Entering one of the poorest quarters, he receives conflicting reports and contemplates leaving, thinking the incident is a hoax. For it is the condition of his rule that he shall spend his life in trying to impress the "natives," and so in every crisis he has got to do what the "natives" expect of him.
As a member of the ruling power, he is cornered into doing what the "natives" expect of him: Orwell notes that he is lucky the elephant killed a man, because it gave his own actions legal justification.
The Burmese sub-inspector and some Indian constables were waiting for me in the quarter where the elephant had been seen.
As such, he is subjected to constant baiting and jeering by the local people. The older men said I was right, the younger men said it was a damn shame to shoot an elephant for killing a coolie, because an elephant was worth more than any damn Coringhee coolie.
His body did not even jerk when the shots hit him, the tortured breathing continued without a pause. Afterwards, of course, there were endless discussions about the shooting of the elephant.
Here was I, the white man with his gun, standing in front of the unarmed native crowd — seemingly the leading actor of the piece; but in reality I was only an absurd puppet pushed to and fro by the will of those yellow faces behind.
I had got to shoot the elephant. Having killed the elephant, the narrator considers how he was glad it killed the " coolie " as that gave him full legal backing.
It is clear that the conventions of imperialism make Orwell feel compelled to perform a particular inhumane and irrational role.
The owner was furious, but he was only an Indian and could do nothing. And if that happened it was quite probable that some of them would laugh.
It was obvious that the elephant would never rise again, but he was not dead. From the outset, Orwell establishes that the power dynamics in colonial Burma are far from black-and-white. Once again, the Burmese appear to wield power over Orwell, subverting the colonial hierarchy.
I was a poor shot with a rifle and the ground was soft mud into which one would sink at every step. I was sub-divisional police officer of the town, and in an aimless, petty kind of way anti-European feeling was very bitter. But even then I was not thinking particularly of my own skin, only of the watchful yellow faces behind.
I had no intention of shooting the elephant — I had merely sent for the rifle to defend myself if necessary — and it is always unnerving to have a crowd following you. All I knew was that I was stuck between my hatred of the empire I served and my rage against the evil-spirited little beasts who tried to make my job impossible.
The mutilated corpse appears to have been in excruciating pain.
The tortured gasps continued as steadily as the ticking of a clock. It was a very poor quarter, a labyrinth of squalid bamboo huts, thatched with palmleaf, winding all over a steep hillside. I waited a long time for him to die, but his breathing did not weaken.
In spite of his reasoned introspection, he cannot resist the actions that the role forces him to make in order to display his power.Shooting an Elephant Questions and Answers - Discover the ultimedescente.com community of teachers, mentors and students just like you that can answer any question you might have on Shooting an Elephant.
Shooting An Elephant An essay by George Orwell, first published in the literary magazine New Writing in In Moulmein, in Lower Burma, I was hated by large numbers of people – the only time in my life that I have been important enough for this to happen to me.
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Check out our in depth articles, reviews and tips. Based on Orwell’s experience with the Indian Imperial Police (), “Shooting an Elephant” is set in Moulmein, in Lower Burma.
Orwell, the narrator, has already begun to question the presence of the British in the Far East. Elephants never stop growing, a meliorative aspect of which (elephant-hunt-misgivings-wise) is that the mongo bulls that hunters most want to shoot also happen to be the oldest animals, usually within five or so years of mandatory retirement, when elephants lose their last set of molars and starve to death.
borrow an elephant rifle. I had already sent back the pony, not wanting it to go made with fright and throw me if it smelt the elephant.
The orderly came back in a few minutes with a rifle and five cartridges, and meanwhile some Burmans had arrived and told us that the elephant was in the paddy fields below, only a few hundred yards away.Download