Shooting an Elephant by George Orwell

Shooting an Elephant book cover
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Why does the narrator shoot the elephant in "Shooting an Elephant"?

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The narrator clearly does not want to shoot the elephant. He only brings the rifle to defend himself, he says, and he concludes when he sees the elephant eating some grass that its savage mood "was already passing off," and that it would just wander around snacking until its trainer returned to fetch it. However, when the narrator takes note of the immense crowd...

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