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EN100 English Composition

Published : 23-Oct,2021  |  Views : 10


Cultures in Conflict

1. Compare and contrast the conflicts faced by Orwell in “Shooting an Elephant to those faced by Gideon in No Witchcraft for Sale. To what unique revelation does Orwell's position as a police officer lead him? How can Gideon's ultimate decision not to share his knowledge be interpreted as an act of rebellion and an assertion of the dignity and worth of his culture?
2. What do pieces such as “Marriage Is a Private Affair and the excerpt from Nectar in a Sieve demonstrate about the influence of modern ideas and modern ways on traditional cultures? How are the characters in these works affected by the modernization of their respective societies?
3. Of all the characters highlighted in the works included in this unit, which one did you relate to or identify with the most in terms of his or her struggles and conflicts? Why? What was it about this character that made him or her affect you as he or she did? Be sure to point to specific examples from the work to support your response.


1. Orwell and Gideon are conflicted in different ways in their narratives. In "Shooting the Elephant," Orwell is conflicted between his vowed upon duties as a police officer and that which seems right. He is faced with dangers of nature in the form of an elephant. The elephant might be problematic to him and the people that are looking up to him to make the right decision (Orwell, 2009). According to the mass, killing the elephant is the right move. As a police officer, Orwell is supposed to guard and protect every piece of creation. He, however, succumbs to societal jeering and pressure, the pressure to impress. Orwell Kills the elephant even after stating categorically that he doesn't wish to do so.

Similar to the case of Orwell, Gideon is conflicted with forces from the inside as well as from the outside. The narrative unfolding in "No witchcraft for sale" shows Gideon helping Teddy recover his sight without hesitation. He chooses to keep his healing root as a secret from the scientist he is with. The constant show of disrespect from the expert, despite their equality in rank, might have informed this decision. The secrecy, however, weighs down upon Gideon's conscience. Keeping the root as secret places any other victim at risk, they might not be as lucky as Teddy. Exposing the source on the other side would result in losing his dignity and culture.

Orwell's gets to have a better understanding of himself and view himself from a different perspective. This point of view is all thanks to his position as police officer.

Gideon's choice to conceal his knowledge can be seen as a rebellious act and at the same time an assertion of the dignity and cultural worth. The statement, therefore, is justified by the fact that he finally seen things from a whole new light and makes new discoveries along the way.

2. There are various views through which marriage is looked at depending on some factors. One of these factors being where one lives. Culturally, some people had an arranged form of wedding. They had no freedom of choice and were sold out. The moment a child, females to be particular came into the world; they were booked for marriage (Oran, 1977). Their work was to grow up and commit to the person their parents chose for them.

Transitioning into modernization has encouraged free will and the freedom of choice as well as the expression of preferences. You can marry whoever warms your heart, commit to them for as long as you want to regardless of their race, culture and financial status just to name but a few.

Characters are stifled by this modernization as it disturbs the equilibrium or normal way of doing things. Some modern rites are seen as controversial, some in acceptance and some in denial (Saxena, 2015). It is subject to sparking plenty of discussions, therefore. There is a need for adaptation as days go by and times change.

3. Gideon from "No Witchcraft for Sale" appeals to me more because of his principled standing. In a society where it is much easier to work towards pleasing everyone, standing for what you believe in is that one factor that stands out. Gideon stood out when he defended his beliefs, culture, and dignity even after assessing what the risks were. He, Gideon emphasizes on preserving your identity and defending it against all the odds (Saxena, 2015). He illustrated this through his actions.


Orwell, G., & Paxman, J. (2009). Shooting an elephant (1st ed.). London: Penguin Classics.

Oran, M. (1977). Nectar in a Sieve by Kamala Markandaya. The English Journal, 66(3), 62.

Saxena, K. (2015). Ecofeminism in Kamala Markandaya's Nectar in a Sieve. Motifs : An International Journal Of English Studies, 1(2), 141.

Saxena, K. (2015). Ecofeminism in Kamala Markandaya's Nectar in a Sieve. Motifs : An International Journal Of English Studies, 1(2), 141.

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