Donne is not the first or the last to view the elephant in its stature and dignity as a synecdoche for the total grandeur of the universe, come to earth in lumpen grey form. Here he suggests that it represents a moral ideal as well. Animals are often celebrated for virtues that they seem to embody: dogs for loyalty, bears for courage, dolphins for altruism, and so on. But what does it really mean for them to model these things? When people act virtuously, we give them credit for well-chosen behavior. Animals, it is presumed, do so without choosing.
Be that as it may, the snuffing out of any such life is a tragedy — even a death, such as that of Tarquin Hall’s killer elephant. When with a heavy heart, Mr. Choudhury finally corners him in the forest and shoots,
Narrative Purpose Of Shooting An Elephant
Receiving a telephone call one morning with the disturbing news of an elephant in the madness of musth, Orwell (1936) set out, equipped with only a small rifle and his determination to save face.
“Analysis of a Narrative: George Orwell’s “Shooting An Elephant”
he outlook for elephants today is grim. Naturally, as one would hope, the common refrain of all the literature about them is a rousing alarm on behalf of these friends, totems, property, and sometime foes with whom we share an earth, who even with their great strength have patiently endured all kinds of violations from us and now depend on our goodwill to save them.
Narrative Essay Shooting An Elephant
I had seen a herd of Elephant travelling through dense Native forest, where the sunlight is strewn down between the thick creepers in small spots and patches, pacing along as if they had an appointment at the end of the world.
“Shooting an Elephant” Summary & Analysis from …
But if anything does change, it is Mud’s awakening to her place in the society she always felt was bogus — which, true, was not dreamed up in perfection but came to be collaboratively conceived and passed down over time, by other elephants who found in it a way to protect each other both from danger and from despair. Though the essence of the she-ones is memory, the force of life flows forward; and by devotion, fear, necessity, or whatever it takes, that is the direction they must go. If there is a meaning to the whole ordeal, it is that they love each other. For one sure thing about the elephants is that they are deeply capable of love.
“Shooting an Elephant” Summary & Analysis Next
But in the long run, that message is no match for the economic and environmental forces arrayed against them — if not their survival, then at least their freedom. All the other land giants have already met their appointments at the end of the world. The elephants will not have the space to just be who they are forever.