“Shooting an Elephant” is a 1936 essay by British writer George Orwell concerning a policeman in Burma’s experience of having to reluctantly shoot an out-of-control elephant at the behest of the local townspeople. Although Orwell himself worked as a police officer in the country, the autobiographical nature of this text is disputed and it is not known whether the account actually happened or if it is simply a metaphor for British imperialism. A thought-provoking and insightful piece highly recommended for fans and collectors of Orwell’s seminal work. Eric Arthur Blair (1903–1950), more commonly known by his pen name George Orwell, was an English journalist, essayist, critic, and novelist. His work is characterised by an opposition to totalitarianism and biting social commentary, and remains influential in popular culture today. Many of his neologisms have forever entered the English language, including “Thought Police”, “Big Brother”, “Room 101”, “doublethink”, “thoughtcrime”, and “Newspeak” to name but a few. Other notable works by this author include: “Keep the Aspidistra Flying” (1936) and “Coming Up for Air” (1939). Read & Co. Great Essays is proudly publishing this vintage essay now in a new edition complete with the introductory essay “Why I Write”.