Society is built upon the rules and laws individuals are told to follow, as the lives of humanity are held captive within the rules and laws each individual is held under someone's power, just as most individuals today live by the government. However, it is upon those who decide to obey or disobey the rule. The main focus in the essay “Shooting An Elephant” by George Orwell is based off the imperialism within the story in which forces the people to behave in a specific way.
In the presence of a crowd, an individual feels as if it is his duty to conform to the desire of the majority, “The people expected it of me and I had got to do it; I could feel their two thousand wills pressing me forward, irresistibly” (Orwell 123). After an elephant had murdered a man, the entire village demanded justice for him. The narrator in the essay describes that because he was working under the government the crowd was aware of his possession of the rifle, in which they expected him to deliver that justice towards him. He saw the elephant, an innocent life with no intention of harm, and he knew right then and there that that elephant did not deserve to die for unjustly manners. He had told himself he wouldn’t kill the the wonderful creation, yet somehow surrounding him were the villagers who were eager to watch him kill. Their presence had a lasting influence on him, making him self conscience of his following actions. He took into consideration his job and his reputation. He had a desire to fulfill the crowd’s expectation and to please them with by the murdering of an elephant, however he knew deep down within him that he wanted no fault in the elephant’s death. Clearly, this demonstrates how an individual can be influenced to act against their beliefs. Due to the government and society that surrounds oneself, people have become accustomed to this way of life and abide by the rules and ideals of that environment of the atmosphere around them. People tend to have a constant fear following them in which overcomes them in situations where the majority stands against their ideas or beliefs. It is essential because those that possess a high form of power over others will eventually get their way, due to that same fear except on a greater scale. Individuals do what they feel they must do in order to maintain their status in society and to avoid being rejected and neglected.
Since humanity lives under the oppressive systems set by the government individuals begin to question their freedom and their free will of how much freedom they actually have within their lives due to the oppressive systems that seem to be set on default. However, when it comes to the idea of oppression most think that it all breaks down to unjustly actions on racism prejudices, religion, values, or simply those who are an outcast within the society. Today within the modern era society humanity are still oppressed in the society because of the amount of free will humans really have.