Orwell Homework

Prof. Jessica Denzer
BMCC English 101: Composition 1
Homework: Unit 2
George Orwell, Shooting the Elephant
Questions: (Questions should be typed up to be handed into me)
1. Describe the epiphany that Orwell experiences in the course of the event he writes
about. What is the action that brings about this revelation and what is Orwell forced
to reexamine?
2. Is there irony is Orwell’s essay? If so, what circumstance does the irony arise from
and how does influence or affect the characters in the story?
3. What are the over arching issues that inform the story? How does the idea of
Imperialism inform and affect out understanding of the story?
Writing Journal:
Meditation: Think about this quote in Shooting the Elephant,
I perceived in this moment that when the white man turns tyrant it is his
own freedom that he destroys. He becomes a sort of hollow, posing dummy, the
conventionalized figure of a sahib. For it is the condition of his rule that he shall
spend his life in trying to impress the ‘natives’, and so in every crisis he has got to
do what the ‘natives’ expect of him. He wears a mask, and his face grows to fit it.
I had got to shoot the elephant.
What is Orwell saying? Why must he shoot the elephant?
Writing: Write about a time in which you felt pressured to do something against your
better judgment. Try to write it in narrative form, paying attention to your details, point of
view, and verb tenses. (1-2 pages)