Shooting an elephant is a story written by George Orwell

95 views 2 pages ~ 531 words
Get a Custom Essay Writer Just For You!

Experts in this subject field are ready to write an original essay following your instructions to the dot!

Hire a Writer

George Orwell wrote the novel "Shooting an Elephant" in 1936. As a British police officer, he was disgusted with the way colonial rule mistreated the Burmese. Orwell struggled internally between upholding the law and representing the British Empire. He opposes the British initiative in Burma and supports the Burmese people who are oppressed by colonial rule. As a police officer, he witnesses the British's barbaric treatment up close and resents their presence in the region. Orwell suppresses his emotions because acting against white people would be rash and ill-advised.

The Burmese hate the British Empire and Orwell being a representative of the empire is not left out either. They mock, harass and laugh at him at every opportunity they get, and he finds himself hating the Burmese too. Orwell entire focus is now to avoid becoming a laughing stalk, something that utterly disgusts him. Burmese can ridicule and mock the British, a technique that cannot work in reverse. The story centered on a one-day event when all these conflicts had been going on and with Orwell's full understanding.

On this fateful day, an elephant going through a passing hormonal disorder due to sexual desires, that makes it become violent, broke its chain. That elephant happened to be among the cool animals, but it causes a lot of havoc in the shantytown. It killed a man, trampled the grass and turned over one of the garbage disposal vans. Orwell arrives at the scene with a small riffle in order to scare the animal since he did not intend to kill it. When he sees the mess that it had made, he sends for the elephant's riffle merely stating that it is for self-defense, though he still did not intend to kill it. The Burmese lead him to the fields, and he finds it grazing peacefully. He feels he would go against himself if he kills the beautiful animal, but on looking back, he realizes that the crowd watching him is so big and expecting him to kill the animal.

At this point, he kills the elephant to avoid humiliation by the Burmese, which really terrifies him. Orwell shoots it five times, and without describing his shame or guilt, he leaves it suffering terribly and later succumbing to the injuries after half an hour. The people came in to steal the elephant_x0092_s meat, which they had been eagerly waiting. A discussion later emerges between the British police officers whether Orwell did the right thing. The older ones state that it was the right thing while the younger ones are against him for killing the animal over a Burmese person.

Orwell_x0092_s story reflects what many people go through in life. He struggles between doing what is right and conforming to the societal norms. His dilemma is not different from what people face in the contemporary world. Sometimes they find themselves making the wrong decisions just to please others a challenge that keeps on repeating itself as long as one is living in a community with agreed rules. People face conflicts every day and being true to oneself and not always minding other people is the greatest achievement one can ever make.

October 19, 2022


Number of pages


Number of words




Writer #



Expertise George Orwell
Verified writer

Tony is a caring and amazing writer who will help you with anything related to English literature. As a foreign exchange student, I received the best kind of help. Thank you so much for being there for me!

Hire Writer

This sample could have been used by your fellow student... Get your own unique essay on any topic and submit it by the deadline.

Eliminate the stress of Research and Writing!

Hire one of our experts to create a completely original paper even in 3 hours!

Hire a Pro