George Orwell Writing Styles in Shooting an Elephant

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In "Shooting an Elephant," Orwell employs a casually assumed first-person point of view; what readers know of the event described in the story, they know primarily from the narrator's direct and apparently candid divulgence. Couching the tale in the first person enables Orwell to engage in the rhythm of meditation and action without it seeming forced; because the narrator is reminiscing about the event, which occurred some time in the past, his interweaving of essayistic reflections with the main action strikes the reader as quite natural. The use of reminiscence has a further consequence, that of the splitting off of the narrator as narrator from the narrator as agent of an action. The narrator not only directly reports the impressions and thoughts that he experienced at the time of the elephant episode; he also imposes his present, removed, retrospective analysis on the impressions and thoughts of...

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This section contains 742 words
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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.