Shooting an Elephant Discussion Questions

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The theme of sacrifice in "Shooting an Elephant" is also evident in Orwell's essay "A Hanging." Read "A Hanging" and compare it with "Shooting an Elephant." What elements do the two pieces have in common? What fundamental human traits do they explore?

The narrator of "Shooting an Elephant" is an agent of the British Empire and is thus implicated in the "dirty business" of British imperial affairs. He is also a man of conscience. Discuss the narrator's guilt. To what extent should he be condemned for participating in the shooting of the elephant? To what extent should he be vindicated for identifying the intricacies of the situation?

Despite being an agent of the British Empire, the narrator of "Shooting an Elephant" deplores his role in the business of imperial colonization. Contrast this attitude with that of the character of Kurtz in Joseph Conrad's Heart of Darkness...

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This section contains 220 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.
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