Shooting an Elephant - Study Guide Chapter 1 Summary & Analysis

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George Orwell describes his awkward position as a sub-divisional police officer in Moulmein, Burma, back in the days of the British Empire, when Burma was one of its many disgruntled colonies. Orwell, who has already developed something of his famous social conscience, comments on how he is a target for the hatred of the native Burmans, who sneer at him and insult him, whenever the can. Although, in principle, he sides with Burmans, his position and their animosity vitiates his compassion, to some degree.

One day, he is told that an elephant is ravaging the bazaar and he is asked to take care of this potential menace. Although basically tame, an elephant may still rampage periodically owing to its biological rhythms. The elephant, regardless of its usual docility, had already destroyed a bamboo hut, attacked some fruit-stalls and devoured its inventory and upset the municipal rubbish van...

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This section contains 487 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Shooting an Elephant Study Guide
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Short Stories for Students
Shooting an Elephant from Short Stories for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.