Shooting An Elephant Imperialism

1216 Words5 Pages
George Orwell’s “Shooting an Elephant” is a short story regarding the nature of British Imperialism over its colonies. The story depicts the real motives for which such despotic governments act. It also imposes the kind of cause and effect relationship that is brought up with respect to such actions between the oppressors and oppressed. In the story the narrator is faced with an experience that shows not only the nature of this imperialism, but that also shows how the underlying meaning of his journey goes much deeper than the relationship between Britain and its colonies. The significance of the narrator shooting the elephant at the end of the story symbolizes not only the moral conflict of a man being pressured by society into acting against his own beliefs, but also identifies how the incident present in Orwell’s essay has a much deeper meaning than what it appears to be. The narrator of “Shooting an Elephant”, also depicted as George Orwell, is a British police officer serving in Burma under the rule of the British Empire. He is faced with the same internal and external conflicts every day that…show more content…
It represents the British Empire and how it takes control of its colonies. The elephant, like the empire, can be peaceful at times but can also break free from that control and start causing chaos. In killing the native man of Burma it represents the kind of brute force that an imperialist empire can cause. When the narrator found the man’s body, after being crushed by the elephant, it was almost as if the body was a symbol of the destruction that imperial rule causes on its colonies. Referring to the empire, in the end, when the elephant was dying, it represents how something so massive and strong cannot be taken down so easily. It takes persistence and constant pressure to bring down something so big and that’s what the Burmese people are hoping

More about Shooting An Elephant Imperialism

Open Document