Orwell heads toward the affected area. Shortly thereafter, the Burmese stripped Summary of shooting an elephant meat off its bones. Because he is, like the rest of the English, a military occupier, he is hated by much of the village. Active Themes However, after he makes this decision, Orwell glances back at the crowd behind him.
The narrator starts to have second thoughts, regretting that he has to kill the elephant now that it is resting peacefully.
Orwell, the imperialist, cannot do anything other than what the Burmese expect him to do. The narrator approaches the spot and continues to ask the people, but they all seem to give him vague answers as to where the elephant is lurking.
Though the Burmese never stage a full revolt, they express their disgust by harassing Europeans at every opportunity. A third shot downs the elephant. Orwell orders a subordinate to bring him a gun strong enough to shoot an elephant.
When the white man turns tyrant, it is his own freedom that he destroys The narrator shoots and shoots and shoots again. He cannot tolerate mistreatment from the Burmese, even though he understands that he, as a colonist, is in the wrong.
Orwell feels uncomfortable—he had not planned to shoot the elephant, and requested the rifle only for self-defense. 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.
He heads off with a Winchester rifle and riding on a pony to track it down. Copyright Super Summary. These bullets do nothing; the elephant continues to breathe torturously.
He thinks the incident may have been a hoax, but soon finds a man who has been trampled by the elephant. However, the people continue to pressure, and eventually he takes the shot. Orwell did spend significant time in Burma, and the extent to which Shooting an Elephant is based on actual events is unknown.
He is later told that the elephant took a half hour to die.
The crowd sighs in anticipation. The essay is considered by many to be a metaphor for British imperialism, a subject Orwell wrote of critically in many of his nonfiction works. Taking place during the British occupation of Burma, it focuses on an unnamed narrator, considered by many to be a stand-in for Orwell himself, as he is tasked to shoot an aggressive elephant while serving as a police officer in the country.
The story really starts when an elephant shows up and Retrieved September 19, For example, much like the Burmese who have been colonized and who abuse Orwell, the elephant has been provoked to destructive behavior by being oppressed.
He fires at its heart, but the elephant hardly seems to notice the bullets. That is the paradox of colonialism—that colonial propriety comes to force the colonizer to act barbarously.
His knee-jerk resentment at being humiliated—coupled with an implied sense that those humiliating him should see him as powerful and their better—seems to be as powerful as his higher-order ethics.
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.
Although George Orwell died young, succumbing to Tuberculosis at forty-seven years old, he remains widely influential today for both his novels and his many essays on politics, literature, and culture.
He later finds out that as soon as the elephant died, the locals stripped it to the bone and took the meat for their own purposes. He has yet to understand that the British empire is waning, and will soon be replaced with even worse regimes.
Orwell fires again, and the elephant does not fall—instead, it wobbles back onto its feet. Shooting an Elephant is a essay by British novelist and satirist George Orwell, first published in the anti-fascist literary magazine New Writing and later broadcast by the BBC Home Service in While he holds symbolic authority and military supremacy, Orwell is still powerless to stop the jibes and abuse he receives from oppressed Burmese.
Active Themes There is only one thing Orwell can do.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.
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.
The narrator (Orwell?) begins "Shooting an Elephant" by showing how much prejudice can be found in British Burma. In Moulmein, in lower Burma, I was hated by large numbers of people – the only.
Need help with “Shooting an Elephant” in George Orwell's Shooting an Elephant? Check out our revolutionary side-by-side summary and analysis. Summary of “Shooting an Elephant” George Orwell, in the essay, “Shooting an Elephant”, narrated the whole process of killing an outrageous elephant when he was in the post of a police officer in Moulmein, in lower Burma.
Shooting an Elephant study guide contains a biography of George Orwell, literature essays, quiz questions, major themes, characters, and a full summary and analysis.Download