Shooting An Elephant

By George Orwell

Text analysis

Shooting an Elephant is an essay by George Orwell that describes the experience of an English police officer who is called upon to shoot a notorious elephant. The text is considered to be a metaphor on British Imperialism. George Orwell himself was the officer who shot the elephant and the text was his recount of the event. Thus the essay is a primary source. George Orwell shows us through this text that those who have taken over a country actually lose their freedom and are pushed to and fro as a puppet by the natives. George Orwell wrote this from his own perspective of imperialism and his first hand experience of it through the shooting of an elephant. George Orwell wrote this source to show people the truth about imperialism. George Orwell was not really biased in the text but he did tell us that he thought the British Raj was a tyrant and he also felt like sticking a bayonet in a Buddhist's guts because they really got on his nerves. Because there is no real bias the source is credible. The essay shows us imperialism from the sides of both the oppressors and the oppressed. Readers can learn the true picture of imperialism from this text. George Orwell presents imperialism in full through his own little experience. I learnt from this text that it is not only the oppressed who lose their freedom, the oppressors do too. I also learnt that the British did not care if a native or a "coolie" died. They only cared for their own wellfare and their money/profits. I think that the text is credible and is very informative.

Bibliography

Sites I used:


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British Imperialism in Burma

This QR code is linked to a website that provides information on the British rule in Burma. George Orwell's text is based on this information.