Shooting an elephant analysis thesis

Orwell sends for an elephant rifle, though he still has no intention of killing the elephant. He states that he merely wants to defend himself. With the rifle, he's led down to the paddy fields where he sees the giant elephant peacefully grazing. Upon laying eyes on the elephant he instantly feels that it would be wrong to kill it.

He has no inclination to destroy something so complex and beautiful. He describes the beauty and great value of the animal. It would go against everything in him to kill it. He says it would be like murder. But when looks back to see the people watching, he realizes that the crowd is massive—at least two thousand people! He feels their eyes on him, and their great expectations of his role. They want to see the spectacle. But more importantly, he feels, they expect him to uphold the performance of power that he is meant to represent as an officer of the British Empire.

At this stage Orwell has the clear revelation that all white men in the colonized world are beholden to the people whom they colonize. If he falters, he will let down the guise of power, but most of all, he will create an opportunity for the people to laugh. Nothing terrifies him more than the prospect of humiliation by the Burmese crowd.

Now, the prospect of being trampled by the elephant no longer scares him because it would risk death. The worst part of that prospect would rather be that the crowd would laugh.

“Shooting an Elephant” Summary & Analysis from LitCharts | The creators of SparkNotes

In this way, he realizes that the entire enterprise of the empire is kept afloat by the personal fear of humiliation of individual officers. He thus gets down on the ground, takes aim with the powerful elephant gun with cross-hairs in the viewer, and he fires at the elephant's brain.

He hits the elephant and the crowd roars. But the elephant doesn't die. A disturbing change comes over it and merely seems to age.


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He fires again and this time brings it slowly to its knees. But still it doesn't go down. He fires again and it comes back up, dramatically rising on hind legs and lifting its trunk before thundering to the earth.

Still however, it remains alive. Orwell goes to it and finds that it's still breathing. He proceeds to unload bullet after bullet into the elephant's heart, but it won't die. The people have swarmed in to steal the meat. Without describing his shame or guilt, he leaves the elephant alive, suffering terribly. He learns later that it took half an hour for the elephant to die. There's some discussion among the other police officers about whether or not he did the right thing.

The older ones think he did. Ok, so there is a little bit more to it than just that. Writing has a lot of mechanics. Like, thousands. No person can be expected to know everything.

Luckily, as long as you know something you'll be able to navigate through a given text and identify the key elements that have been used. We've assembled a small list of the most commonly seen techniques in writing, as well as the three modes of persuasion. Ethos aims to appeal to an ethical and esthetical nature of the public. In other words, an author uses ethos to convince the public in his own credibility. Young lives of these brave soldiers are brought down to a statistical equation. This is unacceptable and an insult to Human Nature. This rhetoric mode appeals to emotion.

Authors use pathos to create feelings of empathy, sympathy, and pity. In other words, they try to make their audience feel something. Pathos is achieved by using colorful and meaningful language - language can find in fictional prose.

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A sample of pathos: " While her father's money was wasting away, she could not imagine marrying somebody for his wealth alone. She was only 17, and she hadn't felt love before. It was unacceptable to be asked to surrender her youth and her virginity to somebody she had no feelings for just for the sake of money. She would rather meet financial ruin then trample on her principles.

An Analysis of the Last Paragraph of Shooting an Elephant by George Orwell

As the name suggests, logos deals with an intellectual side of our brain. Authors who use logos are trying to reason with their audience, using cold facts. Logos is achieved by using advanced and abstract language you could find in textbooks. Research and facts and necessary to use logos successfully. So, these are the three modes of persuasion. Persuasion is a literary art of convincing your audience and proving your viewpoint.

Persuasion itself can be done in many ways, and encountered in many texts under different forms, but a basic formula is the same. When writing a rhetorical essay you will be expected to identify and analyse these three modes. Once you get a firm understanding of these modes, you will be able to identify an appeal used in any text. Here is a list of elements and literary devices you can encounter in a rhetorical essay.

Understanding these devices will help you come up with a truly exceptional example of rhetorical analysis essay. That's pretty much all the theory you should know.

Stylistic analysis of Shooting an Elephant by George Orwell - Essay Example

Now, let's jump straight to rhetorical analysis essay examples. This essay will be looking at J. Rowling's Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. This novel takes a totally new turn in Rowling's cycle, making a shift to darker imagery and more powerful metaphors.

"The job of a citizen is to keep his mouth open." – Günter Grass

The following paper will be analyzing the way JK uses literary motifs and undertones. We will be taking note of the setting, major conflicts, and intense metaphors used in this novel. The first two books are directed towards children. The tone is whimsical and adventurous, and it reminds some of a coming of age tale from the 50s.

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