Welcome to the LitCharts study guide on George Orwell's Shooting an Elephant. Created by the original team behind SparkNotes, LitCharts are the world's best literature guides.
- Full Title: "Shooting an Elephant"
- When Written: Uncertain; Orwell served as a police officer in the British Raj from 1922 to 1927.
- Where Written: Uncertain; Burma or England.
- When Published: 1936, in New Writing
- Literary Period: Interwar
- Genre: Autobiographical short story
- Setting: Moulmein, Burma (modern-day Myanmar)
- Climax: Orwell’s execution of the elephant and its prolonged, agonizing death.
- Antagonist: Imperialism
- Point of View: Limited first-person narrator
Timber! In Burma, trained elephants still play a unique and vital role in the logging industry, where they are used to move heavy pieces of wood.
Rebel. Unsurprisingly, Orwell never fully conformed to British notions of imperial propriety. While working as a police officer in Burma, he received knuckle tattoos typically worn by Burmese locals.