Shooting an Elephant by George Orwell

Shooting an Elephant book cover
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If you were in the narrator's position in "Shooting an Elephant," would you give up your job? Why or why not?

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Rebeka Auer eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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It certainly doesn't sound like a job anyone would enjoy and I would definitely consider packing it in. The problem is we don't know the narrator's motivation for taking the job in the first place. Does he need the money? Is he using the job as a step to get somewhere else? It may be that at the moment he has no choice but to work there. For example, he may be on some kind of military service and in that case could suffer if he just decided to quit.

The other problem he has is where would he go if did decide to give up his job? He is in a foreign country where people seem to hate foreigners, particularly Europeans. Without any money behind him or any security, he could find himself homeless. If he just quit before the end of his contract, the British may not be willing to help him get home.

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Domenick Franecki eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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At the end of the essay, the narrator says of shooting the elephant, "I often wondered whether any of the others grasped that I had done it solely to avoid looking a fool." In other words, he is...

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Kelvin Brakus eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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