October 17, 2014
S/R “Shooting An Elephant”
The story of “Shooting An Elephant” is an odd story, the story consisted of a police officer that was suffering peer pressure, and then one day something happened to him. An elephant escaped from his owners chains, and made his was down through the natives village ravaging all through the “Bazaar”. The elephant was not wild, like all chained elephants they have a tendency to escape, and run through town. In this situation the elephant created a big uproar of destruction, and destroyed a bamboo hut, killed someones cow, and raided fruit stands clean. As expected, the fellow natives added a few details to the story of the rampage that was not true, but on this officers route toward the elephant he came across a occupied hut, and seen a mans body who could not have been dead long. The people said the elephant had came around the corner of the hut, caught the man with his trunk, and stomped him with his foot and planted the man in the ground. Squishing the man to his death. To the natives the elephant was a thief, killer, and a destroyer. In the eyes of the people the elephant should be killed, having this thought the people looked to the officer with expectations for him to handle the situation and rid the elephant from the community. Although he didn't want to kill the animal he faced judgment and laughter if he didn't, at this point in life he was not one to be laughed at anymore. When the moment came the officer made his decision and took the elephant down, and just like the elephants shooter it did not go down easy the elephant withstood shot after shot just like the officer took comment after comment. The natives beast didn't die quick, the elephant gasped and held on for another half hour before his carcass was gone all gone except his bones. After shooting the alleged beast and having been stripped clean of flesh, the officer often wondered if any of the others ever thought that the only reason he shot the elephant was to keep from looking like a fool.
After reading this story I was amazed, the power of peer pressure is astonishing. The officer portrayed in Orwell's story has been practically living it everyday, he is constantly laughed at and judged. One day a time came when all the natives looked toward him for help, expecting him to act in an orderly manner toward this animal that escaped. The officer did want to kill the elephant, but he felt obligated to do so. By not killing the animal he would be laughed at, painted a coward, and have the word fool stamped to his forehead. He only killed the elephant so that the natives would not portray him to be a fool. This story is an example of how powerful peer pressure really is, personally I have…