Shooting An Elephant

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“Shooting an Elephant” highlights the paradoxical and incongruous effects of imperialism in the 1920’s. This narrative is written by George Orwell and takes place in Lower Burma when it was a part of India. The short story is a well-constructed piece of work, one that illustrates the effects that the British imperialistic ideals have on the author. Orwell’s mortality is directly tested by his legal obligation to slaughter the elephant. Thus, creating an internal conflict symbolized through the medium of a metaphor. The short story is about a young Englishman police officer set out to patrol the streets of Burma when the British took control over India in the 1920’s. He strongly opposed the British and was secretly on the side of the Burmese, but could not voice…show more content…
Choosing a narrative structure to emphasize a theme of anti-imperialism was the most efficient way Orwell could have gotten his point across in “Shooting an Elephant”. Using a narrative guides the reader into feeling the same pressures and afflictions as the main character in the story. The narrator says, “The wretched prisoners huddling in the stinking cages of the lockups, the grey cowed faces of the long term convicts, the scarred buttocks of the men who had been flogged with bamboos-all these oppressed me with an intolerable sense of guilt”(Shooting an Elephant, 204). This gives the reader clarity of the narrator’s perspective on imperialism by showing how the police officer is aware of the negative impact brought due to imperialism. That quote from the story also demonstrates how it hurts him to endure and watch what his people are doing to the Burmese. Orwell also creates suspense in the short story to really help the reader get a full understanding of what he is feeling. This is shown when the police officer is overwhelmed by

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