What effects does the author of "Shooting an Elephant" achieve through concrete lanaguage?Please use concrete details in your answer.

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kimfuji eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In Orwell's "Shooting An Elephant," the narrator is a police officer during a period of intense anti-European sentiment. Although his intellectual sympathies lie with the Burmese, his official role makes him a symbol of the oppressive imperial power. He is subjected to constant harassment by the local people.

After receiving a call regarding a usually tame elephant's rampage the narrator, armed with a rifle and riding on a pony, goes to the rice patties where the elephant has been seen. Entering one of the poorest quarters, he receives conflicting reports and contemplates leaving, thinking the incident is a hoax. The narrator then sees a village woman chasing away children who are looking at the corpse of an Indian whom the elephant has trampled and killed. He sends someone to bring an large rifle , followed by a group of a few thousand people, heads toward the paddy field where the elephant has rested in its tracks.

Therafter the elephant is described very concretly. Orwell's detailed langauge paints a picture of a tame animal victimized.

His language really symbolizes how Orwell feels about the British in India. The Indian people are helpless like the elphant and sometimes react violently, as the elephant because of all the actions and pressure of the invading British.

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Shooting an Elephant

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