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Identify all commonly shared values in the essay," Shooting an Elephant" with examples.

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djrims | Student, Undergraduate | eNotes Newbie

Posted November 5, 2009 at 3:43 AM via web

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Identify all commonly shared values in the essay," Shooting an Elephant" with examples.

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pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted November 5, 2009 at 10:54 AM (Answer #1)

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I'm assuming that when you say "commonly shared values" you mean values that are shared by all people.  If that's the case, here's what I see:

  1. The desire not to be embarassed.  Much of what motivates Orwell is his personal desire to look good in front of other people and to do what they expect him to do (shoot the elephant).  It makes him do a thing he doesn't really want to do.
  2. Pity.  Orwell feels a great deal of pity for the elephant as it takes so long to die.
  3. Self-centeredness.  The main reason Orwell cares about the coolie who got killed is because it gives him a good excuse to have shot the elephant.
  4. Greed.  The Burmans are eager to have the elephant shot, in part so they can have its meat.

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