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Shooting an Elephant

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Essay title: Shooting an Elephant

“Shooting an Elephant”

I was not comfortable with many aspects of this story. The prejudice

throughout the book was unimaginable, I find I am uncomfortable with any

kind of bigotry. Reading of the Burmese people and their disrespect toward

someone who was there to “protect and serve”, was difficult. I suppose I am

naпve, I try to hold on to the belief that people of God are inherently good. I

know there are bad apples in all walks of life, bad people are everywhere so

holding on to this optimism is harder each day. This story wasn’t like that, this

was a blatant attitude of prejudice for sport, ignorance, and peer pressure. I

found it very hard to embrace. Story or not, it was and is deeply disturbing.

The idea of a group of Burmese people, growing to huge proportions in

size, following a police officer who is going after a mad elephant, was

fascinating. I liken it to a train wreck , horrible to see yet hard to look away.

That being said, again, I was uncomfortable with the overall story line.

The elephant had shown frightening behavior, however, by the time the

crowd caught up to him he had settled down. With the owner not around, and

the crowd reaching riot proportions, for this officer, there seemed to be only one

solution. It seemed to be a no win situation for anyone, especially the


Caldwell, page2

The story itself was about shooting an elephant, but the main story line

was that of people with great prejudices and immense fears. All through this

story, there was talk of hate and hostility and prejudice. It appeared to be the


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