The essay that is being narrated takes place in Moulmein in lower Burma. During the rainy season.
The crowd is first introduced in the essay because of its “hideous laughter.” This same laughter is what makes the narrator weak. It is what limits the choice between being laughed of, or shooting the elephant, a creature which he knows ought to be left alone.
Along the essay the elephant is mentioned in the essay. Indian, Burmese, and Thai elephants are working animals, used for lifting and hauling. The elephant therefore has something analogous to a social station — he is a “worker” — and resembles, in his servant-to-master relation the native Burmese, who have been enrolled without veto into the service of the British Empire.
A British police official in Burma. He understands that the will of the crowd demands the death of the elephant despite his unwillingness to shoot the animal.
The narrator’s inner struggle of shooting an elephant, He has to choose between being laughed of and being seen as a fool or shooting an elephant which he does not intend to do.
The essay exhibits a certain structure, which is very notable. That of meditation and action; it starts with reflection, tells part of the story, reflects further, offers its climax, and then ends with a final reflection.
Broken up by the narrator’s reflections on the events he is remembering. The increasing size of the crowd thus also functions as part of the story, the size of the crowd serves as a type of pressure to the narrator’s decision of shooting an elephant.
Point of view
An assumed first person point of view. Narrator is telling an event that occurred sometime in the past. Narrator directly reports the impressions and thoughts that he experienced at the time of the elephant shooting.
The elephant: he is a “worker” and resembles, in his servant-to-master relation the native Burmese, who have been...