Shooting an Elephant Questions and Answers
by George Orwell

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What is the tone used in the essay, "Shooting an Elephant"?

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In the essay "Shooting an Elephant" by George Orwell, the narrator recounts an experience he has while serving as a police officer in Moulmein, a town in Lower Burma. He explains that because he is a European, the Burmese despise him. They shout jeers and insults at him and even trip him when he played soccer. This confuses him because he sympathizes with the Burmese and their plight. He has decided that the British are oppressors and that the subjugation of the locals is wrong. Sometimes the harassment of the Burmese is almost more than he can bear.

One day he receives a phone call that a crazed elephant is running loose in the village. He grabs a rifle, jumps on a pony, and goes to investigate. The elephant has been wreaking damage and killed a local. The narrator sends for a larger rifle and continues on foot. When he catches up with the elephant, it has calmed down. The narrator does not want to kill it, but he senses the mood of the huge crowd behind him and does it anyway because...

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