Shooting an Elephant

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George Orwell?s short story ?Shooting an Elephant? begins by telling us where he was. He was located in lower Burma and was a sub-divisional police officer. He also states that he was hated by many people. This, however, was not only because he was a police officer, but because he was European. The Burmese people despised European people because they were being oppressed by the British. As a European man, he was a target for insults and injury everywhere. He hated his job ?more bitterly than he can perhaps make clear? (1482).

Early one morning he was informed that there was an elephant on the loose, reeking havoc in the bazaar. He was told that he needed to go and do something about it. So he grabs a rifle (not made for shooting elephants) and heads out. His intention was to shoot the rifle and scare the elephant away with the report of the gun.

He didn?t have any intention of shooting the elephant.

As he gets closer to the bazaar, he asks people where the elephant is and is given many different reports. Finally, he decides to follow the screaming he hears. He finds a man lying dead in the mud. The man has been stepped on by the elephant and is crushed and the skin peeling off his back. This helps him establish that the elephant has been this direction. When he sees the dead man he decides that he needs something much bigger than his rifle to protect him against the elephant so he sends his orderly to get him an elephant gun.

The orderly comes back with the gun and the Burmese people see it. They decide that they will cooperate since there is a chance the elephant will be shot and...