3. (a) Why does Orwell think that the elephant need not be killed? He thinks that the elephant need not to be killed because it is a working elephant, thus it is valuable. He did not want to elephant because it was harmless; therefore, it was unnecessary to kill this valuable elephant against his conscience. There is also a parallelism between the elephant and the imperialism of the British Empire. He did not want to conduct the act because it was too cruel to accept the fact that he is executing the inferior.
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(b) Analyze Cause and Effect: What is the primary factor influencing Orwell’s decision to shoot the elephant? The primary factor influencing Orwell’s decision was the attitude of the local Burmese police. Orwell wanted to appear to be a trustworthy and courageous man since he was the alien in the culture. He did not want to be patronized; he kept going against his will, doing what he did not want.
(c) Interpret: What does his decision, and his honesty about it, suggest about his character? His decision shows that he valued his ego over his conscience. However, his honesty and reflection of the incidence proves that he is conscious of his actions and he felt remorse.
5. (a) Compare and Contrast: Compare Orwell’s calm, detailed description of the dying elephant with his reactions to it at the time. Orwell’s calm and detailed description seems to match the dignity and attitude that the dying elephant withhold as he was fighting against its pain to stand up. Orwell observes the scene in a fashion that conveys to the reader that he is accepting this inevitable tragedy. He could be trying to detach himself from the emotional burden with a nonchalant attitude, merely observing an ordinary scene as a writer, narrator.
(b) Draw Conclusions: What relationship between life and the act of writing
does this contrast suggest?
The contrast between life and the act of writing suggest that writing does not always reflect what is shown in the scene or felt in the author’s heart.
5. (a) “Theoretically – and secretly, of course – I was all for the Burmese… (148)”/ “I looked at the sea of yellow faces… – faces all happy and excited over this bit of fun… (152)”/ “I, the white man with his gun, standing in front of the unarmed native crowd – seemingly the leading actor of the piece…”
These phrases make his tone seem more casual and reflective. They almost serve as his “thinking process,” but written out.
6. (a) “In that instant, in too short a time, one would have thought, even for the bullet to get there, a mysterious, terrible change had come over the elephant.” “He looked suddenly stricken, shrunken, immensely old, as though the frightful impact of the bullet had paralyzed him…” The short independent clauses create an anxious tone – almost as though he only realized what he has done after it has been done. As he pulls the trigger the second and third time, the independent clauses progressively increases in length as the time exposed to the dying scene increases.
7. He might have chosen and more descriptive but less emotionally attached tone – a more nonchalant tone to write this incident. However, it may not be as effective because it would reveal less information about Orwell and his perception to this occurrence. It would be less impactful to the readers because the readers will be less engaged without the emotional accessories.See More on Literature