Shooting an Elephant by George OrwellShooting an Elephant is Orwells searing and painfully honest account of his experience as a police officer in imperial Burma; killing an escaped elephant in front of a crowd solely to avoid looking a fool. The other masterly essays in this collection include classics such as My Country Right or Left, How the Poor Die and Such, Such were the Joys, his memoir of the horrors of public school, as well as discussions of Shakespeare, sleeping rough, boys weeklies, and a spirited defence of English cooking. Opinionated, uncompromising, provocative, and hugely entertaining, all show Orwells unique ability to get to the heart of any subject.
Shooting An Elephant Essay
The essay delves into an inner conflict that Orwell experiences in his role of representing the British Empire and upholding the law. At the opening of the essay Orwell explains that he is opposed to the British colonial project in Burma. In explicit terms he says that he's on the side of the Burmese people,who he feels are oppressed by colonial rule. As a police officer he sees the brutalities of the imperial project up close and first hand. He resents the British presence in the country. Inevitably then, he faces challenges as a police officer representing British imperial power.