Shooting an Elephant by George Orwell

Shooting an Elephant book cover
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Discuss Orwell's tone and attitude in the final paragraph of "Shooting an Elephant." 

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Orwell's tone in the last paragraph of "Shooting an Elephant," is wry and sardonic as he recounts different responses to the killing. The owner of the elephant is the only who comes near to grasping the significance of the act: he is infuriated, but as the narrator so coolly states, he has no power:

he was only an Indian and could do nothing

As the narrator also sardonically points out, he himself was in the "legal" right for shooting a supposedly out-of-control animal.

The narrator continues by saying the European reaction was "divided." All the European opinions, however, miss the point. The older men simply close ranks and support one of their own. The younger men, however, say it was too bad he had to kill the elephant because it was worth more than a "damn coolie" or Burmese. This shows...

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