Orwell was unhappy and angry in his position as a colonial police officer - why? At whom was his anger directed?

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troutmiller eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Orwell was unhappy with how the British imperialists were taking over these smaller colonies and imprisoning those who wouldn't comply.  His biggest struggle was that he worked for them, but he felt for the Burmese.  He wished he could help them.  Yet, the Burmese hated him because they saw him as "the enemy" and did not know his true feelings.  So he was stuck in a world where the Burmese threw things at him, spit at him and so on, yet he didn't like what he represented.  He was very much between a "rock and a hard place."  His anger was most likely pointed at the British Empire, even though the angry colonists would take it out on him at times.  It was the Empire who created the conflict for him.

"As for the job I was doing, I hated it more bitterly than I can perhaps make clear. In a job like that you see the dirty work of Empire at close quarters. The wretched prisoners huddling in the stinking cages of the lock-ups, the grey, cowed faces of the long-term convicts, the scarred buttocks of the men who had been Bogged with bamboos – all these oppressed me with an intolerable sense of guilt."

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Shooting an Elephant

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