Shooting an Elephant by George Orwell

Shooting an Elephant book cover
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What is the style of "Shooting an Elephant" by George Orwell?

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The style of "Shooting an Elephant" is both personal and journalistic. Orwell writes using a straightforward style, setting a scene and telling a story, while providing a personal commentary on it. He writes in the first person and describes his emotions. He manages to achieve a style that is somewhat objective and yet includes an acute examination of feeling.

For instance, he is careful to unsparingly note how he feels, subjecting his emotions to a scrutiny which lends a strong note of honesty to this piece. Most people, for instance, wanting to present themselves well, would not admit that, at moments, the

greatest joy in the world would be to drive a bayonet into a Buddhist priest's guts.

That's not a socially acceptable emotion, but Orwell wants to show how highly fraught and tense the situation is between the Burmese and the English.

He tries to uncover the complexity of emotions and responses that characterize living in a colonial regime, where people are controlled by the system rather...

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