This time tables are turned for Orwell. In A hanging Orwell was the oppressor but in shooting an elephant I felt that Orwell was oppressed by the Burmese people as he mentions that “In Mullein, in lower Burma, I was hated by large numbers of people” and he emphasizes on that fact by adding “As a police officer I was an obvious target and was baited whenever it seemed safe to do so” and was also oppressed by the empire as he was forced to do a job that he doesn’t want to do; he mentions that “Theoretically and secretly of ours-I was for the Burmese and all against their oppressors, the British.
As for the Job I was doing, I hated it more bitterly than I can perhaps make clear. In a job like that you see the dirty work of the Empire at close quarters”. In shooting an Elephant, Orwell tell us a story on how an elephant went wild and that the sub-inspector at the police station called him “to do something about it”. He went to the quarter in which the Elephant has been seen in and started investigating the incident that happened, during this time thousands f Burmese people gathered around him and started following him since he saw the man killed by the elephant and ordered a rifle.
Don’t waste your time!
Order your assignment!
The Burmese seemed to be having ‘fun” and seemed excited to witness the shooting of the elephant by Orwell. On the Other hand, Orwell didn’t want to shoot the elephant as he mentioned “It’s a serious matter to shoot a working elephant- it is comparable to destroying a huge and costly piece of machinery-and obviously one ought not to do it if it can possibly be avoided”.
He keeps restating the fact that Burmese were pressuring him to do it ” could feel heir two thousand wills pressing me forward, irresistibly”, this continues to prove how he has such a weak personality and shows how he is always unable to protest against the state that he is in.. (his work, the empire and the fact that he finds the elephant innocent and should not be shot).
He then decides which is quiet expected to shoot the elephant, judging from his weak personality it was normal to find a huge crowd of people affecting his decision but what also help him deciding is the fear of having the image of the “white European man” being ruined in front of the natives which shows fear and hat he still holds loyalty to his Empire’s teachings.. “A white man mustn’t be frightened in front of the natives”.
He describes how the death of the elephant was really hard, as he didn’t die immediately, it took a couple of bullets for him to die and It was a very painful death. I personally feel that because Rowel’s act was unjust he had to experience and see the suffering that he caused to the innocent elephant and that the Burmese pressure and the Empire rules played with his fragile feelings made him commit this crime.