I remember that it was a cloudy, stuffy morning at the beginning of the rains. I had committed myself to doing it when I sent for the rifle. Alive, the elephant was worth at least a hundred pounds; dead, he would only be worth the value of his tusks, five pounds, possibly.
Active Themes The crowd reaches the rice paddies, and Orwell spots the elephant standing next to the road. An enormous senility seemed to have settled upon him. The thick blood welled out of him like red velvet, but still he did not die.
He sends an order to bring an elephant rifle and, followed by a group of roughly a few thousand people, heads toward the paddy field where the elephant has rested in its tracks.
That would never do. I had committed myself to doing it when I sent for the rifle. From the outset, Orwell establishes that the power dynamics in colonial Burma are far from black-and-white. It was a very poor quarter, a labyrinth of squalid bamboo huts, thatched with palmleaf, winding all over a steep hillside.
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.
In the same way, the British empire is inhumane not out of necessity, but rather out of reactionary ignorance regarding both the land it has colonized and the pernicious way that colonization acts on both the colonized and the colonizer.
This was the rainy season and the ground was soft, and his face had scored a trench a foot deep and a couple of yards long. As a police officer I was an obvious target and was baited whenever it seemed safe to do so. He does not even know enough about marksmanship—or elephants—to kill the elephant painlessly.
The Burmese population had no weapons and were quite helpless against it. I did not know what I could do, but I wanted to see what was happening and I got on to a pony and started out. The crowd sighs in anticipation. He wears a mask, and his face grows to fit it.
I was a poor shot with a rifle and the ground was soft mud into which one would sink at every step. Having killed the elephant, the narrator considers how he was glad it killed the " coolie " as that gave him full legal backing. I had no intention of shooting the elephant — I had merely sent for the rifle to defend myself if necessary — and it is always unnerving to have a crowd following you.
Although he does not want to kill the elephant now that it seems peaceful, the narrator feels pressured by the demand of the crowd for the act to be carried out. Evidently, colonialism and the power dynamics it entails are too convoluted to be contained within a single straightforward point of view.
He entertains the possibility of doing nothing and letting the elephant live, but concludes that this would make the crowd laugh at him. Orwell notes that he is lucky the elephant killed a man, because it gave his own actions legal justification.
George Orwell Shooting an Elephant 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.
He becomes a sort of hollow, posing dummy, the conventionalized figure of a sahib. He receives a call from another policeman, informing him that a rogue elephant has been causing damage in the town.
The young Buddhist priests torment him the most. Retrieved September 22, It is deeply ironic, and tragic, that Orwell is compelled to entrench himself further in barbarism, simply because he feels that propriety dictates that he do so. As a member of the ruling power, he is cornered into doing what the "natives" expect of him: The narrator then wonders if they will ever understand that he did it "solely to avoid looking a fool.
His elderly colleagues agree that killing the elephant was the best thing to do, but the younger ones believe that it was worth more than the Indian it killed. Those harmed by the violence are either silenced—like the elephant—or lack recourse—like its owner. Besides, legally I had done the right thing, for a mad elephant has to be killed, like a mad dog, if its owner fails to control it.
A sahib has got to act like a sahib; he has got to appear resolute, to know his own mind and do definite things. He fires at its heart, but the elephant hardly seems to notice the bullets. Entering one of the poorest quarters, he receives conflicting reports and contemplates leaving, thinking the incident is a hoax.
It was perfectly clear to me what I ought to do."Shooting an Elephant" is an essay by English writer George Orwell, first published in the literary magazine New Writing in late and broadcast by the BBC Home Service on 12 October The essay describes the experience of the English narrator, Inside the Whale and other essays.
Shooting An Elephant [George Orwell] on mi-centre.com *FREE* shipping on qualifying offers. 'Shooting an Elephant' is Orwell's searing and painfully honest account of his experience as a police officer in imperial Burma; killing an escaped elephant in front of a crowd 'solely to avoid looking a fool'.
The other masterly essays in this collection /5(17). Need help with “Shooting an Elephant” in George Orwell's Shooting an Elephant?
Check out our revolutionary side-by-side summary and analysis. This collection: “Shooting an Elephant and Other Essays” were first time published on October 5, ~ [mi-centre.com] [mi-centre.com library]. "Shooting an Elephant" is Orwell's searing and painfully honest account of his experience as a police officer in imperial Burma; killing an escaped elephant in front of a crowd 'solely to avoid looking a fool'/5.
Shooting an elephant, and other essays. [George Orwell] Export a citation. Export to RefWorks Export to EndNote / Reference Manager Export to EasyBib Export to EndNote / Reference Shooting an elephant --A hanging --How the poor die --Lear.Download