Orwll Analysis-Shooting an Elephant

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Composition~Orwell Analysis

In the excerpt from Orwell’s “Shooting an Elephant”, the author uses similes, syllepsis, and connotation to appeal to the readers sense of pathos in order to convey his attitude of remorse and fluster in regards to shooting the elephant so as to comment on imperialism.

Orwell uses Similes to convey his remorse and fluster towards shooting the elephant. He compares the elephant to “…a huge rock toppling…” and paints the scene by saying “The thick blood welled out of him like red velvet…” He clearly shows his fluster when he couldn’t stand “The tortured gasps…” that “…continued as steadily as the ticking of a clock.” The use of these similes effectively shows how he is upset and feels guilty about shooting the elephant by using toppling rocks to suggest something monumental was ending. The tortured gasps show that he realizes the elephant is in pain and he feels remorse because he is not able to put it out of its misery. His fluster is shown when he mentions pouring shot after shot down his throat in an attempt to kill the elephant.

Throughout the Excerpt Orwell uses a variety of words to appeal to the reader’s sense of pathos in order to convey his fluster and regret. When he shoots the elephant he notices a “…mysterious, terrible change…” come upon it and the elephant seems to him as if it became “…stricken, shrunken, immensely old…” His agitation is shown when he hears the “…long rattling gasps…” and “…dreadful noise.” The use of these words appeals to the sense of pathos by creating empathy in the reader. By seeing these strong, descriptive words the reader can feel his regret and dismay at shooting such a magnificent creature.

In paragraph 12 Orwell uses syllepsis to show his contrition. He describes the elephant as “…powerless to move and yet powerless to die…” This syllepsis shows how Orwell feels regret because it is his fault the elephant is in this state but he nor, the elephant, can do anything about it and has to...
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