Shooting an Elephant and Orwell's Biography Analysis

The essay sample on Eassay dwells on its problems, providing a shortened but comprehensive overview of basic facts and arguments related to it. To read the essay, scroll down.

Lowell begins the story with the discontent the police officer has with his job and India with its oppressors, keeping the conflict in the mind of the readers early on and constant. The narrator draws back on his memories which haunt him of when he had to make a choice and chose his pride.

Lowell often writes about imperialism, in no shape or form hiding his distaste for it and often poking fun at it, such in 1984 and Animal Farm.

He was born in India and moved to England for schooling and then ongoing the Imperial army after becoming unhappy with British treatment of the native Burmese, he left the police service. This often Influences his writings, drawing back on his personal first hand perspective of the land and the people. He struggles with in my opinion three things, one with the British Empire because of its unjust occupation of Burma, two with the Burmese because of their mockery of him, and three with himself In his struggle with his conscience and self-image.

He detests his job and he believes that imperialism is terrible.


Orwell sees the British rule as “an unbreakable tyranny, as something clamped down … Upon the will of prostate peoples. ” My question to this is though, is he talking solely of the British or is he talking also of the Burmese people.

Get quality help now
Writer Lyla

Proficient in: British Empire

5 (876)

“ Have been using her for a while and please believe when I tell you, she never fail. Thanks Writer Lyla you are indeed awesome ”

+84 relevant experts are online
Hire writer

He talks of “utter silence that Is Imposed on every Englishman in the East. ” to me it seems as though he’s speaking as though Great Britain seems to think of its self as better than the rest and its imposing that rule into its people, that they must snub the countrymen and ignore all signs that point that maybe what they’re doing is wrong. This creates a wall between him and the people he so kindly believes In. Enable to share this with his own people and unable to have a relationship with the people of the country, he lives In a sort of mental isolation. Forced to keep his opinions and feelings to himself, he becomes lonely and a depression creeps over him and he’s just waiting for the chance to get out of this Job, like many of us now. Also the selfish desire to be liked no matter the consequence is showed when he shoots the elephant; he knew how Important it was and how much the people added It even If they TLD. He shoots It anyways. HIS honesty towards his situation gained my trust and had me decide that he was a reliable narrator.

He was brutal on both sides of the spectrum, talking of the nonsense that both countries have, and he spared no details on death the elephant caused “lying on his belly with arms crucified and head sharply twisted to the side. ” and untimely the elephants “very slowly and in great agony’ death. The only question I have with him is wither he really blames the British and Burmese for his struggle rather than confront himself ND see if maybe this could be inside his head, he seems to place all his judgment on them and see them as the reason of his anger not Just a side effect of It.

It makes me wonder If things where as bad as he made them or not. His description of the elephant changes from the first time he mentions it to point 1 OFF choice that effects the rest of his life. The elephant becomes all the things he sees wrong with Great Britain and also all the things he loves about it. He reflects his inner conflict onto the situation. He does not want to shoot it. He never planned on it; the UN was a form of self-defense in the beginning.

With the crowd gathering around him the people created a tension especially for one of the Queens lawmen he knows that the people are watching his every move and how it’ll reflect on his country, he needs to keep in pride in his opinion. They want him to kill it; it’s killed them and their homes. In his mind he also sees that but he also acknowledges that the elephant is the biggest source of work, it does the heavy farm work and without it there would be more work for the people. Exactly like Great Britain. Like the elephant, the empire is rueful.

When the elephant raids the bazaar, he symbolizes the British Empire raiding the economy of Burma That’s not the only symbol he uses, he also uses the Burmese as a symbol of people losing themselves for power, “l perceived in this moment that when the white man turns tyrant it is his own freedom that he destroys. He becomes a sort of hollow, posing dummy, the conventionalism figure of a sahib’s. For it is the condition of his rule that he shall spend his life in trying to impress the “natives and so in every crisis he has got to do what the “natives” expect of him.

He wears a mask, and his face grows to fit it. ” In the end he wants these peoples respect, honestly he Just wants anybody respect, and he wants to look needed and tough. He makes the mistake of not thinking it through or seeking advice from his fellow policemen or even a merchant or anyone that was following him. He puts this misbehaved amount of pressure on himself to shoot it, he honestly could have Just let it go, but the people wouldn’t really like that so he automatically assumed that’d mean they would like him less. He shoots the elephant.

It’s a struggle; it takes more than one shot, each with its own memory imprinted on him and his choice. Each of us makes choices, we choose to follow the crowd or make a path for ourselves. No matter the consequence we do what we believe we need to do for ourselves or those we care for, Lowell tells this in his story he shows the truth in selfish desire. The choices we make may seem trivial at the time but each affects our lives, maybe it even sets the course of our lives.

Cite this page

Shooting an Elephant and Orwell's Biography Analysis. (2019, Dec 06). Retrieved from

Let’s chat?  We're online 24/7