Chapman Susan Essay Three

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Susan Chapman
Essay Three
Professor Matthew Brooks
Due 03/09/15

Learn From Your Mistakes George Orwell was a man of bad circumstance. He was an Englishman, thrust by his own nation, in the country of India where his country was trying to claim dominion. He was forced to do things for his country that he didn’t believe in to inforce his countries dominance, describing in detail such as, “the scarred buttocks of the men who had been flogged with bamboos-“ (2) Because of this, he was hated, ridiculed, and targeted as he tried to do his job; He was an Imperial sub-divisional police officer. This eventually oppressed him, and made him feel guilty and eventually became bitter towards his own people. One day an elephant escapes from his bonds, loose in town and begins ravaging the town, and even killing a native man. Orwell is given the opportunity to show just what kind of person he is. Orwell did not make the right choice of shooting the elephant. The direct effect of the pressure from the crowd made Orwell abandon his morals and he succumbed to the natives’ wishes just to avoid “looking a fool.” (14) Orwell had a lot in common with the elephant he eventually killed. They were both trapped, both looking to escape their bonds. Orwell oppressed by his nation, the elephant by his owner. Maybe that was the reason he at first didn’t want to kill the animal. He had only gotten the rifle to defend himself should the elephant become frightened and attack him. When he finally found it, he still felt he should not kill it. The elephant had become docile, just enjoying the coarse grass from the paddy fields. It was no longer a threat to anyone. He just needed to wait till the owner came back to retrieve his animal. But, here he was the leading actor of the piece. (7) Orwell goes on to say about the situation:
I perceived in this moment that when the white man turns tyrant it his own freedom that he destroys. He becomes a sort of hollow, posing dummy, the conventionalized figure of a sahib. For it is the condition of his rule that he shall spend his life in trying to impress the “natives.” And so in every crisis he has got to do what the “natives” expect of him. He wears a mask, and his face grows to fit it. (7.15-20)
Only then he realized the crowd of “natives”, as he puts it, had gathered by the thousands. He felt the pressure of what was expected of him. In that moment his decision changed. He did what he thought would impress the “natives.” The desire and will of the crowd urged him on. Now, of all times, is when the natives were showing him attention and cheering him on. Orwell felt like a puppet, as he mentions in paragraph 7. Now, not for his own British people, but for the very Indian people he came to concur. Orwell tried getting closer to the elephant, still not wanting to kill it, but to test its behavior. He still