Shooting an Elephant - Study Guide Chapter 7 Summary & Analysis

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Orwell begins his meditations on Gandhi by asking some fundamental questions. Was Gandhi essentially moved by vanity? After all, despite his unpretentious lifestyle, he did have the power to "move empires." Did he compromise his own ideals by entering the muddled world of politics? Was his so-called saintly purity muddled by the very start?

Orwell states he was impressed by his autobiography at a time when he was particularly unimpressed by the man and his "medievalist" solutions to the problems of a backwards country. Still, he is enthralled by Gandhi's candor about his early life. Further, Orwell can see in later years how Gandhi exhibited great physical courage and high moral intentions in his refusal to judge people by class or courage. He even sees some value in Gandhi's willingness to look at people in a better light and see his enemies as...

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This section contains 424 words
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Shooting an Elephant from Short Stories for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.