At the time to which Shooting an Elephant relates, Orwell was a sub-divisional police officer in the town of Moulmein in lower Burma which was under British Raj for saccula sacculorum according to the writer. The narrative beings with a description of the hatred he felt equally for the anti-British natives who made his life miserable and the empire he served. The essay revolves around an insignificant incident that happened one day but which rose to its height of importance when it gave Orwell a better glimpse of the real nature of imperialism. An elephant gone must' was on loose and was rampaging the locality spreading terror among people and finally killed a coolie. The writer was called to tackle the situation since he was a Sahib and was authorized to use guns. The crowd of more than two thousand Burmese people marching at his heels left him with no alternative than to shoot the elephant which actually recovered from the attack of must' and was calm by that time.
It is, in fact, the very answer to the question why Orwell decided to kill the innocent animal that undercuts the theme of the essay and focuses on the evil impact of imperialism. There are a number of reasons that can validate Orwell's killing of the elephant but none is more concrete than the one given by the writer in the essay. That is the force of the will of the Burmese people who held him in the high stature of a dutiful Sahib and expected him to shoot the elephant. On the surface, this may suggest to think that the writer is solely blaming the natives for his own action but on a closer inspection we can see the evil impact of imperialism.
In the essay the writer has... [continues]
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