Shooting an Elephant by George Orwell

Shooting an Elephant book cover
Start Your Free Trial

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

Expert Answers info

Doug Stuva eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2009

write1,751 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, Social Sciences, and History

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.)

Unlock This Answer Now


check Approved by eNotes Editorial

pohnpei397 eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2009

write35,413 answers

starTop subjects are History, Literature, and Social Sciences

check Approved by eNotes Editorial