Shooting an Elephant by George Orwell

Shooting an Elephant book cover
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In a persuasive paragraph arguing that George Orwell should not have shot the elephant in "Shooting an Elephant," give at least three or four evidences to support your argument.

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D. Reynolds eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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The narrator offers many reasons in "Shooting An Elephant" for why he should not have shot the animal. 

One reason was cruelty toward the elephant. The elephant posed no threat to the humans in the village. The narrator states as well that his rifle, a ".44 Winchester," was too small to kill an elephant. In fact, he initially brings it with him thinking that the noise of shooting it would scare the elephant off: he does not seem to have planned to kill him with it. We learn, too, after he shoots it that the elephant takes a long time to die:

 He was dying, very slowly and in great agony. . . . It seemed dreadful to see the great beast Lying there, powerless to move and yet powerless to die, and not even to be able to finish him. I sent back for my small rifle and poured shot after shot into his heart and down his throat. They seemed to make no impression. The tortured gasps continued as steadily as the ticking of a clock.

A second reason was the waste of an economic asset. The narrator...

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Lori Steinbach eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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