine what it’s like being in his shoes. Having analysis in this scene would not work because this scene is primarily used to build up the scale of the elephant and make it seem terrifying. The disadvantage of the analysis being mainly in the middle sections of the essay is that the audience is left hanging at the end. The speaker goes into detail about what happens in the town when he shoots the elephant, but after he leaves, everything just ends abruptly. While there is a small amount of analysis, in the end, there is not enough elaboration to truly connect with Orwell.

George Orwell uses facts when he describes the elephant’s death in detail. He describes how he feels in that moment with the crowd watching him and feeling as if he had no other option. Using a subjective tone throughout the essay to describe what was going on, the audience is able to engage their own feelings about the death of the elephant.

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Essay on George Orwell’s Elephant. (2022, December 27). Edubirdie. Retrieved March 30, 2023, from
“Essay on George Orwell’s Elephant.” Edubirdie, 27 Dec. 2022,
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Essay on George Orwell’s Elephant [Internet]. Edubirdie. 2022 Dec 27 [cited 2023 Mar 30]. Available from:
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