Shooting an Elephant by George Orwell

Shooting an Elephant book cover
Start Your Free Trial

Who is the intended audience for "Shooting an Elephant" by George Orwell?

Expert Answers info

Name VonRueden eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2010

write1,347 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, History, and Arts

Orwell is clearly directing "Shooting an Elephant," as with most of his writings in general, toward a largely liberal audience which shares his own negative feelings about imperialism. What makes the essay so convincing is that it's written by a man who participates in the colonial system (even though he knows it's wrong). So there is a conflict within the narrator's perspective on the situation in Burma, where, as a British policeman, he is tasked with killing an elephant for no other reason than, as he writes, "to avoid looking a fool."

The underlying purpose of the essay is not simply to expose the failure of colonialism, but also potentially to criticize the racism implicit in the imperialist system. Yet Orwell's views are in some sense...

(The entire section contains 2 answers and 379 words.)

Unlock This Answer Now


check Approved by eNotes Editorial

accessteacher eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2009

write13,728 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, Social Sciences, and History

check Approved by eNotes Editorial