"Shooting an Elephant" is an essay by George Orwell,
first published in the literary magazine New Writing in the autumn
of 1936 and broadcast by the BBC Home Service on 12 October
The essay describes the experience of the English
narrator, possibly Orwell himself, called upon to shoot an
aggressive elephant while working as a police officer in Burma.
Because the locals expect him to do the job, he does so against his
better judgment, his anguish increased by the elephant's slow and
painful death. The story is regarded as a metaphor for British
imperialism, and for Orwell's view that "when the white man turns
tyrant it is his own freedom that he destroys."