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The death of the elephant signifies the weakness of Orwell's character.
Orwell is ashamed to had submitted to the pressure of the Burmans, but he does so at his own will.
As the essay ends, the narrator wonders to himself if anyone will ever understand that he only made the decision to shoot the elephant to avoid looking like a fool in front of the people he is responsible for policing.
He is filled with self-loathing for the empire he serves, as well as for the people he polices, as he feels the conflicting interests make his job impossible.
Shooting An Elephant Critical Analysis Essays
Taking place during the British occupation of Burma, it focuses on an unnamed narrator, considered by many to be a stand-in for Orwell himself, as he is tasked to shoot an aggressive elephant while serving as a police officer in the country.
The essay is considered by many to be a metaphor for British imperialism, a subject Orwell wrote of critically in many of his nonfiction works.