Matar A un Elefante y Otros Escritos
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Matar A un Elefante y Otros Escritos

4.09 of 5 stars 4.09  ·  rating details  ·  3,734 ratings  ·  108 reviews
Esta edicion recoge una seleccion de textos de George Orwell escritos entre 1936 y 1949. Los contenidos se han ordenado segun la fecha de publicacion. Novelista, ensayista brillante y maestro de periodistas, George Orwell vertio en sus columnas semanales para Tribune, bajo el epigrafe A mi antojo, toda la libertada e ironia que sus lectores conocen. Ademas se incluyen sus...more
Paperback, 389 pages
Published February 1st 2009 by Fondo de Cultura Economica USA (first published 1950)
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Ms Bubbles SockieP
Update Here is a free link to this very short story and other of Orwell's writing.

The end of the Empire came when those who had previously given up their arms and all their wealth to he-who-wears-a-pit-helmet and burns-in-the-sun realised that Jack was not only as good as his master, but his master was a total dickhead anyway. And it was past due time he went home to colder climes and the fat queen who wore a golden crown studded with jewels stolen from their lands.

This story is about one of th...more
Rowena
This was my introduction to George Orwell's non-fiction. Supposedly during his lifetime, Orwell was known foremost as an essayist; this was quite surprising to me as it was only a couple of years ago that I'd ever even heard mention of Orwell writing non-fiction.

This collection of essays really impressed me.Firstly, the subject matter was very varied, discussing Orwell's observations during his time in Burma, his stay in a French hospital (very horrific), and also his views on books, literary f...more
Kim

Why has it taken me so long to discover George Orwell's non-fiction? Ever since reading 1984 when I was a teenager I've known Orwell was an excellent writer, but I didn't know just how extensive a range he had. Fiction, journalism, literary criticism, political and social commentary, memoir; there appears to be nothing Orwell couldn't turn his hand to. This volume includes a range of Orwell's essays from the 1930s and 1940s, with subjects including Orwell's time as a policeman in Burma, the year...more
Joselito Honestly and Brilliantly
He does not want to kill the elephant but he is a British police officer in his country's colony Burma and two thousand (he must be exaggerating) yellow-faced Burmese are watching, expecting him to kill the beast who had gone on a rampage, killing a cow, destroying crops and houses and causing the death of a native. Yet it is now calm, peacefully eating grass, and its owner may soon arrive and bring him home.

The rulers, however, have masks to wear and a reputation to protect. They cannot afford...more
Matthew
Lovely -- I can't believe I let this sit on my shelf for 3 years before getting round to it. I have not read Orwell before, save for Animal Farm as a teenager, and didn't realise what a sharp essayist he is; I certainly intend to read more. Certainly I'm no Orwell expert, but here are a few things I do notice from this collection:

1. How much he is a proletariat voice, despite his middle class family background and relatively elite education (admittedly on scholarship) -- witness his criticism of...more
Josh
A teacher my second term of college said I should drop out because of how much I liked Shooting an Elephant. In retrospect, I realize exactly how much of a commentary on her that is. Moral of the story, don't go to community college.
Lily
Jun 10, 2008 Lily rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: People who like to consider concepts that aren't normally discussed
This book was probably one of the most interesting novels I have ever read. It is not a traditional book, which is one thing I liked a lot about it. It is actually a collection of essays by George Orwell.
I have read Animal Farm, by George Orwell as well, and that was one of the most amazing books I have ever read (on an analytical level). One of my favorite essays was about Gandhi, whom is obviously a very convtroversal man. His ideals are widely debated all around the world.
One of the most int...more
Polytimi
"When the white man turns tyrant it is his own freedom that he destroys.He becomes a sort of hollow,posing dummy,the conventional figure of a sahib.For it is the condition of his rule that he shall spend his life in trying to impress the "natives",and so in every crisis he has got to do what the "natives" expect of him.He wears a mask and his face grows to fit it."

The man who becomes a tyrant has already signed and agreed with the terms of the condemnation of his freedom,at least in a spiritual,...more
Michael
i love george orwell. one of the most intelligent authors ever, he also has a profound insight into human nature. i would recommend anything he has written. this is a particularly short read but definitely worthwhile.

this was based on something that happened to him early on and likely is what jaded him to people. or maybe i am projecting and this is what jaded me to people. what i took from this is, society is full of a-holes.
Vasil Kolev
This was insanely good.

One thing that Orwell does and seems to be the best at is the clarity. He goes on, explains the premise, then gets to the point and the point is as clear as possible. The book is definitely worth reading, as the stuff in it is still relevant now.

And, Orwell might be the only author who can start an essay with the common toad and make such a good point on living.
Paola
In this disturbing short story the "yellow faces" of the Burmese "coolies" lie just in the background of Orwell's acknowledgement that he is not where he wants or ought to be. He is as angry as pathetic in his inability to finish a botched job (the shooting of the elephant) that he clumsily got into.

In a different way, it reminds me of when the crowd on the bus pushes Bube (in Bebo's Girl - not sure why the English translation has Bebo instead of the original Bube) into flattening the priest ac...more
Rachel Jackson
Shooting an Elephant is a terribly sad story that serves as an analogy for anti-imperialism, something that George Orwell saw firsthand when he worked as a police officer in Burma.

Orwell does tend to take the high road in this story, by telling how everything he did, he did to save face and not be ridiculed by the locals, and he does come across condescending to them, as though as a white European he is supposed to be superior to them. But he also has a moment of self-reflection when thinking ab...more
Philip
I have like... 6 pages of notes on this book. It was my pick for the Jordabecker Book Club and I think it was a good choice. We hadn't done a book of essays and we weren't sure how it would go, but it went well. If one particular essay didn't grip us, perhaps another would. I think we all found something we could relate to.

I read "Shooting an Elephant" out loud to my 7th grade class. It ties in wonderfully with the standards. Here you go, I pulled a couple from The Indiana Dept of Education. Go...more
Jenni
Apr 30, 2011 Jenni rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Jenni by: Allen Hackworth
Shelves: true-stories
My dad, who is in China, shared a picture he took of an elephant... grand creatures which are ugly in a beautiful sort of way. Along with the photo, Dad suggested reading Orwell's Shooting an Elephant "to further our education."

It is a short essay written about a personal experience by Orwell. He is a police officer in Burma caught in the middle of a triangle of contempt: against the natives who resent the oppressive reign of the British and thus mock Orwell, against the British for their tyran...more
umberto
I always find reading George Orwell's essays pleasurable, therefore, it's my joy to come across this paperback a few years ago in a bookstore in BKK. I read each voraciously and wondered why he wrote so well, so superbly that he should deserve to be honored as a writer with fantastic writing style. I'm sorry I don't have this book nearby (it's been lent to my student to read during her summer holidays since last week), however, these are my favorites: 1) Why I Write, 2) Bookshop Memories, 3) Con...more
Kristen
Highlights from this excellent collection of essays include:

1. The title essay: A heartbreaking account from Orwell's days as a policeman in British India.

2. Politics vs. Literature: An Examination of "Gulliver's Travels": Orwell argues that "Gulliver" is a manifestation of Swift's hatred of humanity. Orwell fundamentally disagrees with this position, but still loves the book. This leads to an interesting discussion about how a person can enjoy a book that goes against his own beliefs.

3. Politic...more
Mitchell
A few months ago I was quite impressed by George Orwell's Down And Out In Paris And London, in which he recounts his experiences on the fringes of society with a healthy measure of social commentary and sparkling wit. I was keen to read some more of Orwell's non-fiction, and this collection of essays seemed to fit the bill quite nicely.

The essays span a period from the early thirties to the late forties, shortly before Orwell's premature death in January 1950. They cover a number of topics, some...more
Nikolay Mollov
Мрачната сатира на Оруел ми е любима - вечно напомняща за абсурдната, лицемерна маска на човешката реалност.

Причините, поради които изглежда, че вършим своите дейсвия, съвсем не са в съответсвие с това, което смятаме за правилно. Това е сатира за човешката свобода - винаги имаме избор, но действаме така, както се очаква от нас да действаме, независимо, че изборът е продиктуван от очакванията на другите, а не от нашите възгледи и убеждения за добро и зло.

Дали суетата не е най-сериозният порок?
Jowayriah Bookish
For a period of about 5 years, George Orwell - the anti-imperialist writer- held the position of Assistant Superintendent in the Indian Imperial Police in Burma where he possibly was involved in a situation akin to that of the essay's narrator.

Written in the first person, the essay describes the experience of an English police officer- possibly Orwell himself- who was obliged by his own fear of being judged to shoot an elephant. Because a white man's freedom is destroyed when he turns tyrant ...more
Dijon Chiasson
"Shooting an Elephant", is a collection of Orwell's essays. There's no real unifying subject, but the usual Orwellian themes are often present: totalitarian governments, the importance of clarity in language, the inhumane treatment of the poor at the hands of institutions, etc. I know that doesn't sound like fun, but they are written so sharply and so cleverly, that you will have difficulty limiting yourself to one or two per sitting.

Orwell experienced a lot in his brief life: He had been to u...more
Aziz
Probably the finest collection from Orwell's 'Essays'
Scott Gates
Orwell’s knee-jerk pessimism is applied uniformly to all subjects, so even the unwitting organs of the human body get subjected to his sulky brand of humanism: “The organs of his body were working . . . all toiling away in solemn foolery.”

But this gloom-and-doom has its moments of comedy, too. Like in “How the Poor Die” when Orwell describes the hideous appearance of a man who had died a “natural death” and then goes on to note that this (a natural death) is one of the things we’re taught to pr...more
Cody
What makes Orwell so compelling to me is that, in a world so often divided between “intellectuals” and people who “work for a living,” Orwell repeatedly took on positions of serious responsibility, endured risks to himself physically, psychologically, financially and ethically, suffered through terrible humiliations, and still maintained intellectual curiosity and honesty.

This is no small feet. It is not easy to physically drag a crying soldier to dangerous post in a war zone, or to carry out qu...more
Mitch
An early work of Orwell that was inspired by his own life as an official of the British Raj in Burma during the 1930s. Anti-imperialism is clearly the inspiration of this work, and particularly interesting are the questions raised about the distinction between conqueror and the conquered. The story appears to argue that by taking on the role of the aggressor and conqueror, the British are actually compromising their own freedom.

The protagonist, presumably Orwell himself, is struggling to fulfill...more
S
Heh heh.

"Lear, Tolstoy and the Fool"
One's first feeling is that in describing Shakespeare as a bad writer he is saying something demonstrably untrue. But this is not the case. In reality there is no kind of evidence or argument by which one can show that Shakespeare, or any other writer, is "good." Nor is there any way of definitely proving that—for instance—Warwick Deep is "bad." Ultimately there is no test of literary merit except survival.

Like every other writer, Shakespeare will be forgotten...more
Noha Basiouny
When I finished reading this story, I merely wondered: what's the point?
George Orwell criticized the existence of the white in the east. The white Englishman who would rather do anything to not be laughed at. He's idiot, fool and not determined. He was just thrown to this far spot of land because of the Empire in the first place. Although he hated what he did, although he never wanted to be there, he couldn't do anything about it. Moreover, he couldn't barely deal with the matters their in Indi...more
Paulette
I had no idea that George Orwell wrote non-fiction stories. I liked the title story with the author admitting how the crowd's expectations led him to do things he didn't really want to do. Some of the essays were boring too me--too much info on Charles Dickens or the Spanish War for instance, but he has extensive knowledge of the subjects he writes about. I liked "How the Poor Die" and "Such, Such Were the Joys."

In "Such, Such Were the Joys" about his horrendous boarding school experience, Orwe...more
Nicole
I have previously read and really liked both 1984 and Animal Farm and because of those I wanted to see if I liked his essays as well. Unfortunately I did not. I haven’t read all of them, but I just couldn’t do it anymore. I read the ones that attracted my interest the most and found them very boring to read. I wouldn’t necessarily say that the essays are badly written though, it just wasn’t for me.

Out of the ones I’ve read sometimes I agreed with his point of view or at least thought he had som...more
Michael
Perhaps the word Elephant Gun doesn't carry the same weight it did twenty years ago - with all of the high powered rifles and assault weaponry seemingly available to the masses. What individual, twenty years ago would have thought it possible, the sophistication of today's weaponry? An Elephant Gun, if memory serves, was a rifle capable of firing a large caliber bullet, accurately enough to fell an elephant with a single shot at a great distance.
The implied morality of Orwell's title essay seem...more
Fiona
Some essays were five star (e.g Politics and the English Language, Books vs Cigarettes and Shooting an Elephant), some were far less. Having not read Gulliver's travels an essay based on an analysis of this gains just 1 star. Doing the maths it averaged at about 3.9.
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Eric Arthur Blair, better known by his pen name George Orwell, was an English author and journalist. His work is marked by keen intelligence and wit, a profound awareness of social injustice, an intense opposition to totalitarianism, a passion for clarity in language, and a belief in democratic socialism.

Considered perhaps the twentieth century's best chronicler of English culture, Orwell wrote fi...more
More about George Orwell...
1984 Animal Farm Animal Farm / 1984 Down and Out in Paris and London Homage to Catalonia

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“He wears a mask, and his face grows to fit it.” 162 likes
“When the white man turns tyrant, it is his own freedom that he destroys.” 22 likes
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