The locals

Outer characterization

The short story "Shooting an elephant" by George Orwell depicts the locals as colonised people, victims of the British rule. They live in poverty, are ill-treated, and often imprisoned .

The narrator often mentions their “sneering yellow faces” and describes them as wearing “garish clothes” , which indicates that their garments are colourful and in contrast with the way in which the British dress. The reference to “Buddhist priests” indicates that they practice Buddhism, yet another contrast with the British who are Christians.

Also, their faces are “all happy and excited” when they think the narrator is going to kill the elephant. The fact that they skin the animal for meat once it is dead is a reminder that they are probably very poor.

Inner characterization

In terms of the inner characterisation, the Burmese are often presented in contrast with the British. From the beginning, it is made clear that they resent the British rul...

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