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What is Orwell’s purpose in writing, “Shooting an Elephant”? How do the people feel towards the elephant? Why do the Burmese have no weapons? Why does the narrator hesitate to kill the elephant?
To describe the life of the Burmese people under the imperialists’ rule.
The people are indifferent towards the elephant as they are more concerned about their own personal safety as they view the elephant as a menace and a threat to their lives.
They are under colonial rule hence are not allowed to handle lethal weapons as they may choose to use them against the British officers.
He feels that it is not necessary to kill the elephant and rob it of its life when it is the humans who have encroached on the elephant’s natural habitat.
Thanks to all! You really helped me with those answers. But it turned out that I have 4 more questions in the list!!! Can anyone give me a hand?
In the first two paragraphs of the story, what can you infer about the narrator? Why do you think the author concentrates so much on the elephant’s misery? Why do you think the author’s voice is the only one heard by the reader? How does the mob provoke the officer into shooting the elephant?
In the first two paragraphs of the story, what can you infer about the narrator?
The narrator hates his job as a colonial officer due to the way the locals treat him. They loathe him and treat him with disdain as he represents the force/authority that has occupied their land hence their freedom.
Why do you think the author concentrates so much on the elephant’s misery?
The author wishes to bring into focus the misery of the elephants, he wants to humanize the elephant so that the reader may feel the pain and misery it undergoes.
Why do you think the author’s voice is the only one heard by the reader?
The author wishes to convey to the readers the internal conflict that he undergoes during this time. He does not wish to harm the elephant but is compelled to act, as it is his duty as an officer.
How does the mob provoke the officer into shooting the elephant?
An officer is the representative of the government on the ground. The government is viewed as a powerful authority, which does not hesitate to show its might and strength. The officer is provoked into shooting the elephant so that he does not display any form of weakness by the government lest his inactions provoke the populace into acting against the government.