Conflict in "Shooting an Elephant"

This Storyboard That activity is part of the lesson plans for Shooting an Elephant


Literary Conflict in "Shooting An Elephant"

Example



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Activity Overview


Storyboarding is an excellent way to focus on types of literary conflicts.

Having students create storyboards that show the cause and effect of different types of conflicts strengthens analytical thinking about literary concepts. Have your students choose an example of each literary conflict and depict them using the storyboard creator. In the storyboard, an example of each conflict should be visually represented, along with an explanation of the scene, and how it fits the particular category of conflict.


Examples of Literary Conflict in “Shooting An Elephant”

MAN vs. SELF

The narrator is in conflict with his pride and his conscience over whether or not to shoot the elephant. The elephant’s “must” has passed and he is now peaceful; it would be relatively easy to keep an eye on him until the mahout returns. However, the crowd behind the narrator waiting for him to show his muscle as a police officer makes him scared that they will laugh at him if he simply walks away or allows himself to get killed by the elephant.


MAN vs. NATURE

An elephant in “must” (spelled musth), is in a state of heightened aggression in young male elephants. Elephants in musth have been known to violently attack other elephants, other animals, and people who get in their way. The elephant in the story has already knocked down a hut, killed a cow, knocked over a garbage van, and eaten the stock from fruit stalls. When he kills the Dravidian coolie, his aggression has reached its peak.


MAN vs. SOCIETY

The narrator is a police officer for the occupying British leadership, but he finds himself empathizing and siding with the plight of the oppressed Burmans. He hates his job and he hates the terrible side of the dirty work of the Empire. He has to keep his beliefs to himself, though, even though he also hates the way that the Burmans treat him because of the position he holds.



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Template and Class Instructions

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Student Instructions

Create a storyboard that shows at least three forms of literary conflict in “Shooting An Elephant”.


  1. Identify conflicts in “Shooting An Elephant”.
  2. Categorize each conflict as Character vs. Character, Character vs. Self, Character vs. Society, Character vs. Nature, or Character vs. Technology.
  3. Illustrate conflicts in the cells, using characters from the story.
  4. Write a short description of the conflict below the cell.
  5. Save and submit the assignment.

Literary Conflict Template

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