Shooting an Elephant is a short story written by George Orwell and was published in 1936. The story is about a sub-divisional police officer, who is policing a city in India called Burma.
Even though he is against imperialism, he is still hated by a lot of the people in the village. They express their disgust towards him by taunting him
which makes him upset, since he knows what he’s doing is wrong. One day, he has to make a tough decision, weather to shoot a wild elephant or not.
A lot of his co-workers probably would’ve killed the elephant with no hesitation to show the “yellow faces” who runs the place. Him, on the other hand, doesn’t see himself as someone who can just do that.
It shows that his personality doesn’t match well with his job. Orwell uses the situation as a symbol of imperialism.
The elephant symbolizes the countries who were colonized by Britain, while the main character symbolizes Britain, the superior country. The story shows, that imperialism in the end isn’t good for anyone.