What is Orwell's argument in shooting an elephant?

Asked By: Benyoussef Evermann | Last Updated: 26th January, 2020
Category: events and attractions comedy events
4.3/5 (973 Views . 39 Votes)
Throughout Orwell's short story "Shooting an Elephant," he critiques imperialism by illustrating the conflicting nature of colonialism as well as the tense relationship between the ruling Europeans and the marginalized Burmese citizens.

Click to see full answer


Besides, what is the message of shooting an elephant?

The symbolic story in the Shooting an Elephant is an attack towards imperialism. Orwell presents the ironic truth that imperialism benefits neither the imperialist nor the countries they colonized.

Beside above, what is the main conflict in George Orwell's Shooting an Elephant? The most obvious conflict in "Shooting an Elephant" is the narrator's unwillingness to shoot the elephant that went on a rampage. This conflicts with the perceived need for him to do so as a display of colonial strength and resolution.

Regarding this, what is the purpose of George Orwell's Shooting an Elephant?

The primary purpose of Orwell's short story "Shooting an Elephant" is to illustrate the oppressive influence that imperialist regimes have on the agents who represent and uphold the image of their impenetrable empire.

How did Orwell justify the shooting the elephant?

On the whole, one would argue that the colonial policeman—based on Orwell himself—is indeed justified in shooting the elephant. The simple fact is that, under the circumstances, he has no choice in the matter. On the one hand, if he shoots the elephant then his conscience will be tormented.

23 Related Question Answers Found

What does the elephant symbolize?

Wisdom & Loyalty: Elephant symbolism also represents sensitivity, wisdom, stability, loyalty, intelligence, peace, reliability and determination, which are all seen in the animal's nature when observed in the wild. Elephants are gentle giants, who show great care toward their herd, offspring and elders.

What would the elephant symbolize?

Elephant Symbolism and Elephant Spiritual Meaning. Elephants have a positive symbolic meaning all over the world and are considered a symbol of good luck, power, success wisdom and experience. Because elephants are highly social animals, they are also considered to be a symbol of loyalty, companionship and unity.

How do you kill an elephant?

War Elephant's do a charge attack. They dip their head down and run straight at you. It's a very narrow path attack so you only have to be a step or two to the side. At the end of this attack they are stunned for a couple of seconds.

How does Orwell feel about imperialism?

Orwell expresses hostile feelings towards the imperialism, British justification for taking over the powers of the Burma people and the entire British Empire. Orwell gives his experience in Burma and the story shows the mood and feeling of a person experiencing British imperial break down.

Who is the intended audience for shooting an elephant?


The audience in “Shooting an Elephant” is Imperial Britain and the Europeans in general. Orwell is speaking to the British population about their Imperial government and how it is ineffective, hurtful, and oppressive to all. The essay has a very tragic tone to it.

What is a Coringhee?

an unskilled laborer, especially formerly in China and India. an unskilled laborer employed cheaply, especially one brought from Asia. a contemptuous term used to refer to an Asian, especially an Indian living in South Africa.

Is shooting an elephant an allegory?

The actual shooting of the elephant works as an allegory for the British colonial project in Burma. Orwell feels that it's wrong to kill such a large and wild animal. This feeling represents the guilt of attempting to commandeer an entire culture and society.

When the white man turns tyrant 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. 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 own freedom that he destroys."

What happens to the elephant after Orwell's first shot?

Orwell fires his two remaining shots into the elephant's heart. He sends someone to get his small rifle, then pours “shot after shot into his heart and down his throat.” Still, the elephant does not die. Orwell, unable to stand the elephant's suffering and unable to watch and listen to it, goes away.

What literary devices are used in shooting an elephant?


What will be discussed:
  • POV - 1st person perspective.
  • Diction & Description in relation to mood & tone.
  • Imagery.
  • The Figurative Language.
  • Alliteration.
  • Anaphora.
  • Metaphors.
  • Oxymoron.

What is the value of the elephant?

The elephant is also valuable. He sacrifices something beautiful, almost human, and valuable simply to appease the needs of his ego. The elephant's physical size is also important, for without the weapon, the narrator would be no match for it.

What is Orwell's internal conflict?

Orwell details his internal conflict as one in which he wishes the Empire to fail just as much, if not more, than the Burmese. Yet, he needs a job and this is the job he has. For Orwell, it is a self- hating internal conflict that requires him to don a uniform that embodies the very worst for him.

What two things did Orwell consider himself stuck between?

“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.”

What is the plot of how do you shoot an elephant?


Shooting an Elephant Summary. "Shooting an Elephant" by George Orwell is a narrative essay about Orwell's time as a police officer for the British Raj in colonial Burma. The essay delves into an inner conflict that Orwell experiences in his role of representing the British Empire and upholding the law.

How do the Burmese view the British?

In "Shooting an Elephant", the Burmese view the English with angry suspicion. Moreover, although the Burmese people do not have enough guts to start a riot, sometimes they show their discontent towards British officers by insulting them when it is not dangerous to do so.

What does the narrator in Shooting an Elephant by George Orwell think of the elephant when he finds it?

The narrator, George Orwell, thought that "it would be murder to shoot an elephant." When he found the elephant, he did not want to kill it because he thought that it was no longer dangerous. But he still kills it because of the want to be a part or liked by the society. In short, he was "peer-pressured" by the people.