Shooting an Elephant'' is a central text in modern British literature and has generated perhaps more criticism than any other comparable short piece. In the politicized atmosphere of contemporary criticism, commentators are especially drawn into debate about whether Orwell apologizes for or condemns imperialism. Left-wing critics see insuf- ficient condemnation; conservative critics point out that it is the narrator, an agent of empire, who explicitly denounces the British presence as pervasively corrupting to both sides. The story is one of the most widely anthologized and studied items of the modern English-language canon [continues]
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