Shooting An Elephant
  
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The essay describes the experience of the English narrator, possibly Orwell himself, called upon to shoot an aggressive elephant while working as a police officer in Burma. Because the locals expect him to do the job, he does so against his better judgment, his anguish increased by the elephant's slow and painful death. After all, as he writes, he kills the animal 'solely to avoid looking a fool'.
The story is regarded as a metaphor for British imperialism, and for Orwell's view that ”when the white man turns tyrant it is his own freedom that he destroys.”
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