Customer Service:
1-570-955-1438

Text Message for a Quote:
1-570-301-7456

Shooting the Elephant Research Papers

In Shooting the Elephant, George Orwell affords the reader a disturbing glimpse of the moral and spiritual wreckage that imperialism leaves in its wake. Have the writers at Paper Masters custom write your research project on Shooting the Elephant. The themes, characters or plot can be overviewed or explicated in a custom paper.

Shooting the ElephantA few facts regarding Shooting the Elephant include the following:

  • Based on the author’s personal experiences as a member of the Imperial Police detachment
  • Based in Burma during the 1920s
  • The story involves an episode in which the narrator faces a moral dilemma over whether or not to shoot an elephant. 

Though the animal has killed an Indian and done considerable property damage, he is calm and passive when the narrator comes upon him.  However, to appease the Burmese who fully expect him to kill the elephant, the man decides to shoot the animal.  Through his telling of this tale, Orwell demonstrates that those under the oppressive imperial “thumb” are not the only victims of a system without conscience –- those who represent the appetitive government and impose its will on others suffer spiritually as well.

Orwell was quite young and idealistic during his tenure in Burma, and this story reflects that.  The narrator confides that even as he goes about his duties and fulfills his job responsibilities, he knows that imperialism is beneficial to neither the oppressor nor the oppressed.  He is anxious to complete his tour of duty and return home, where he will not have to “see the dirty work of Empire at close quarters.”  The Burmese suffer greatly under British rule, as is perhaps most evident in this story in the narrator’s description of prison conditions.  Anti-European sentiment is understandably strong among the Burmese citizenry.  But the hostility they feel –- however righteous it may be –- is itself demoralizing and counterproductive.  The British despots have rendered a poor country poorer, and the young police officer who tells the story in “Shooting an Elephant” feels “an intolerable sense of guilt” as a member of that oppressive group.  However, the British youth is himself oppressed by the system.  Not only is he the target of repeated scorn and derision from the Burmese whom he polices, he is further demoralized by his own negative reactions to that treatment.  It must seem tremendously unjust to be jeered at and insulted when one’s heart is sympathetic to those offering the jeers and insults.  Thus, the narrator experiences a confusing mixture of feelings –- “hatred of the Empire” and “rage against the evil-spirited little beasts who [try] to make my job impossible.”  He seems reconciled to having to deal with these diametrically opposite emotions.  “Feelings like these are the normal by-products of imperialism,” he says.

More subtle indications of the mutual distrust between the British and the natives are seen when the police officer tries to learn more about the elephant’s activities and whereabouts.  Though some Burmese offer information, their reports conflict.

Related Research Paper Topics

Biography Essay - Shooting the Elephant- Shooting the Elephant Research Paper looks at the author's personal experiences as a member of the Imperial Police in the 1920′s.

Cultural Imperialism - Cultural Imperialism research papers discuss outright, military-based imperialism of the type that was practiced by western powers at the beginning of the twentieth century, which has gone out of favor since that time.

George Orwell Biography - George Orwell Biography research papers look into the author well known for his novel Animal Farm.

George Orwell's 1984 Book Reports - Shooting an Elephant Research Papers look at the author's personal experiences as a member of the Imperial Police in the 1920's.

British Literature - British Literature Research Papers look at a sample of an order placed on choosing one of the six topics to write on and gives detail about topics.

George Orwell Biography - George Orwell Biography research papers look into the author well known for his novel Animal Farm.

George Orwell Animal Farm Book Reports - George Orwell Animal Farm book reports look into Orwell's novel that describes the Russian Revolution of 1917 and the dictatorship of Josef Stalin.

Animal Farm - George Orwell's Animal Farm has always been recognized as a thinly disguised parody of the Soviet Union.

Down and Out in Paris and London - Down and Out in Paris and London is a 1933 memoir by English writer George Orwell, his first full-length publication.

1984 and Brave New World - It is the purpose of this sample topic outline to show any college student how to compare/contrast George Orwell's 1984 with Aldous Huxley's Brave New World.