Pro(found) Excerpts from “Shooting An Elephant”

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Excerpts from “Shooting An Elephant”

All credit goes to: George Orwell


“As for the job I was doing, I hated it more bitterly than I can perhaps make clear. In a job like that you see the dirty work of the Empire at close quarters. The wretched prisoners huddling in stinking cages of the lock-ups, the grey, cowed faces of the long-term convicts, the scarred buttocks of the men who had been flogged with bamboos-all these oppressed me with an intolerable sense of guilt”

“A story always sounds clear enough at a distance, but the nearer you get to the scene of events the vaguer it becomes”

“I perceived in this moment when the white man turns tyrant it is his own freedom that he destroys…it is condition to his rule that he shall spend his life trying to impress the ‘natives’ and so in every crisis he has to do what the ‘natives’ expect of him. He wears a mask and his face grows to fit it”

“Even then I was not thinking particularly of my own skin, only of the watchful yellow faces behind. For in that moment, with the crowd watching me, I was not afraid in the ordinary sense, as I would have been if I had been alone”


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