Shooting an Elephant by George Orwell

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George Orwell’s essay “Shooting an Elephant” tends to provide strong emotions. How is this done and what emotions is Orwell trying to provoke? thanks

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Doug Stuva eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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First of all, concerning Orwell's "Shooting an Elephant," Orwell presents powerful ideas--that the English should get out of Burma as quickly as possible, and that the English, by subjecting others to their will, actually lose their own freedom--and powerful ideas usually evoke powerful emotions in those that receive the ideas--in this case, readers.  Orwell, or his speaker, is decidedly against imperialism in this essay, and he does seek to evoke strong emotions in the reader in order to inform and persuade.

He presents his ideas in numerous ways, far too many to cover thoroughly here.  But I'll explain a few for you.

Let's look at the actual killing of the elephant.  Emotion is evoked in this scene by the use of precise and insightful description.  Orwell writes:

In that instant, in too short a time, one would have thought, even for the bullet to get there, a mysterious, terrible change had come over the elephant.  He neither...

(The entire section contains 2 answers and 477 words.)

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