To finish, I also want to briefly reference the conclusion of the story. While the conclusion will not be analyzed as closely as the selected passage, it will be included because of the way in which it operates as a dramatic and moving allegory of the colonial experience. The narrator discusses his actual shooting of the elephant, describing in horrific detail the slow and painful death of a seemingly peaceful elephant at the hands of a British officer. As much as any other text that I have read, this concluding passage captures the violent reality of colonization.
Afterwards, of course, there were endless discussions about the shooting of the elephant. The owner was furious, but he was only an Indian and could do nothing. Besides, legally I had done the right thing, for a mad elephant has to be killed, like a mad dog, if its owner fails to control it. Among the Europeans opinion was divided. The older men said I was right, the younger men said it was a damn shame to shoot an elephant for killing a coolie, because an elephant was worth more than any damn Coringhee coolie. And afterwards I was very glad that the coolie had been killed; it put me legally in the right and it gave me a sufficient pretext for shooting the elephant. I often wondered whether any of the others grasped that I had done it solely to avoid looking a fool.