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Monday, April 30, 2018

Reader's Diary #1809- George Orwell: Shooting an Elephant

George Orwell's "Shooting an Elephant" is a heartbreaking story in more than a few ways.

The most obvious is the shooting of, and subsequent suffering of, an elephant.

The other ways involve colonialism and its nasty ramifications. The story is told from a settler's point of view in Burma, a settler who has come to see the evil side of the Europeans that he nonetheless and regrettably represents. He knows some of his own prejudices are a product of this manufactured power dynamic as well, but still finds it hard to shake given his position.

It could make for a fascinating conversation as to whether or not the elephant works as a metaphor for the European empire, or perhaps the Burmese culture.

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