In George Orwell’s short story “Shooting an Elephant”

In George Orwell’s short story “Shooting an Elephant”, the main character itself develops a progress in his persona from the pressure to make a decision and the petrifying results which follow. A prospective existed for the British cop officer to display confidence and high-morals, but his potential was devastated when he pulled the trigger. The death of the elephant signifies the weakness of Orwell’s character.
Orwell is penitent to had submitted to the pressure of the Burmans, but he does so at his own will. In the story, his largest fear is that of public humiliation or looking like a fool, as he describes in the short story. Orwell’s predicament involves poor morals colliding with common sense. His statement, “The crowd would laugh at me”, is shortly followed with the point, “It seemed to me that it would be murder to shoot him”, these statements contradict each other and add up to the crucial decision to pull the trigger.
The respect among the people in Burma is highly valued to Orwell. He claims in the short story that, ” every white man’s life in the East , was one long struggle not to be laughed at”. This weakness scourge the author throughout the story and displays the softness of his persona. This softness signifies the collapse of his morals, and ultimately the slow, sad death of the elephant. The authors mistake in his decision cost him the goodness of his character, and forced upon him the petrifying experience by watching the elephant to die slowly in pain. Additionally, he quoted, “In the end I could not stand it any longer and went away”, this quote hints at the shamefulness that author feels and the dishonor which prevails over him in the end.
In my point of view, Orwell does not learn from his mistake. In the end of the story, he provides a sufficient reason for shooting the elephant. “Afterwards I was very glad that coolie had been killed; it put me legally in the right and it gave me sufficient pretext for shooting the elephant. I often wondered whether any of the others grasped that I had done it solely to avoid looking like a fool”. In this quote, Orwell claims that if he didn’t shoot the elephant, he will look like a fool towards the Burmans. Furthermore, the author declines that he also upheld a higher standard of ethics and honor for himself if he hadn’t pulled the trigger. By shooting the elephant, Orwell shows that he was not confidence and lack of internal morals.
At the end of the story, it shows that the author does not openly convey the readers that he feels he made a mistake by shooting the elephant. Thus, it made the reader thinks about the author’s deep feelings towards the dead elephant. As the elephant dies slowly, he quoted, “The tortured gasps continued as steadily as the ticking of the clock”, the memories of the thick blood welled out of the elephant like red velvet, wide-open mouth, are the punishments Orwell must live with for submitting to the will to the Burmans. Orwell deserves the ethics that he lost, and the guilt he must undergo from the suffering of the elephant.