Shooting an Elephant - Chapter 18 Summary & Analysis

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Chapter 18 Summary

The subjects of this essay are children's books, beginning with Helen's Babies, a fabulously successful book in its day.

Orwell comments that children's books give one a kind of "false map" of the world, particularly focusing on the influence of America, in this regard. He thinks of images of a boy, with braces and patches, sitting in the corner of a schoolhouse and a tall man, spitting tobacco while reciting aphorisms while whittling. These are images taken from books like Tom Sawyer and Uncle Tom's Cabin. He recalls a song from a Scottish songbook, with a reference to an American "riding down from Bangor" on an Eastern train, his skin "bronzed with weeks of hunting in Maine.

Helen's Babies is a broad farce about a young bachelor in New York whose sister gives him her children to baby-sit while she and her...

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This section contains 376 words
(approx. 1 page 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.