The statement in Friedersdorf’s article, ‘the length authority figures will go to avoid derisive laughter’ is incredibly reflective and in agreement with George Orwell’s perspective, especially in relation to ‘Shooting the Elephant’. This is because Orwell describes the relationship he had with the people of Burma at the time that he was an authority figure there. He describes a setting in which he is often ridiculed or insulted, whether directly or indirectly. When an elephant is out of control, and has killed a man, in the area, Orwell tracks and observes it. He concludes that the elephant is no longer a threat and killing it would not only be pointless, but even harmful, as killing an elephant is like damaging expensive machinery. However, he is being watched by the people of the area, and they expect that he will kill the elephant. To express his authority and avoid ridicule, Orwell kills the elephant and meets expectations. Similarly, campus police are faced with a significant amount of ridicule, and may often use violence or excessive force to fight this notion.
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However, Orwell’s views may diverge at the statement ‘but neither does he want to let them win, or admit to his fellow officers or his superiors that they’d been beaten’ due to his perspective regarding the British forces. Unlike many of the currently serving police officers, not only was Orwell philosophically disloyal to imperialism, but often resolutely against it and for Burmese revolts against the British Raj. Orwell aimed to simply end his service and hope for the vanishing of imperialism. The campus officers adhere to an establishment that is more socially acceptable that imperialism, but produces many similar systematic disparities that can occur as excessive force by police. As such, though the actions by both the campus police and Orwell aim to fight ridicule, they adhere to different values and loyalties.