Shooting an Elephant by Orwell; Review

A great friend of mine and one who has a great taste in literature, recently recommended some of Orwell’s essays to me. I am so glad he did because I am once again mind blown about the thought processing and profound use of writing that can make me delve deeper into philosophical ideas. I loved 1984! After reading it a year ago, I was hooked into Orwell’s writing. His writing made me connect on another level mainly because I shared many similar philosophies to the main character himself, Winston. Anyways, I apologize for going off a tangent but after reading some essays by Orwell and my review, definitely go check out his novels as well!

Here is the essay: Orwell Essay

After careful analysis on my part, I realized this was not necessarily a formal essay but a narrative. He starts with a wonderful start of his work in Burma. An important part to note is the simple yet elegant descriptions of the surrounding environment that enables readers to experience a bit of what this exotic place is like. A main feature of Orwell’s writing that I also admire is the closeness to 21st century English. Even though written more than a few decades ago, I can easily understand and interpret meanings of all of his works. The prominence of this essay is what I felt after reading it. I felt a gaping hole in my heart, and a throbbing in my head because what might seem a bizzare scenario: shooting an elephant touches upon my conscience. In that moment, when Orwell was contemplating his decisions, I flashbacked to many moments in my life where I had felt his conflictions. Was I supposed to do what was expected and the “right” thing in other’s eyes, or was I going to follow my heart and do what I considered was “right”? More times than not, I submit to the fear that is within me, that fear of no acceptance, or sudden hatred against me from society. I do the things that are expected and slowly lose a piece of me. The braveness of the narrator speaks through by connecting us all, in that he describes that he knew he was wrong. By fulling admitting it through this essay, it allowed me to find the courage within myself to empathize. I realized that we are all so much the same, more than we realize. So many times, I think that I’m the only one with these bad thoughts or weird thoughts, but reading Orwell’s writing has allowed me to admit my own mistakes and be able to feel somehow accepted.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Create a website or blog at

%d bloggers like this: