Shooting an Elephant - Goodreads review

Shooting an Elephant (Penguin Modern Classics)Shooting an Elephant by George Orwell

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

My dad, who is in China, shared a picture he took of an elephant... grand creatures which are ugly in a beautiful sort of way. Along with the photo, Dad suggested reading Orwell's Shooting an Elephant "to further our education."

It is a short essay written about a personal experience by Orwell. He is a police officer in Burma caught in the middle of a triangle of contempt: against the natives who resent the oppressive reign of the British and thus mock Orwell, against the British for their tyranny and against himself for his struggle of conscience versus reputation. Orwell honestly exposes his weakness and in just a short story teaches us about the evils of imperialism, the loss of freedom, resentment, prejudice and decision-making.

Orwell gives enough foreshadowing to predict the outcome, but it still was disturbing. It roused emotion. But then, that is the sign of good story / writer, isn't it?

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1 comment:

kelli said...

I read this a long time ago in an honors English High school class. I really can't remember to much of it though, so I should re-read it.


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