Notes on shooting an elephant

On its rampage, the elephant has destroyed public and private property and killed livestock. Orwell orders a subordinate to bring him a gun strong enough to shoot an elephant. Active Themes Related Quotes with Explanations The elephant lies on the ground, breathing laboriously.

In this crucial moment of the story, Orwell articulates the paradox of colonialism. Orwell decides that the best way to handle the situation would be to approach the elephant to test its temperament and only harm the animal if it behaved aggressively. Although his intellectual sympathies lie with the Burmese, his official role makes him a symbol of the oppressive imperial power.

Others, from more detached perspectives, are able to rationalize barbaric actions with legal justifications founded in the racism that underpins colonization.

However, to do this would endanger Orwell, and worse still, he would look like an idiot if the elephant maimed him in front of the natives. The townspeople, who were previously uninterested in the destructive elephant, have seen the gun and are excited to see the beast shot.

Orwell feels as though he is a magician tasked with entertaining them, and realizes that he is now compelled to shoot the elephant. That is the paradox of colonialism—that colonial propriety comes to force the colonizer to act barbarously. The crowd would laugh at me.

This situation provokes two conflicting responses in Orwell: These bullets do nothing; the elephant continues to breathe torturously.

This situation provokes two conflicting responses in Orwell: He was part of the government and being in control in his real life, and he hated it. He enriches the text with imagery and when I was reading Shooting an Elephant, I could picture everything going on- the elephant getting shot,the look in his eyes, the whole scene.

A third shot downs the elephant. Most people would not want to shoot an innocent creature but at the same time would have to in order to avoid any type of humiliation from the onlooking crowd.

Why do you always doubt his word! He has showed the reader that they are not the only ones with dilemmas in their lives. This conflicted mindset is typical of officers in the British Raj, he explains. He entertains the possibility of doing nothing and letting the elephant live, but concludes that this would make the crowd laugh at him.

He is later told that the elephant took a half hour to die. By limiting the freedom of others, the British have actually forced themselves to adopt a limited, exaggerated role in order to maintain their grip on authority—and thus limited their own freedoms far more sharply.

He becomes a sort of hollow, posing dummy, the conventionalized figure of a sahib. Reply Montha I also felt the same way about Orwell when he had confessed his doubts and worries concerning the shooting of the elephant- I thought it was good of him to admit these things.

Orwell goes to the neighborhood where the elephant was last spotted. Do we step away from the fire to keep ourselves from being scathed? I liked the way you tied it into the struggles we face today.

Shooting an Elephant Essay | Essay

While he holds symbolic authority and military supremacy, Orwell is still powerless to stop the jibes and abuse he receives from oppressed Burmese. On its rampage, the elephant has destroyed public and private property and killed livestock.

By being placed in front of a crowd, Orwell has been forced to take on a performative persona that makes him act counter to every reasonable impulse he has. Orwell is distressed to see the elephant laboring to die, clearly in agonizing pain, so he fires his smaller-caliber rifle into its body countless times.

Moreover, killing an elephant is a waste of an expensive commodity.Need help with “Shooting an Elephant” in George Orwell's Shooting an Elephant? Check out our revolutionary side-by-side summary and analysis. “Shooting an Elephant” Summary & Analysis from LitCharts | The creators of SparkNotes.

Shooting an Elephant Summary SuperSummary, a modern alternative to SparkNotes and CliffsNotes, offers high-quality study guides that feature detailed chapter summaries and analysis of major themes, characters, quotes, and essay topics.

Find helpful customer reviews and review ratings for Shooting An Elephant at Read honest and unbiased product reviews from our users. From The Community. Amazon Try Prime All. Go Search EN He notes that "In certain kinds of writing, particularly in art criticism and literary criticism, it is normal to come across long.

Shooting an Elephant

In "Shooting an Elephant," Orwell draws on his own experiences of shooting an elephant in Burma. This elephant has been terrorizing a bazaar, but the narrator has serious misgivings about shooting.

classic essay “Shooting an Elephant” and works by Graham Greene and the American Paul Theroux. Kincaid’s stories, novels, and essays have also been important to postcolonial theory, a branch of literary studies. “Shooting an Elephant” George Orwell works as the sub-divisional police officer of a town in the British colony of Burma.

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Notes on shooting an elephant
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