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In the story, he writes about the experiences of an unnamed officer who has conflicting thoughts about the British occupation of Burma.While remaining ambiguous about the truth of his story, Orwell hinted that, ''An autobiography is only to be trusted when it reveals something disgraceful.'' Let's take a look at the story and decide for ourselves whether we believe it's fact or fiction.This lesson introduces George Orwell's short story 'Shooting an Elephant.' We will learn about the historical and political context in which Orwell wrote, meet the characters, and examine literary elements.
The officer struggles with the choice to kill the elephant.
His moral compass tells him to observe and report, but he must maintain an atmosphere of authority, holding the rifle among the crowd of Burmese natives.
''They were watching me as they would watch a conjurer about to perform a trick.
They did not like me, but with the magical rifle in my hands I was momentarily worth watching. But the elephant has broken free, and only the mahout would be able to subdue it.
We can, however, speculate on the similarities between Orwell's personal life and the case of the British officer in the story.
Orwell's famous books 1984 and Animal Farm weave fantastic stories with political messages.
George Orwell is called out to neutralize the situation, but he does not know what he can do to help things.
When he arrived at the scene he was told the elephant got away to paddy fields a thousand yards away.
Orwell feels strong inner conflict between what he believes as a human being, and what he believes and should do as an imperial police officer.
The author is amazingly effective in illustrating this conflict by providing specific examples of contradictory feelings, by providing an anecdote that exemplified his feelings about his situation, and by using vivid imagery to describe his circumstances.