What Are The Elements Of Shooting An Elephant By George Orwell

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Shooting the Breeze and Shooting an Elephant: Fictional Styling in Orwell’s Essay George Orwell’s Shooting an Elephant is a personal essay describing an event that Orwell claims occurred while he was working as a police officer in Burma, a portion of the British Empire. Though the story is presented as a wholly voracious, there are obvious moments wherein Orwell uses his skill as a writer of fiction, perhaps to keep readers more engaged. This essay will explore the elements of Shooting that give it the aura of a fictional account; for example, the elements of motif, character, and the use of the first person as a narrative device are all present in the story. All of these elements are often used in fiction. One indication that Shooting …show more content…
In his writing, Orwell reveals his motivations and actions as if revealing the traits of a fictional character. In my opinion, readers are meant to see the personality Orwell describes of himself as sympathetic. Orwell mentions that he was “hated by large numbers of people,” and yet we are told that he did not return this hatred as he states he was “all for the Burmese and all against their oppressors.” In this way, Orwell presents himself as empathetic to the Burmese, even though he continually refers to them as “yellow faces,” and seems not to value the lives of individual Burmese, if his reaction to the death of the ‘coolie’ is any indication. By revealing hidden thoughts and motives, Orwell develops a character his audience can feel comfortable with, even though the character’s actions are not something some people would find appealing. Orwell shoots and elephant for no firm reason aside from a kind of peer pressure, and refers to the Burmese in ways that many modern people would view as racist. Yet readers still feel sorry for the man and understand his dilemma of being caught in a job he does not enjoy or agree with. This use of characterization to garner empathy from the audience is something common in fiction and it makes the story of the essay far more

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