Shooting an Elephant by George Orwell

Shooting an Elephant book cover
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What did Orwell's experience in "Shooting an Elephant" teach him, and how?

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Orwell's experience in "Shooting an Elephant" proved highly influential in reshaping his understanding of imperialism. As he establishes early in this essay, he already had an understanding that imperialism was a monstrous institution, noting that he (privately) "was all for the Burmese and all against their oppressors, the British." In this essay, Orwell notes that he despised his occupation as a police officer. However, he seems to characterize this earlier viewpoint as naive, not yet grasping the full scale of moral toxicity which imperialism, as an institution, represented.

His experience with the elephant proves a turning point,...

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