George Orwell’s “Shooting an Elephant”
“Shooting an Elephant” is an essay written by George Orwell and published in 1936 (Orwell 66). Orwell was born June 25, 1903, as Eric Arthur Blair and passed away January 21, 1950, in India (“George Orwell Biography”). Orwell was known for his journals, novels, and essays published about his own political views (“George Orwell Biography”). Orwell traveled to Burma after not doing good enough in school to earn a scholarship and decided to join the imperial police (Orwell 66). While on duty one day, Orwell received a call that a rampaging elephant was on the loose that had killed a man and destroyed a hut (Orwell 67). Once Orwell found the elephant calm in a field he was faced with a decision of whether to kill the elephant or let it be (Orwell 69). Orwell killed the elephant for the safety of himself and out of pressure from the Burmese standing behind him (Orwell 70). While Orwell contemplated shooting the elephant he knew out of the town he was the only one able to have a weapon to kill the elephant (Orwell 67). The Burmese weren’t allowed to have weapons because the British Empire outlawed them to prevent the Burmese from revolting. The British Empire didn’t want the Burmese to over power them and revolt because they wanted to maintain power imperialism. The British Empire needed to keep the Burmese under their control because they needed the resources from the land. The Burmese were helpless against the rampaging elephant because the British Empire needed to maintain dominance over the Burmese.
Orwell became a writer after serving as an imperial police officer in Burma. Most of Orwell’s writing was directly or indirectly about anti-totalitarianism (“George Orwell’s Biography”). After Orwell being in Burma and living in poverty he became a big opponent of imperialism (“George Orwell’s Biography”). Orwell was a man full of political view’s that came out in his writing. In “Shooting an Elephant” Orwell’s view of...
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