Shooting an Elephant Study Guide

Shooting an Elephant

Shooting an Elephant by George Orwell

Shooting an Elephant is a non-fiction essay by George Orwell recounting a British policeman's experience in India. Asked to shoot and kill a rampaging elephant, the officer agonizes over the hapless and abused animal's painful death at his hands. Stricken by the experience, the officer contemplates the nature of British colonialism and the damage inflicted by colonists on their own moral strength. In the end he is sickened and disheartened, his faith in Britain broken.