What is The Theme of Shooting an Elephant?

Updated: November 28, 2022
The theme of "Shooting an Elephant" is the conflict between the individual and the society in which he lives. The individual is forced to conform to the expectations of society, even when those expectations are in conflict with his own beliefs.
Detailed answer:

Shooting an Elephant is a short story by George Orwell, the English writer and journalist who is best known for his novels Animal Farm and 1984. The story was published in 1936 in The London Magazine and later included in Orwell’s Burmese Days (1934).
Shooting an Elephant is set in British-occupied Burma during the early 1900s, and it follows the protagonist as he tries to maintain order in a district that has been rife with political unrest. The story begins with the officer being pestered by a local Burmese man to shoot an elephant that has been terrorizing the area. He does not want to be seen as a murderer by shooting an innocent animal, but he eventually succumbs to pressure from his fellow officers and decides to kill it for them instead.
He feels disgusted and guilty about his actions but ultimately realizes that he has no other choice but to follow orders from his superiors. This highlights Orwell’s political writing style and his use of satire.
By shooting an elephant, which is seen as a symbol of British oppression by the Burmese people, this officer symbolizes all British colonizers who have committed atrocities against native populations throughout history.

What is The Theme of Shooting an Elephant?. (2022, Nov 25). Retrieved from https://graduateway.com/qa/what-is-the-theme-of-shooting-an-elephant/