George Orwell Summary

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George Orwell Summary “Shooting an Elephant,” by George Orwell gives the reader a first person view on working as a European sub-divisional police officer living in Moulmein, Lower Burma. In his essay Orwell, recounts, “the real nature of imperialism”(2). Orwell, also describes the feeling of the Burmese people opposing the British, the hatred he feels towards his job, how he covertly supports the Burmese people, and his sense of guilt. Orwell says, “In a job like that you see the dirty work of Empire at close quarters”(2). One morning, there was a received about a lost control elephant causing ruination. At first, Orwell is hesitant about the phone call received over the elephant and thinks they are lies until he “saw a man’s dead body sprawling in the mud”(3). As soon as he sees evidence of the elephants devastation, Orwell sends out for an elephant rifle. When he begins to descend to the elephants location, the Burmese people began to follow as well. The crowd of Burmese started shouting with vim when they saw that Orwell had a rifle, and was going to shoot the elephant. Orwell, starts to describe his sense of unease since he had no intention of shooting the elephant and had only asked for the rifle as a means to defend himself if necessary. Once Orwell has the elephant in sight he says, “I ought not to shoot him”(4). His hesitation in shooting the elephant is because an elephant is seen as machinery, and also the elephant was not threatening anybody. Instead of shooting the elephant right away, Orwell decides to watch the elephant and make sure it did not run savage and planned to head home after. Then, the crowd that had followed him had grown and was continuing to grow and the look on the crowds faces were all happy ones and gleaming with excitement over the elephants impending death. Orwell is beginning to realize that he may have

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