They were watching me as they would watch a conjurer about to perform a trick. It was obvious that the elephant would never rise again, but he was not dead. Some of the people said that the elephant had gone in one direction, some said that he had gone in another, some professed not even to have heard of any elephant.
Having killed the elephant, the narrator considers how he was glad it killed the " coolie " as that gave him full legal backing. He does not even know enough about marksmanship—or elephants—to kill the elephant painlessly. The young Buddhist priests torment him the most. 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.
I ought to walk up to within, say, twenty-five yards of the elephant and test his behavior.
The narrator then wonders if they will ever How to shoot an elephant and that he did it "solely to avoid looking a fool.
I had got to shoot the elephant. The townspeople, who were previously uninterested in the destructive elephant, have seen the gun and are excited to see the beast shot. The tortured gasps continued as steadily as the ticking of a clock. He becomes a sort of hollow, posing dummy, the conventionalized figure of a sahib.
These bullets do nothing; the elephant continues to breathe torturously. In contrast to his description of the natives as "little beasts", the narrator labels the elephant as a "great beast", suggesting he holds it in higher esteem than the locals.
This step permits the people to find out if this lawyer is good enough to handle their case or not. The crowd would laugh at me.
There was only one alternative. Would I please come and do something about it? He was dying, very slowly and in great agony, but in some world remote from me where not even a bullet could damage him further.
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. But at that moment I glanced round at the crowd that had followed me.
I looked at the sea of yellow faces above the garish clothes-faces all happy and excited over this bit of fun, all certain that the elephant was going to be shot. He tries to figure out the state of affairs, but, as is common in his experience of Asia, he finds that the story makes less and less sense the more he learns about it.
He looked suddenly stricken, shrunken, immensely old, as though the frightful impact of the bullet had paralysed him without knocking him down.
For it is the condition of his rule that he shall spend his life in trying to impress the "natives," and so in every crisis he has got to do what the "natives" expect of him.
It was perfectly clear to me what I ought to do. They did not like me, but with the magical rifle in my hands I was momentarily worth watching. From the outset, Orwell establishes that the power dynamics in colonial Burma are far from black-and-white.
Orwell, the imperialist, cannot do anything other than what the Burmese expect him to do. Moreover, I did not in the least want to shoot him.
It was an immense crowd, two thousand at the least and growing every minute.Based on Orwell’s experience with the Indian Imperial Police (), “Shooting an Elephant” is set in Moulmein, in Lower Burma. Orwell, the narrator, has already begun to question the presence of the British in the Far East.
Elephants never stop growing, a meliorative aspect of which (elephant-hunt-misgivings-wise) is that the mongo bulls that hunters most want to shoot also happen to be the oldest animals, usually within five or so years of mandatory retirement, when elephants lose their last set of molars and starve to death.
"Shooting an Elephant" by George Orwell is a narrative essay about Orwell's time as a police officer for the British Raj in colonial Burma. The essay delves into an inner conflict that Orwell experiences in his role of representing the British Empire and upholding the law. At the opening of the.
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We can help you with your legal problems. Check out our in depth articles, reviews and tips. Shooting An Elephant An essay by George Orwell, first published in the literary magazine New Writing in In Moulmein, in Lower Burma, I was hated by large numbers of people – the only time in my life that I have been important enough for this to happen to me.Download