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The essay "Shooting an Elephant" relates to this situation.

It is worth noting that making images as well as tools depends on not only sufficient mental abstraction, but more practically , or some kind of hand-like appendage, such as a trunk, something that allows for a special kind of active engagement with environs. In fact, given their prehensile facility, elephants can be trained to make representational paintings — of flowers, balloons, and elephants, mainly — just as they can be trained to perform many other sophisticated tricks. (Given their intense boredom in captivity, where almost activity can be appealing, it is not only a crowd-pleaser but seemingly fun for the elephants, whose work is then sold to fund their care and other conservation efforts, otherwise known as win-win-win.) Some elephants, however, make art of their own accord — mostly, as it appears, abstract, but some bordering on representational. Ruby, who spent almost her entire life at the Phoenix Zoo and was given paints for recreation after her keepers observed her always doodling in the sand, would commonly select paint colors that matched events around her, such as visitors’ shirts outside her cage or the red, yellow, and white of a fire truck that had pulled up with flashing lights earlier in the day.

In “Shooting an Elephant,” George Orwell describes his experience of shooting an elephant.

service in the British Empire places his reasoned principles and his basic intuitions in constant conflict. He recognizes that the empire is tyrannical and abusive, yet he is unable to overcome his visceral contempt for the local villagers who mistreat him. The decisions Orwell makes when confronted with the rogue encapsulate these tensions between his different principles. Orwell could have followed his more humane, ethical impulses and chosen to spare the elephant. However…

I had got to shoot the elephant.

George Orwell's essay, Shooting an Elephant, deals with the evils of imperialism.

Tom, however, is not simply a hero or a victim. His devotion to Jenny also leads him to betray his sweetheart, abandon his family, ignore grave evil, and descend into a sordid London underworld whose misery he actively contributes to. In every choice that arises for Tom between Jenny and another person, he knows he can’t leave Jenny because there is literally no one else on earth who will protect her. She is “only an Elephant,” after all, and not entitled to the same basic social claims as people. But since she exists not as a subject in her own animal society but as an object in the human one, she susceptible to any violations someone may impose (as was her brother, whose untimely demise was the result of profound degradation and misunderstanding). Tom’s unusual connection to her puts him in limbo between two realms which are perhaps impossible to integrate — not because animals are too different from us, but because they are too alike.

However, in other circumstances, distressed elephants have been known to kill themselves in ways that certainly seem intentional — not only by refusing food and water, but by stepping on their trunks to suffocate, or deliberately tightening chains hung around their throats. Under the circumstances, these actions seem much closer to despair than to fatal stupidity. Other perverse behaviors, such as the way cows giving birth sometimes turn on their newborns, are never seen anywhere but in captivity.

But I did not want to shoot the elephant.

Orwell orders a subordinate to bring him a gun strong enough to shoot an elephant.

As a kind of trial, the elephant’s chase poses a question familiar from real trials held in courtrooms every day: how much are violent offenders warped by atrocious pasts responsible for what they do? How relevant is this to what becomes of them, when there is a fundamental obligation to protect society?

Having tracked the deep into the northern forest, one night they encounter a legless man who turns out to be his former owner. Many years ago, the man purchased him on a whim, having a lifelong affection for the creatures but not knowing anything about them. Further, being often away from home on business, the owner heedlessly left him in the care of a vicious scamp, returning one day to find him tied up to a tree, malnourished, and scarred from frequent beatings. The keeper (who was nowhere to be found until he was discovered locked up for fighting in a bar) was immediately fired, and a kinder one employed to nurse the back to health. But a few weeks later, the old keeper showed up again, belligerently drunk, demanding money from the owner and taunting the elephant. At the sight of his tormenter, the elephant broke out of his restraints and smashed the keeper to the ground repeatedly, crushing the owner’s legs on the way out.

They had seen the rifle and were all shoutingexcitedly that I was going to shoot the elephant.
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"Shooting an Elephant “Shooting an Elephant”." LitCharts.

“Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? And not one of them will fall to the ground apart from your Father. But even the hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not, therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows” (Matthew 10:29-31). If a single little bird is worth the all-consuming grief of Dulary the Elephant and the cosmos-animating mind of the Father of Creation, and human worth surpasses that, then what is there to lose in holistically appreciating the life of this one bird, even insofar as it resembles ours? And how much more than the bird an , which by its own extraordinary nature shows that all species are not equal — but is a portal to the world of non-human life, and the possibilities therein.

George Orwell - Shooting an Elephant - Essay

Even supposing that the elephants were our equals in intelligence, their life differs from ours so fundamentally that trying to infer their perspective from our own experience is bound to miss the mark in many ways. For one thing, as a rule elephants have poor vision — but their sense of smell is exquisite, revealing a whole olfactory landscape that we are contentedly closed off to. Also, they do not fall romantically in love (that we know of; that their behavior indicates). Think how many other aspects of our lives are profoundly influenced by good sight and deep eros, and ask yourself what might loom equally large in an elephant’s world that we ourselves would have very little grasp of. And of course there are a variety of other differences — where they live, how they live, the fact that from birth to death a female (unless something has gone wrong) will be alone and after a certain point a male mostly will. How might these things shape a psyche?

Shooting an elephant - The Economist

f the core elements of life, sensation, and emotion are so widely distributed as to encompass a huge swath of the animal kingdom, what the moral difference between a species with higher capabilities and one without? In his thoughtful 1985 essay “,” the philosopher of biology Hans Jonas takes up three activities attributed solely to humans and explores their deeper implications. As it happens, given what we know today, elephants arguably meet all three tests. Jonas’s standard is worth revisiting in this light — not to diminish its significance for , but to consider what it means for the one other animal, at least, that might share it.

Essay on Shooting an elephant - 694 Words | Majortests

Despite its limits, surely this is a better orientation than that of the British Raj officers of yore, who in the great tradition of Royal Society vivisections and other such doings obtained a wealth of information about elephantine physiology by restraining the animals and applying pain to find the most sensitive pressure points, coldly taking notes on their new knowledge of the nervous system. But the dilemma remains: how to get an accurate understanding of the animals’ nature and (if appropriate) emotions, without imposing on them assumptions born of a distinctly human understanding of the world?

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