How does the writer of "Shooting an Elephant" use irony?

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From the beginning, "Shooting an Elephant" highlights Orwell's use of irony. The title suggests that the narrator, possibly Orwell himself, actually plans to shoot an elephant. In fact, he takes his gun not to shoot the elephant: "I took my rifle, an old .44 Winchester and much too small to kill an elephant, but I thought the noise might be useful in terrorem" (paragraph 3). In fact, he just wants to make a show of shooting the animal.

Another example of irony occurs when the "coolie" is trampled and killed by the elephant. By the end of the essay , the younger men agree that the elephant's life was worth more than that of a coolie. Therefore, the elephant shouldn't have been shot after all. It is ironic that the elephant's life is more valuable on a monetary...

(The entire section contains 3 answers and 426 words.)

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