I fired a third time. However, he calls these feelings a by product of British imperialism. Moreover, I did not in the least want to shoot him. He may be suggesting that for some the elephant is more important than the life of a human being. It seemed to me that it would be murder to shoot him.

Orwell spent some of his life in Burma in a position akin to that of the narrator, but the degree to which his account is autobiographical is disputed, with no conclusive evidence to prove it to be fact or fiction. He had trumpeted just once before falling and his breathing continued after he fell. At last, after what seemed a long time — it might have been five seconds, I dare say — he sagged flabbily to his knees. 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. Orwell presents this scene from the prison to demonstrate the burden on his conscience and how much he disliked being an officer and policing the natives.

Life in the village has very little meaning. Because the locals expect him to do the job, he does so against his better judgment, his anguish increased by the elephant’s slow and painful death.

English Composition 1

Britain conquered Burma over a period of 62 years —during which three Anglo-Burmese wars took place, and incorporated it into its Indian Empire. The narrator singles out “Buddhist priests”—persons synonymous hix peace and goodwill—to be “the worst of all” and comments on how he would gladly “drive a bayonet into a Buddhist priest’s guts”. 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.

He would go near the elephant and shoot if it charged.


Orwell’s Shooting an elephant: Summary, Analysis & Essay Questions

I was young and ill-educated and I had had to think out sohoting problems in the utter silence that is imposed on every Englishman in the East. It was one of the poorest corners of the town filled only with thatched huts.

The narrator’s situation throughout the essay is one of little prospect or prominence. The story is regarded as a metaphor for British imperialism, and for Orwell’s view that “when the white man turns tyrant it is his oh freedom that he destroys. There is also a sense of relief among Orwell orwellz some of his colleagues accept that what he has done is the right thing to hiss. We began questioning the people as to where the elephant had gone and, as usual, failed to get any definite information.

That was the shot that did for him. This web edition published by: Most of the corpses I have seen looked devilish. Theoretically — and secretly, of course — I was all for the Burmese and all against their oppressors, the British.

Publish now – it’s free.

george orwells essay on his life in burma shooting an elephant

At times these interactions might take a favourable turn and be less biter like when the elephant as on rampage. The older men said I was right, the younger men said it was a damn shame to shoot an elephant irwells killing a coolie, because an elephant was worth more than hid damn Coringhee coolie.

Rather than talking of Burma or imperialism, it is about his personal feelings on both and how they affect him.

It is as though he wants to be seen in a good light by orwwells Burmese. It seemed to me that it would be murder to shoot him. 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.


george orwells essay on his life in burma shooting an elephant

All this was perplexing and upsetting. With a strong interest in the lives of geroge working class, Orwell—born in India to a middle-class family, but brought up in Britain—held the post of assistant superintendent in the British Indian Imperial Police in Burma from to He remarks in the first sentence, “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.

At last left with no alternative, Orwell got down on the road and aimed at the elephant. The ending is often also an abrupt one similar to the ending of an anecdote with the storyline coming to a solution in the form of a punch line. The events do not need to follow a logical and chronological order but can occur out of context.

george orwells essay on his life in burma shooting an elephant

At all stages Orwell tries to keep the upper hand and exert his power over the Burmese people. He comments on how, even though he is of the ruling class, he gelrge himself either largely ignored by the Burmese people or hated. I perceived in this moment that when the white man turns tyrant it is his own freedom that he destroys.

Shooting an Elephant – Wikipedia

And suddenly I realized that I should have to shoot the elephant after all. Orwell shows that while he has been feeling like a fool, rowells is easy to see others are bigger fools who neither know their own conscience and nor understand the feelings of the natives. Even Orwell himself started feeling a dislike for the British Raj which hurma turned Burma into a hell. I perceived in this moment that when the white man turns tyrant it is his own freedom that he destroys.