This argumentative essay will be a defense of Orwell’s observations about human nature. Orwell, who wrote Shooting an Elephant, says that dictators destroy freedom and masks make people fit better. The first observation is true. This observation is supported by evidence from Orwell’s autobiography. This is the only true statement about his autobiography. These observations are refuted by two other sources. I’ll take a moment to reflect on the relevance of the essay for our lives at the end. Shooting an Elephant by George Orwell, an autobiographical essay of George Orwell, illustrates the wrongs associated with imperialism. Orwell, a British officer who is helpless, has fallen prey to imperialism and the Burmese he governs. Orwell believes in imperialism, even though it is humiliating to him by the Burmese. Orwell pursues the Burmese elephant after it kills one. Orwell discovers the elephant is eating peacefully after he finds it. The Burmese encouraged him to shoot the beast even though he didn’t really want to. Orwell exposed the human nature of Orwell’s story and the consequences of his decision when he wrote it. Orwell, 2009 says that the white man is a tyrant when he takes away his freedom. Orwell further states that Orwell wears a mask and his face changes to match the mask. He believes that his actions have to do with human nature. So he talks as if other people would agree with him. I will refute Orwell’s paradoxical position and the resulting metaphor. If greed prevails, freedom for a tyrant is at danger. Orwell claimed that he killed the elephant because he was greedy. They didn’t like my character, but they were able to see that I had a magical gun in my hands and it was worth the wait. Orwell was greedy to win the respect of the people and gave up his freedom to be a dictator. Later, he mentions how he is pulled around like puppet even though his position is leader. “I, the white male with his gun, stand in front of the native unarmed crowd. It seems that I am the main actor of the piece. But in reality, I was just an absurd puppet being pushed around by those yellow faces.” Orwell realizes that he can no longer be free to be a dictator. Orwell’s tyrannical rule, though less than those of other tyrants is still similar to the root cause of his greed. Stalin’s greed was the root of his tyrannical tendencies. He overthrew an advanced Russia. Stalin made restrictions on the freedoms that Russian citizens once enjoyed. Stalin and his family were nevertheless imprisoned for their actions. Stalin is not the only tyrant that Orwell believes in. Hitler is the most well-known. Hitler’s demise was caused by his greed for power and the perfect race. He overthrew Germany’s structurally weak government and established corrupt and immoral policies, as well as concentration camps. He lost his freedom, just like Stalin or Orwell, when the entire world united to defeat the Nazis. Orwell’s precise claim aside, his view about people fitting a face mask is flawed.
The mask hides the true intent of the individual. Orwell claims that the mask enabled him to conceal his true beliefs. “I was all for Burmese oppressors, the British.” Orwell the true Orwell disliked imperialism, and felt compassion for Burmese. However, his mask portrayed him as an obedient British officer. “A sahib needs to behave like a sahib. He must act like a European or sahib. This is what changed his outlook. Because he’s made the choice between the people or the elephant, he doesn’t hesitate to choose. The mask fitting him is responsible for his firmness and determination in making his decision. Stalin and Hitler are however contrary to Orwell’s observations regarding human nature. They wore masks that concealed their true intentions but never changed. Their corrupt thoughts were exposed when they rose to power. Stalin’s and Hitter’s masks were created through deceitful promises and deception. They removed their masks, not unlike Orwell. Hitter didn’t hide behind deceit or false promises any longer. Instead, he attacked innocent Jews and tried to conquer the surrounding areas. Only to be stopped by the nations united in the goal to stop Nazi Germany. Stalin, too, disguised himself behind a mask to appear loyal and trustworthy. He used the violence in Russia to distract him. He rallied his Battle Squads, which he used to attack the troops and Arsenals of both the local government. He was corrupt when he was made to a political office. He also murdered innocent Illinois citizens. Stalin and Hitler, two of Orwell’s tyrants, are just two examples. Some people believe the mask can take over, while others see it as an object to conceal behind.
Orwell’s tale reveals a larger theme of helplessness. Orwell shot the elephant because he felt helpless. Peer pressure, particularly in high school, is what causes us to feel helpless, especially for those who are high school students. Peers have a huge impact on how, what, and why we do things. Peer pressure is most prominent in the case of drug use. Peer pressure is when your friends are at your house and you find yourself in a similar situation to Orwell’s. This is why we all need to be more aware and make better decisions.