George Orwell Shooting An Elephant Summary

Decent Essays

George Orwell’s anecdote of “Shooting an Elephant” from 1936 was written for a literary magazine to inform British citizens of the struggles he experienced while working his restricting job, and begins with him dwelling on the concept that he is alone, and the only company he has is the pressuring wills of the 2,000 Indians watching him handle a rifle. He continually arguing against himself on whether or not to shoot the elephant, but the tyrannical British government he works for has placed him alone as a policeman in India with no one to agree with and talk him into doing what Orwell believes to be the best choice, leaving him with the pressure to adhere to 2,000 Indians’ desires that comply with British laws, resulting in his obedience. The ease of this for the despotic British government motivates them to pursue this act of control.
Orwell begins this passage by talking about the “immense crowd” that was continuously growing to watch him shoot the elephant. The Indian’s interest in him skyrocketed when this harmful act became his task. These beginning 11 lines were written to highlight the fact that everyone watching was expecting something phenomenal to come from him, which developed an enormous amount of pressure to decide whether or not to shoot the elephant. Orwell states “it was an immense crowd, two thousand at the least and growing every minute”, which is either true, and shows that he had actual thousands of people expecting him to kill the elephant, putting on

Get Access
Get Access