Shooting an Elephant by George Orwell

Shooting an Elephant book cover
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What does the narrator’s decision to shoot the elephant reveal about his character? Use examples from the text.

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The narrator explicitly states in the last line that he only shot the elephant to avoid “looking a fool.”

In order to understand what the narrator means by this, you have to consider the situation the narrator finds himself in. He is a white, foreign police officer in Burma: already disliked by the locals because of his job. The narrator reveals that he hated this job and sees himself as anti-imperialist. This creates tension between the way the world perceives him and the way he perceives himself, which could suggest that the narrator has limitations of self-awareness.

When he encounters the...

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