English

Question

How would you describe George Orwell's feelings about killing the elephant in his essay "Shooting an Elephant"?

1 Answer

  • In this crucial moment of the story, Orwell articulates the paradox of colonialism. What have the British forced themselves to adopt by limiting the freedom of others?  A limited, exaggerated role in order to maintain their grip on authority—and thus limited their own freedoms far more sharply. Orwell recognizes that the elephant is a peaceful creature that has been driven to rebellion by its mistreatment, and there is a metaphorical link between the elephant and colonialism. However, he was forced to take on a performative persona that makes him act counter to every reasonable impulse he has, and he was afraid of humiliation. The way humiliation might impact the local's sense of him as an authority figure.
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