George Orwell discusses his experience of shooting an elephant in Moulmein, Lower Burma in his short story, "Shooting an Elephant." But I could get nothing into perspective. I heard later that it took him half an hour to die. And at that distance, peacefully eating, the elephant looked no more dangerous than a cow. try to inflict injuries on white men whenever they could do it with impunity, troha. With one part of my mind I thought of the British Raj as an unbreakable tyranny, as something clamped down, in saecula saeculorum, upon the will of prostrate peoples; with another part I thought that the greatest joy in the world would be to drive a bayonet into a Buddhist priest’s guts. shoot the elephant, after all. I did not even know that the British Empire is dying, still less did I know that it is a great deal better than the younger empires that are going to supplant it. Finally I fired my two remaining shots into the spot where I thought his heart must be. bears ample evidence to the evils of imperialist domination. I’d love to hear from you. in British occupied Burma, Orwell was not favourably disposed to the British He gets his chance to be the hero when an elephant gets loose and causes destruction and the people need him to kill the beast. History has The people expected it of me and I had got to do it; I could feel their two thousand wills pressing me forward, irresistibly. 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. the East. Theoretically – and secretly, of course – I was all for the Burmese and all against their oppressors, the British. Burmans were bringing dash and baskets even before I left, and I was told they had stripped his body almost to the bones by the afternoon. Orwell aimed several inches in front of the elephants ear-hole thinking that the brain was in front. Shooting an Elephant, by George Orwell is a story how a young Orwell, while stationed in Colonial Burma, became disillusioned with Imperialism. Some of the people said that the elephant had gone in one direction, some said that he had gone in another, some professed not even to have heard of any elephant. He had a genuine sympathy for the oppressed native people, Alive, the elephant was worth at least a hundred pounds; dead, he would only be worth the value of his tusks, five pounds, possibly. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one: 2 years ago. 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 turned to some experienced-looking Burmans who had been there when we arrived, and asked them how the elephant had been behaving. 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. The rifle was a beautiful German thing with cross-hair sights. London WC1E 6BT, We use cookies. It made me vaguely uneasy. As a police officer I was an obvious target and was baited whenever it seemed safe to do so. His mouth slobbered. Sign In. Possible outline for a text commentary. I was sub-divisional police Most of the corpses I have seen looked devilish.) Besides, legally I had done the right thing, for a mad elephant has to be killed, like a mad dog, if its owner fails to control it. I was young and ill-educated and I had had to think out my problems in the utter silence that is imposed on every Englishman in the East. But, his pride and his position as a white police officer makes him decide to shoot anyway. Moreover, I did not in the least want to shoot him. The Burmans were already racing past me across the mud. But in falling he seemed for a moment to rise, for as his hind legs collapsed beneath him he seemed to tower upward like a huge rock toppling, his trunk reaching skyward like a tree. paddy field. And if that happened it was quite probable that some of them would laugh. I perceived in this moment that when the white man turns tyrant it is his own freedom that he destroys. insults. His mouth was wide open – I could see far down into caverns of pale pink throat. He wears a mask, and his face grows to fit it. I ought, therefore, as the elephant was sideways on, to have aimed straight at his ear-hole, actually I aimed several inches in front of this, thinking the brain would be further forward. elephant, under the attack of 'must' had broken its chained was ravaging the I had already sent back the pony, not wanting it to go mad with fright and throw me if it smelt the elephant. Then the veils of a woman attracted his attention. author did not have the slightest intention of killing the elephant. Orwell's descriptivism demonstrates the effectiveness of his experience while in the process of shooting the elephant. elephant. Afterwards, of course, there were endless discussions about the shooting of the elephant. In that instant, in too short a time, one would have thought, even for the bullet to get there, a mysterious, terrible change had come over the elephant. As for the job I was doing, I hated it more bitterly than I can perhaps make clear. (Somehow it always seems worse to kill a large animal.) For at that time I had already made up my mind that imperialism was an evil thing and the sooner I chucked up my job and got out of it the better. Preview this quiz on Quizizz. We began questioning the people as to where the elephant had gone and, as usual, failed to get any definite information. I had halted on the road. They seemed to make no impression. a township in Lower Burma. to live up to the image of the white men in the colonies-a man of By browsing our site you agree to our use of cookies.Accept, ‘What I have most wanted to do… is to make political writing into an art’, Out of body, out of mind - Rhianna Prewitt, 'Why Did You Organise the Protest?' In the end I could not stand it any longer and went away. One day something happened which in a roundabout way was enlightening. described in his essay Shooting an Elephant. realised that the white man's superiority over the natives was but a hollow It is a serious matter to shoot a working elephant – it is comparable to destroying a huge and costly piece of machinery – and obviously one ought not to do it if it can possibly be avoided. Even the advocates of imperialism would find it It seemed to me that it would be murder to shoot him. He becomes a sort of hollow, posing dummy, the conventionalized figure of a sahib. But even then I was not thinking particularly of my own skin, only of the watchful yellow faces behind. not have the courage to rise in open rebellion against British domination. Thus, from his own experience, he A white man mustn’t be frightened in front of “natives”; and so, in general, he isn’t frightened. The elephant was standing eight yards from the road, his left side towards us. body of a black Dravidian coolie came into his view. Besides being the Founder and Owner of this website, I am a Government Officer. And the history of our country under the British rule I felt that I had got to put an end to that dreadful noise. Would I please come and do something about it? As soon as I saw the dead man I sent an orderly to a friend’s house nearby to borrow an elephant rifle. Hello, Viewers! The short story Shooting an Elephant by George Orwell takes place in British controlled India. Sheridan 1 Shooting an Elephant Dominic P.G. Anti-European feelings ran high among the native people though they did The crowd would laugh at me. I had almost made up my mind that the whole story was a pack of lies, when we heard yells a little distance away. This he came to realise through an experience which has been The officer is chasing down an elephant that is running amuck in the town. As he went forward the dead "Shooting an Elephant" is an essay by New Writing in the autumn of 1936 and broadcast by the BBC Home Service on October 12, 1948. gathered there became greatly excited because they now took it for granted that The British Raj did not care for anything but for their own material wealth and their ruling personas. Orwell's Shooting an Elephant.pdf. At this moment, he turned round Orwell began by stating how the locals in Burma, then a part of India, despised him because of his position of authority in their country. officer in Burma he had seen, ‘the dirty work of Empire at close quarters’. Shooting an Elephant Summary. So he started out with his light rifle to see what the matter was. and saw that a huge crowd of natives had followed at his heels. He was an Indian, a black Dravidian coolie, almost naked, and he could not have been dead many minutes. such feelings as the, But there are, in this George Orwell’s Shooting An Elephant is a great essay combining personal experience and political opinion. Shooting an Elephant is mainly about the tussle going on in Orwell’s conscience while working as a police officer for the British in Burma. In shooting an elephant one should shoot to cut an imaginary bar running from ear hole to ear hole. Buy Study Guide. " There were several thousands of them in the town and none of them seemed to have anything to do except stand on street corners and jeer at Europeans. "Shooting an Elephant" is an essay by George Orwell, first published in the literary magazine New Writing in the autumn of 1936. And afterwards I was very glad that the coolie had been killed; it put me legally in the right and it gave me a sufficient pretext for shooting the elephant. Feelings like these are the normal by-products of imperialism; ask any Anglo-Indian official, if you can catch him off duty. He looked suddenly stricken, shrunken, immensely old, as though the frightful impact of the bullet had paralysed him without knocking him down. It was a very poor quarter, a labyrinth of squalid bamboo huts, thatched with palmleaf, winding all over a steep hillside. Shooting an Elephant Summary. As soon as I saw the elephant I knew with perfect certainty that I ought not to shoot him. What country is "Shooting an Elephant" set in? 637 times. The owner was furious, but he was only an Indian and could do nothing. The essay starts with a reference to the strained expectation of the thousands of natives surrounding him. But I had got to act quickly. I fired again into the same spot. In the end, due to Orwell’s decision, the elephant lay dying in a pool of blood. Edit. The Burmese sub-inspector and some Indian constables were waiting for me in the quarter where the elephant had been seen. As a police It was perfectly clear to me what I ought to do. Following is the major theme of the essay Shooting an Elephant. The people said that the elephant had come suddenly upon him round the corner of the hut, caught him with its trunk, put its foot on his back and ground him into the earth. And my whole life, every white man’s life in the East, was one long struggle not to be laughed at. The narrator doesn’t know how to shoot to kill an elephant, and the elephant falls to … They all said the same thing: he took no notice of you if you left him alone, but he might charge if you went too close to him. In Shooting an Elephant George Orwell recounted an event from his life during his stationary in Burma, that he detested. I looked at the sea of yellow faces above the garish clothes-faces all happy and excited over this bit of fun, all certain that the elephant was going to be shot. That would never do. difficult not to agree with Orwell's view of its harmful effects. If he charged, I could shoot; if he took no notice of me, it would be safe to leave him until the mahout came back. He was dying, very slowly and in great agony, but in some world remote from me where not even a bullet could damage him further. It was a tiny incident in itself, but it gave me a better glimpse than I had had before of the real nature of imperialism – the real motives for which despotic governments act. They would even extra-ordinary strength, courage and determination, who must remain unmoved in Here, the storytelling process is a bit different because Orwell never mentioned any name of the storyteller and that is why readers think that he himself was the policeman who was wanted to kill an elephant in Burma. Even from the start of his career as a police officer in British occupied Burma, Orwell was not favourably disposed to the British imperialist policy. As I started forward practically the whole population of the quarter flocked out of the houses and followed me. The transitions he makes between narration and the actual story is so subtle the flow of the essay is easy to read. 0. In George Orwell’s autobiographical work, “Shooting an Elephant”, he detailed an event as an officer in the imperialistic era of Britain in India. confirmed his views even to the last detail. That is invariably the case in the East; a story always sounds clear enough at a distance, but the nearer you get to the scene of events the vaguer it becomes. Orwell states, “when the white man turns tyrant it is his own freedom that he destroys”, this statement reflects back on his personal experience. What country is "Shooting an Elephant" set in? This was the rainy season and the ground was soft, and his face had scored a trench a foot deep and a couple of yards long. English. their hatred of the white man found expression through devious ways. It seemed dreadful to see the great beast Lying there, powerless to move and yet powerless to die, and not even to be able to finish him. There was a loud, scandalized cry of “Go away, child! This is the problem the narrator of the story Shooting an Elephant faced. effects of imperialism, Orwell's views have been confirmed by many white men An Analysis of Orwell’s “Shooting an Elephant”Erika Moreno-Dalton In Shooting an Elephant, George Orwell finds himself in a difficult situation involving an elephant. I shoved the cartridges into the magazine and lay down on the road to get a better aim. Even from the start of his career as a police officer As to the evil A sahib has got to act like a sahib; he has got to appear resolute, to know his own mind and do definite things. This essay on Burma in “Shooting an Elephant” by George Orwell was written and submitted by your fellow student. The tone is also angry at times, as Orwell is angry at British Imperial rule and his role in it. dictates of his own conscience. This feeling represents the guilt of attempting to commandeer an entire culture and society. Drop me a line anytime, whether it’s about any queries or demands or just to share your well being. The wretched prisoners huddling in the stinking cages of the lock-ups, the grey, cowed faces of the long-term convicts, the scarred buttocks of the men who had been Bogged with bamboos – all these oppressed me with an intolerable sense of guilt. His body did not even jerk when the shots hit him, the tortured breathing continued without a pause. As a police officer, the author was an obvious target of such petty attacks and At that age I was not squeamish about killing animals, but I had never shot an elephant and never wanted to. The young Buddhist priests were the worst of all. Problématique : How does the essay reflect Orwell's anti-imperialist position? crisis, he realised the bitter truth : "when the white man turns tyrant it by troha. As a hardcore literary lover, I am pursuing my dream by writing notes and articles related to Literature. The friction of the great beast’s foot had stripped the skin from his back as neatly as one skins a rabbit. For, in that critical situation, he was expected I got up. The Elephant Quotes in Shooting an Elephant The Shooting an Elephant quotes below all refer to the symbol of The Elephant. death by the elephant. Thanks for stopping by. and he hated himself for being a tool of imperialist domination. Institute of Advanced Studies, South Wing Wilkins Building I marched down the hill, looking and feeling a fool, with the rifle over my shoulder and an ever-growing army of people jostling at my heels. It looked peaceful enough, and the author felt there was no reason They were going to have their bit of fun after all. When I pulled the trigger I did not hear the bang or feel the kick – one never does when a shot goes home – but I heard the devilish roar of glee that went up from the crowd. It was not, of course, a wild elephant, but a tame one which had gone “must.” It had been chained up, as tame elephants always are when their attack of “must” is due, but on the previous night it had broken its chain and escaped. Shooting An Elephant Orwell Animal Knew. I ought to walk up to within, say, twenty-five yards of the elephant and test his behavior. At the second shot he did not collapse but climbed with desperate slowness to his feet and stood weakly upright, with legs sagging and head drooping. I sent back for my small rifle and poured shot after shot into his heart and down his throat. In “Shooting an Elephant” George Orwell is not liked by the Burmese people because he is the representation of their oppressors, the British. No one had the guts to raise a riot, but if a European woman went through the bazaars alone somebody would probably spit betel juice over her dress. Played 637 times. At the onset of the narrative, the author explicitly explains how he is against the colonization and experiences an inner war. The thick blood welled out of him like red velvet, but still he did not die. For at that moment, with the crowd watching me, I was not afraid in the ordinary sense, as I would have been if I had been alone. They had not shown much interest in the elephant when he was merely ravaging their homes, but it was different now that he was going to be shot. Orwell describes the elephant's death and the moments leading up to its shooting with much detail. 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. The act of shooting the elephant (allegory) The actual shooting of the elephant works as an allegory for the British colonial project in Burma. Shooting The Elephant By George Orwell's Shooting An Elephant 993 Words | 4 Pages. You are free to use it for research and reference purposes in order to write your own paper; however, you must cite it accordingly. He clearly did not want to shoot the… He was tearing up bunches of grass, beating them against his knees to clean them and stuffing them into his mouth. And suddenly I realized that I should have to shoot the elephant after all. Orwell's Shooting an Elephant.pdf. He neither stirred nor fell, but every line of his body had altered. The essay describes the experience of the English narrator, possibly Orwell himself, called upon to shoot an aggressive elephant while working as a police officer in Burma (now Myanmar). If the elephant charged and I missed him, I should have about as much chance as a toad under a steam-roller. Hello, Viewers! the face of every crisis. bazaar area. the sahib was surely going to shoot the elephant. This analysis of “Shooting an Elephant” by George Orwell, explores the story’s plot structure, which is enhanced by creative elements such as an exposition that mostly conveys the narrator’s thoughts, as well as through a brief climax followed by an anti-climax as the shooting of the elephant takes longer than expected.. Some more women followed, clicking their tongues and exclaiming; evidently there was something that the children ought not to have seen. 0. The sole thought in my mind was that if anything went wrong those two thousand Burmans would see me pursued, caught, trampled on and reduced to a grinning corpse like that Indian up the hill. Moulmein. imperialist policy. for killing it unless it turned savage again. 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. "devils', but his better reason always prevailed. But it would be going rather I remember that it was a cloudy, stuffy morning at the beginning of the rains. They did not like me, but with the magical rifle in my hands I was momentarily worth watching. missed an opportunity of baiting white men or jeering at them. The Burmese population had no weapons and were quite helpless against it. At once the author sent an orderly who fetched an “Shooting an elephant” is a book that narrates George Orwell’s experiences while working as a law enforcement official in Burma. In the end the sneering yellow faces of young men that met me everywhere, the insults hooted after me when I was at a safe distance, got badly on my nerves.