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Shooting an Elephant - Wikipedia, Shooting an elephant essay questions and answers

Shooting an elephant essay questions and answers

Need help with “ Shooting an Elephant ” in George Orwell's Shooting an Elephant ? Check out our revolutionary side-by-side summary and analysis.

Orwell spent some of his life in Burma in a position akin to that of the narrator, but the degree to which his account is autobiographical is disputed, with no conclusive evidence to prove it to be fact or fiction. [3] After Orwell's death in 1950, the essay was republished several times, including in Shooting an Elephant and Other Essays (1950), Inside the Whale and Other Essays (1957), and Selected Writings (1958).


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George Orwell's "Shooting an Elephant" first appeared in 1936. The British public already knew Orwell as the socially conscious author of Down and Out in London and Paris (1933), a nonfiction study of poverty, homelessness, unemployment, and subsistence living on poorly-paying menial jobs, and Burmese Days (1934), a novel of British colonialism. "Shooting an Elephant" functions as an addendum to Burmese Days. The story and novel share the same setting, and draw on Orwell's experience as...

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I found this line very interesting and true for life in general. Before these people saw him with a gun, they didn’t really care about what he was doing. They hated him and were not helpful to him at all. But when the Buramese saw that he was actually going to help them, or do something interesting, they were excited and extremely intrigued. It is interesting how just holding a gun gave him so much power. They all saw the gun and figured he would kill the elephant. With one little object that held so much meaning to the Buramese he was able to flip their opinion of him (at least while he had the gun).

Elephant was generally praised by critics and received the Palme d'Or at the 2003 Cannes Film Festival , in which Patrice Chéreau was the head of the jury. The film was controversial for its subject matter and allegations of influence on the Red Lake shootings .

Orwell describes power as being fundamentally performative; it's also illustrated as such through the heavily allegorical aspect of his act of shooting the elephant. Openly, Orwell discusses the ways that he must uphold the performance of power by not appearing to hesitate in shooting the elephant. With the crowd watching, he must appear to be in control of the situation. The performative element of power subsequently plays out as we watch him, in his role as British police officer, demonstrate his confidence in bringing a wild beast, literally, to its knees.

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Orwell candidly depicts his unsympathetic actions both in shooting the elephant and in the aftermath, when he is among his fellow British police officers. He is relieved, he admits, that the coolie died, because it gave him a pretext for shooting the elephant. As far as his fellow officers are concerned, he did the right thing. As far as the natives are concerned, he saved face. Yet Orwell concludes, “I often wondered whether any of the others grasped that I had done it solely to avoid looking a fool.”

J. Orwell spends more time discussing the sociology of the event than about the setting in which it occurs. Explain why doing so is appropriate to his purpose.

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Shooting an elephant essay questions and answers

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Shooting An Elephant by George Orwell - online literature

Shooting an Elephant Summary - eNotes.com

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shooting an elephant essay questions and answers
shooting an elephant essay questions and answers

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