SHOOTING AN ELEPHANT
’It was a tiny incident in itself, but it gave me a better glimpse than I had had before of the real nature of imperialism – the real motives for which despotic governments act’
Shooting an Elephant was the first piece of writing by George Orwell to be published by Penguin, in 1940. It is a searing and honest account of his experience as a police officer in imperial Burma: killing an escaped elephant in front of a crowd, solely to avoid looking like a fool.
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