“Shooting an Elephant” - Research Article from Literature and Its Times

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by George Orwell

George Orwell (1903-50) was born Eric Arthur Blair in Motihari, Bengal, where his father worked for the Opium Department of the Government of India. He had a relatively comfortable middle-class upbringing in England, first attending a private preparatory school and then winning a scholarship to Eton, an exclusive “public” secondary school (the name in England for a private school). On leaving Eton in 1921 he joined the Indian Imperial Police; he was posted to Burma in 1922. After five years of service, however, he resigned, unable any longer to stomach doing “the dirty work of Empire” and harboring an ambition to be a writer (Orwell, “Shooting an Elephant,” p. 501). On his return to Europe, he spent a year and a half living in poverty in London and Paris, trying to share the life of the destitute and oppressed...

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This section contains 4,223 words
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“Shooting an Elephant” from Literature and Its Times. ©2008 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.