The narrator realizes the powerful effects social construction has on people. He feels an “intolerable sense of guilt” for his inability to do anything about the tyranny he sees before him. He is unable to express his mind and speak against the wrongdoings of imperialism because he is only one man. The narrator was influenced to a great extent by social construction; nonetheless, the narrator is more open minded than perhaps many other white men, he does in fact share a great number of their prejudices and is socially constructed to a great extent.
He is socially constructed to consider an animal’s life to be of more value than that of a Burmese. The author considers the elephant, “a huge and costly piece of machinery,” to be of greater value than the life of a worthless coolie. The narrator realizes that imperialism socially constructs the natives and locals to regard the British as decisive and powerful leaders. The narrator, nonetheless, is also socially constructed to be the leader of Burmese. The narrator is forced to live up to the expectations of both the natives and his fellow white men.
The natives expected him to kill the elephant. The narrator wanted to save face and avoid looking a fool. In the process, he abandons his logic and deserts his sanity and did what the crowd wanted him to do. The power of social construction is exemplified specifically in the fact that he risked his life and killed the elephant, whose life is worth much more than any coolie. The narrator was constructed to discard his morals and follow the rule of the empire, a rule of great contradictions.