Shooting an elephant orwell

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In George Rowel’s dialogue Shooting an Elephant, he accentuates the grave aversion that he has for being a police officer in Mullein. The author uses many literary devices to depict his controversy with killing the elephant or not, such as foreshadowing, and speaking in first person, and appealing to pathos. The main element used in this dialogue is conflict, Orwell shows how he contemplates on whether to shoot the elephant or not.

The literary elements that Orwell presents all help convey the point of showing how conflicted he is with himself, a theme that is well portrayed here is Man vs.. Himself as well as Man vs.. Society. Rowel’s dialogue is about the controversial issues between Burma and England, which leads to his own conflict on whether to obey and do harm or back down, hence whether or not to shoot the elephant. By presenting this dialogue in first person, Orwell allows to give a well insight on how it is that HCI is conflicted in his decision.

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From the very beginning when he babies about owe, “l was hated by large number of people” (Orwell 313), which makes him appeal to pathos, trying to get sympathy from the readers. His use of first person when he says, “When a nimble Barman tripped me up on the football field and the referee (another Bur man) looked the other way, the crowd yelled with hideous laughter. ” (Orwell 314) shows the conflict that he has to deal with. Rowel’s use of first person appeal to the audience through pathos as well as gives an accurate insight on what it is he is going through.

The dialogue conveys another element that Orwell utilizes which is foreshadowing. Orwell well represented foreshadowing through out the dialogue to give the appearance of what his initial decision would end up being. When he says, “II had committed myself to doing it when I had sent for the rifle. ” (Orwell 31 6), this uses the element of foreshadowing. The author was constantly conflicted in throughout the dialogue by saying, “I was only an absurd puppet pushed to and fro by the will of those yellow faces behind. ” Orwell 316).

He was unable to come to the decision on whether to shoot, feeling overwhelmed by the pressure of the “natives” of Burma were all expecting Orwell to shoot the elephant because in reality, he is supposed to be the man from the “evil” imperial England who is vile on all levels. Though once he picked up the rifle, it foreshadowed his final initial decision on what he would do to the elephant. This use of foreshadowing allowed us to understand that he will initially shoot the elephant, and also overall help the deader understand the reason why he killed the elephant.

Orwell narrates this dialogue from the first person perspective, therefore allowing the reader to have a clear understanding of the internal conflict that struggles within him. In general Orwell doesn’t believe in his country’s imperialism and rather not be violent, but then again was pressured in following what was imperative to obey. Rowel’s use of conflict works for this essay because we really get to experience the controversy he is facing with debating on whether or not to shoot.

The literary devices he portrays, foreshadowing, speaking in first person, and appealing to pathos accentuated the conflict that he had to face with, and why it is that he made the decision of shooting the elephant.

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Shooting an elephant orwell. (2018, Feb 09). Retrieved from

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