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Shooting an Elephant

by George Orwell

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In "Shooting an Elephant," who is Orwell's intended audience?

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The audience of "Shooting an an Elephant" is the British people back at home, whom Orwell hopes to persuade to see the British Empire as a dying and evil institution, not a glorious emblem of British power and prestige.

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The intended audience of this story is English or other European people, specifically those who have no direct knowledge or understanding of what imperial rule is really like.

We can see evidence of this intended audience from the very first paragraph of the essay when Orwell tries to explain what it is like to be the target of "anti-European feeling." He talks about being an "obvious target," for example, and how the Burmese routinely sneered and jeered at him. He is, therefore, directing his essay to people who do not have any experience of being a European in imperial Burma. He wants them to understand that it is not a straightforward, easy relationship between the imperialists and the natives. In fact, there is considerable hostility on both sides, and this makes the job very difficult.

As the story progresses, Orwell goes on to expose the real nature of the empire. Through his descriptions of the Burmese prisoners, for instance, he acts like an undercover reporter, exposing the unjust, cruel nature of the British regime. By providing this eyewitness evidence, Orwell shows his European audience just how exploitative this system really is.

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The main audience for Orwell in writing "Shooting an Elephant" was the English people as a whole.

The point of the essay was to argue that colonialism was a bad system -- that it hurt both the colonized and the colonizers.  He argues that the colonizers lose their integrity and their moral values when they rule over others.

Since he's arguing against colonialism, it makes sense for him to direct his argument at the people who could actually do something to either improve or end colonialism

The people who could do that were the English public.

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

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 ambivalent. Some writers, such as Alok Rai, have criticized Orwell for portraying Asian people in a demeaning way. In "Shooting an Elephant," Orwell makes no secret of his reflexive antagonism toward many of the Burmese. But this, he says, is a psychological result of being placed in a situation where one race presumes to rule another. His message is directed to people of European descent in general, and he cautions them that "when the white man turns tyrant, it is his own freedom he destroys."

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

When the intended audience is not specified, we need to make a deduction based on a number of factors, including the level of vocabulary of the text and its theme or topic. Considering these issues leads us to infer that Orwell is writing this essay for an educated Englishman. If you examine the kinds of phrases that Orwell uses and the sophisticated vocabulary, it becomes clear that he is not writing for the "common man" necessarily. Also, when we think about his purpose in trying to inform and persuade his audience about the problems inherent within British Colonialism, we can safely conclude that he is addressing a primarily British audience and seeking to share his misgivings about Birtain's involvement in the leadership of others nations.

In conclusion, Orwell is writing to an educated, mainly British audience to share his ideas concerning colonialism and how by being involved in colonial power, Britain is ironically making itself a slave to the expectations that subjugated nations have of their British overlords.

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Who is the audience of "Shooting an Elephant"?

The audience of "Shooting an Elephant" is the British people back at home in the early 1930s who have been propagandized to believe in the glory of the British empire.

Orwell, like many middle-class men who needed money, spent time earning a living in the British colonies in the 1920s—in his case, in Burma, which was then a part of India. Seeing the British empire in action in that time period, he realized it was a dying and evil institution.

However, when he returned home, he understood that most people did not grasp what the empire was really like. Most Britons were raised to a nationalistic fervor by the idea of the British empire as a glorious way to spread English cultural values and as a symbol of Britain's power, wealth, and prestige.

Orwell's essay is an attempt to show that, in reality, the empire is a rotting and irrational structure spreading misery. He does this by focusing on a single incident in the life of an imperial police officer in which he feels, against all his better instincts, compelled to kill an elephant that is threatening nobody.

Orwell demonstrates a good understanding of his audience. He knows that they are more likely to identify with the anguish of a good-hearted, rational Englishman than with the suffering of an Indian native, so he makes an Englishman the center of his story. He knows that the English love their animals and are thus very likely to respond emotionally and with compassion to the cruel death of an innocent creature. He knows, too, that a picture is worth a thousand words, so he uses a concrete incident related in full detail to make his point, rather than lecturing people about the evils of imperialism with abstract words and theories.

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