Time and physical setting

Published in 1936, George Orwell's story "Shooting an elephant" takes place in Moulmein, Burma during the British rule there. While the year is not mentioned in the story, we can assume the events might happen in the early 1920s, because this is when the author, George Orwell, served as a police officer in Burma. The main action in the story takes places over the course of a single day .

Part of the action takes place near the bazaar, where the elephant killed a man. The place is described as a poor district: “It was a very poor quarter, a labyrinth of squalid bamboo huts, thatched with palm-leaf, winding all over a steep hillside. I remember that it was a cloudy, stuffy morning at the beginning of the rains” . The mention of the rains indicates that the events take place during monsoon season.

The place where the elephant is found is described as a landscape with wild vegetation:

At the bottom, when you got away from the huts, there was a metalled road and beyond that a miry waste of paddy fields a thousand yards across, not yet ploughed but soggy from the first rains and dotted with coarse grass.

These depictions of the setting show the poverty of the people living on the periphery of the city, which seems like a rural area.

Social setting

The time setting is closely connected to the social setting because the story explores several points ...

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