In the following pages, we take at look at the language in the story “Shooting an Elephant” by George Orwell.

Generally speaking, the choice of words reveal many interesting aspects of the story. The story is written in the past tense and contains very little direct speech, making it feel as the narrator's recollection of past events. The inclusion of Hindi phrases help establish the setting, while the inclusion of Latin phrases and general preference for negative language gives a more complete view of the narrator.

Furthermore, the story contains a number of creative metaphors and similes which give the readers a more vivid and powerful impression of the story that unfolds.

Finally, it is important to consider the symbolism in the story as this is crucial to interpreting both its message and its main themes. The most important symbol is the elephant itself, but there are also other symbols at play.