Society teaches the morally incorrect and socially unacceptable aspects of murder. George Orwell’s “Shooting and Elephant” and Foster the People’s “Pumped up Kicks” address the contrary, the instances in which society leads one to murder. Orwell’s switch from first to second person within “He wears a mask, and his face grows to fit it” reveals the distance that the murderer puts between himself and his action creating a sense of personal distain; the same sense of detachment is evoked through Foster the People’s dreamily synthesized lyrics.
The short clauses without conjunctions “In an instant, in too short a time, one would have thought, even for the bullet to get there” increases the pace just as the murderous act occurs intensifies the guilt suddenly felt. On the contrary, as the chorus begins in “Pumped up Kicks” the music picks up pace with a lighter music layered over the heavy down beat evokes a sense of relief that that the murder will bring after society drove the murderer insane.
Both Orwell and Foster the People address varying situations in which murder must occur through their written and melodic choices.
Part 2Jonathan Swift’s “A Modest Proposal” and George Orwell “Shooting an Elephant” offer a satirical view of British Imperialism. Orwell openly mocks the British control of Burma through “I was all for the Burmese and all against their oppressors, the British” which ironically reveals the disapproval of the governing body even by those that it employs. Swift’s absurd suggestion “that a young healthy child well nursed at a year old a most delicious, nourishing, and wholesome food” casts light upon the horrible treatment the Irish receive from the British while the radical suggestion parallels the extensive poverty Ireland experienced.
Likewise, the thought of “shooting an elephant” develops a ridiculous idea about allowing death; the awkwardly large size of an elephant criticizes the outrageous living conditions within Burma. Orwell describes the elephant as “He took not the slightest notice of the crowd’s approach” which symbolizes the blind eye the British turned to the people of Burma. Similarly, Swift justifies babies as being good food for landlords because “they have already devoured most of the parents” relating the wealthy to cannibals because of their lack of humanity toward the poor.
However, Orwell directly develops empathy toward the natives of Burma stating “It was perfectly clear what I ought to do” relating to shooting the elephant to please the people and gain acceptance. Swift’s constant sarcasm does not pity the poor, but it criticizes the British for allowing their way of life. Orwell’s narrative and Swift’s sarcastic essay critique the British government’s inability to uphold moral laws and just treatment for all people.