In the first two paragraphs of "Shooting an Elephant," what can you infer about the narrator based on his commentary?

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kmj23 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

From the first two paragraphs of "Shooting an Elephant," it is clear that Orwell hates his job as a colonial police officer because of the way locals treat him. Orwell appears to resent that the locals use "petty" and small-scale forms of harassment against him, like tripping him up during a football field, rather than openly attacking the imperialist system, as he comments, "No one had the guts to raise a riot."

It is also clear Orwell has a strong sense of social justice. This is made clear by his reaction to the treatment of some Burmese prisoners who are locked in cages and beaten by their British captors. While these observations fill him with a sense of shame, he cannot escape his resentment of the locals who treat him so badly:

All I knew was that I was stuck between my hatred of the empire I served and my rage against the evil-spirited little beasts who tried to make my job impossible.

That Orwell recognizes these feelings as a "normal by-product" of working in such an environment suggests he is aware of the moral implications of his role in Burma and that he carried it out reluctantly.

ummaduddin29 | Student

The narratir is pretty hot