comparing and contrasting essays of george orwell and annie dillard

Comparing and Contrasting Essays of George Orwell and Annie Dillard


     Annie Dillard and George Orwell are both known for their interest in the different relationships and attitudes that people put forward with regards their existence in a government-controlled society. In the writings that they came up with entitled “The Chase” [Annie Dillard] and “Shooting an Elephant” [George Orwell], they particularly discussed different social issues that could be connected to the society’s political situation during the times when the stories were first written through the descriptive procedures that they chose to adapt with in writing. As it could be noted from both written pieces, the idea of politics and its situational effect upon the lives of the living human society has been given clear description through the plot of both stories. To know both written works separately, it is informative enough to discuss the different issues that are related to both writings. Doing so would help the readers gain knowledge on how and why the said writings are primarily related to the different issues that concern present human living.

THE CHASE by Annie Dillard

     Annie Dillard’s written work has been plotted in connection with her personal experience of being chased by a man while she and her friends were playing in their early years of childhood. She likely described her feelings with regards the fact that she is able to play rough boy games. The game lasted for at least sometime until the suspense of the chase came into the scene. Although the story is not political in nature, it could be noted that as the reading draws towards its conclusion, Dillard’s voice becomes more respondent to the voice of the society.

     People actually want and indeed value the feeling of freedom. As for a fact, this is something that the government recognizes as part of the rights of humans. However, only a few among those authorities in the government actually understands the idea of freedom. Dillard’s chase shows the uncomfortable feeling of being unsecured because of not being truly free. To make the idea clearer, Annie Dillard actually voiced out the thought and emotions that wraps up a situation that makes it easier for the readers to relate with. Her description of her own feeling stands as her description of the entire society’s emotional stand with regards the unrecognizing process with which their rights are being treated with.


     Orwell wrote this particular writing during the imperialism era in Burma. People use to worship elephants there particularly because of their belief in Buddhism. This is particularly why in the story, the officer’s choice of killing the elephant became a hard decision for him. The plot actually starts with a police officer’s faced with the situation where an elephant smothered a community because of it growing wild. The said situation drew to him to a much more complicated decision of whether to kill the elephant or not when the whole community was watching what his next move would be upon seeing the elephant gazing after it just killed an Indian woman as it was looking innocently unknowing of what it just did.

     Afterwards, the climax finally shows that the officer had no choice but to kill the elephant. However, with a few shots, the elephant still managed to survive, but the crowd’s stripping off his meat has eventually taken his life away. Torture, that is. The people being too much judgmental during the time when the officer was thinking what his next move would be represents the European political parties as they intend to watch every step that the people, especially those whom they placed in position if they would follow the rules that the said government placed as guidelines to their people.

     Although the rues were set, the said governmental organization [European Imperialistic Arrangements], have had lesser concerns on their own rules when several situations arise later on. Sadly, this act of the government, directly affects the lives of the society directly.


     As it could be carefully noted, the writings of both authors strongly suggest that fact that people are indeed caring on how much the political issue relate to their own personal situations as locals of the community. The fact that they are living within the community with which the governmental arrangements are being pursued, their freedom and their view with regards how it is particularly dealt with by the society is strongly affecting their lives as individuals and as one existing society as well. True, these writings used symbolical approach to be able to send the idea that the authors particularly aim to send to the reading society. Their continuous aim of enlightening the people with the political situations that they are dealing with becomes a mirror of what and how their freedom is being strongly manifested by the laws.


Annie Dillard : The Chase. (2006). http://essayinfo.com/sample/essay/281/. (August 3, 2007).

George Orwell. (1950). Shooting an Elephant. http://orwell.ru/library/articles/elephant/english/e_eleph. (August 3, 2007).

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