Written by George Orwell
Essay by Arthur Diennet
In 1936, George Orwell published his short story ‘Shooting an elephant’ in an English magazine. Since then, it has been republished dozens of times and holds a place as a definitive anti-colonial piece of literature, in an era where the British Empire was at its peak and covered almost 1/3 of the Earth’s surface. George Orwell believed that “…imperialism was an evil thing...” and uses much themes, symbolism and irony to convey his strong anti-colonialist feelings.
Theme is an integral part of this story and is mostly presented through the narrator. One of the major themes of the story is conscience, in which many of the conflicts in the …show more content…
Orwell’s final expertly used technique is that of irony. This entire short story is laced with it, from the terrible treatment the narrator receives at the hands of the Burmese even though the narrator sympathizes and wishes to liberate them, to the fact that the narrator, being in an authoritative position, should hold power over the Burmese, yet, when the shooting occurred, it was the villagers of Moulmein who had power over him. The narrator feels terrible for what has happened to the Burmese and the torture they have been put through by the British, yet hates the Burmese for the torture they unleashed upon him on a