Orwell’s Essays is a book that includes multiple essays by George Orwell. In our English class we only read the following essays: The Spike, A Hanging, Shooting an Elephant, How the Poor Die, Such, such were the joys, and Marrakech (separate handout).
The essays that I thought were the most thought provoking and interesting to read, were: The Spike, and Shooting an Elephant. In this I will express my personal thoughts on each of the essays we read as homework and in class.
This story made me think about the challenges of being homeless in London during the 1920’s. The things in this story that I found to be the most thought provoking was the fact that they knew who had been educated and not. Also, the entire concept of the facility was sort of interesting, with the homeless people being pretty much in a prison like facility with food, clothes, and sanitary facilities. But the catch is that they have to do work, which is the same as normal prisons, but you end up being able to leave after a certain amount of time. The Spike also had the Tramp Major who was pretty much the equivalent to a warden. I personally enjoyed this book, it was interesting to read, and was a short read.
Shooting an Elephant
This story to me represented an extreme form of peer pressure and wanting to not look like a fool. This beginning thought, mostly stems from the constant harassment of the locals of Moulmein, which is under the British Regime. The most thought-provoking part was when he is deciding about whether or not to kill the elephant or leave it be and left it cool off from its “must.” He thinks about how he will look if he does not shoot the elephant and ends up making his mind to shoot it, because “Orwell realizes that he committed to killing the elephant the moment he ordered that he be brought a rifle.” and that “His entire mission as a colonialist, he says, is not to be laughed at—thus, sparing the elephant is not an option.” Personally, I enjoyed this story because of the imaginative nature of it of like the elephant running rampant among a city in Burma, while the whole crowd of Locals is on a hill watching George Orwell aim his rifle at an elephant on a road next to a rice field, like to me that is an interesting scene.