Society's Influence On People Depicted In George Orwell's Shooting An Elephant And Lucy Grealy's Mirrors

1059 words - 4 pages

Throughout the ages, people have at times been influenced by society to do things they would not normally do. There are people who have been influenced to do things they did not desire to do at the behest of others, simply to be accepted by their peers. The choices that are made in life affect you either way even if they were made by you or someone else. Each choice made has a consequence which will affect the individual and in return the decision will produce a particular outcome. Influence is a hard thing to calculate into someone’s life and seeing how it changes lives for better or for worst is very difficult. Perseverance through hardship is a theme that is seen in many works of literature, these include “Shooting an Elephant” by George Orwell and “Mirrors” by Lucy Grealy. Influences fulfill their objectives while affecting others in many different ways. Both authors show similarities and differences by explaining how life is taken advantage of by others.
Society affects the choices an individual makes throughout his or her life. In “Shooting an Elephant” by George Orwell, Orwell describes how he was mistreated and hated his entire life. He is the actual narrator of this story and he tries to understand why people are the way they are. “The only time in my life that I have been important enough for this to happen to me” (Orwell, 354). This shows that he is finally happy being accepted by society, even if he was wrong in his actions against the elephant. For Orwell, he is constantly battling with his need to do what he knows is correct versus what will gain him acceptance into the society. In “Mirrors” by Lucy Grealy, Grealy explains how throughout her whole life she battled the traumatic disease of cancer. She is also the narrator of this story and she expresses how she felt by her appearance. Grealy states “I was a dog, a monster, the ugliest girl they had ever seen” (Grealy, 66). This shows that she never felt accepted by her peers, also shown when she states “I became interested in horses and got a job at a run-down local stable. Having those horses to go to each day after school saved my life; I’d spent all of my time either with them or thinking about them.” This shows that she felt accepted by whom she was with the horses because they wouldn’t criticized her when she would go see them she would feel welcomed.
Another similarity shared is in “Shooting an Elephant”, Orwell states “And suddenly I realized that I should have to shoot the elephant. The people expected it of me and I had got to do it;” this showed how he became so accustomed to doing things out of desire that he just did it to get it done. The killing of the elephant was expected of him by the people of the village. It also shows that peer pressure plays a great role in society by making people pay too much attention to the opinion of...

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