Justin Yap Janet Goldberg English 96 09/23/08 Fuck You In “Shooting an Elephant,” George Orwell is a story about his personal experience as a police officer of the town who has trouble living in his community since he got laughed at all the time. He felt bad due to the way he is treat throughout his community, but one day he receives a call saying that an elephant is on a rampage. Orwell did not know what he could do, but he was curious and wanted to see what was happening, so he brings his old .44 Winchester rifle out and hopped on a pony to go to the other end of town. As he arrived, he asked the fellow Burmans where the elephant went and they said it went to paddy fields. The Burmans townspeople followed Orwell since it caught their interest that he was going to shoot an elephant. The narrator felt pressured for there were at least 2,000 people watching him. Orwell did not want to shoot the elephant, but he would if he had to. Orwell eventually shot it for he was going to be humiliated again from the townspeople. In order for him to not be embarrassed and to save his reputation, he had to do it. I had a similar experience from Orwell experiencing peer pressure when I was a child. Back in the days when I was younger, - probably about 5-6 years old – I was a “goodytoo-shoe” around my school. My parents taught me not to swear, not to steal, and be happy with what I got. I never really complained about anything, but when I did, I was punish by my parents and told that it was the best for me. I attended school every day. I never missed a single class, except for when I was terribly sick. I never really went out of my house after school since I was
mostly focusing on my school work – that’s how I was raised. After I finished my homework, I would always be watching T.V., just like any other child would do. I was not raise to be stuck at home and doing my homework all the time, I had fun as well. My fun was with my family: hanging out with my cousins during the weekends on my dad’s and mom’s side of the family. On my dad’s side of the family, I have four cousins: Christopher, Candy, Crystal, and Christina – arranged from oldest to youngest. Christopher was never really around that much since he was at least 8 years older than I was and he was mostly living with my grandma. Christina is the youngest of them all, and she wasn’t quite born yet when I was 5 years old. On my mother’s side of the family, I have only one cousin: Darren. Darren was like the opposite of me. He was always doing bad stuff since he was mostly hanging around with my mom’s cousins who is around Christopher’s age, maybe a few years older. As you know when you are a little kid, you do not know what the difference between rights is or wrong, so Darren was always swearing, bullying, lying, and cheating. If you can think of all the bad stuff that a child can do, Darren was always the one ending up doing it. One day when I was at a family gathering on my mom’s side, I was playing around with my cousin Darren and another family relative named Glen. They were always having fun because I always saw smiles on their faces and they were always laughing. As you know, when you are a kid and you see smiles and laughing, it seems interesting and you want to do what they want to do, but what I did not know is that the stuff they were doing was actually bad: stuff that I should not be learning at my age yet. I decided to go outside and see what they were up to since whatever they were doing seemed like fun. “Hey guys, what are you doing?” I asked Darren.
Darren replied, “Shouting.” What they were really shouting out was bad words that my parents told me to never to say: fuck you, bitch, motherfucker, etc. If I said it, they would always punish me and that was never a good thing for I was always scared. “Hey I dare you to say, fuck you.” Darren added. “No! That’s a bad word and I can’t say it.” I replied within an instance. “Why not?” Darren asked curiously as if he did not know. I replied, “It’s a bad word and my mom is going to hear it. If she hears it, she will get mad at me.” “No they won’t. They will just think it’s just me. C’mon, just say it. Scream it out loud.” Darren replied with a comforting tone. At that sudden moment, I was peer pressured on doing something that I did not want to do and knowing that it was going to be resulting into a bad outcome. I did not really know what peer pressure was back then, but I knew how it felt. I thought about it for a second and thought I would try it. “Fuck you!” as I looked up at my neighbor’s house and screamed giving it a sense of anger tone with it. Immediately after my short scream, they were laughing like crazy, as it was the first bad word I ever said in my entire life. They told me to say it again and stick up the middle finger at the same time and as you would figure it out, I did.
The second time I screamed it out, I felt like if I had something on top of my back that was trying to push me down. I felt so bad since it was my very first bad word that came out of my mouth. When they asked me to say the word, the third time repetitively, I denied to say the word again since I knew the path they were leading me to was the wrong way. When I went back in to the house, no one noticed that I had said anything. They were all busy having fun chatting, eating, and playing mahjong. My cousin was right when he said that they would never notice. Like all bad things, punishment happens either immediately after you did something, or it happens later. My dad eventually punished me when I told him about the little incident I had the other night. I just had to tell him to relieve the pressure that was on my back. When I look back at my childhood, that event always reminds me of what I did wrong. I laugh at it sometimes because it reminds me that I was just a little kid and I didnâ€™t really know much about peer pressure and how to deal with it. Nowadays, I only use that word in my head when I did something wrong. Sometimes I even say it around people who I know will not take the word for the actual meaning. Before, it was bad for I usually said it in almost every sentence back in middle school â€“ so immature of me. When I read the essay about the police officer dealing with peer pressure, I knew how Orwell felt because I was in his shoes once before - not with the same scenario, but with the similarity of the fact of being pressure into doing something wrong.