This story starts off with a white officer from the British in Burma. This is when the British Raj took place and Britain took control of places such as India, Pakistan, Burma, etc. Throughout the story, the narrator, or the officer, is made fun of by the locals and is teased because of what the British have done. They have taken over, and the officer can't do anything about it. He agrees with the locals, he does not support the imperialism at all, however, he has to do what he is assigned for in Burma.
The officer gets humiliated on a daily basis, and he doesn't know what to do to prove himself and stop getting embarrassed. One day, the officer is told that a trained Elephant has gone loose and the owner of it is 12 hours away. It is also is causing havoc destroying several homes and stalls. When the officer arrives at the spot, the Elephant has run away, so the Officer tries to search for it before any casualties occur. However, he soon finds out that the Elephant is eating in some field, so he immediately goes towards the field with a weapon for self-defense with people following him thinking of shooting the elephant.
When the police officer eventually found the elephant, he brought the rifle only for self-protection. The elephant was peacefully eating grass, however, a crowd that seemed to be over 2,000 people joined him following his back waiting for the elephant to die. The officer did not want to kill him, but he didn't want to keep on getting humiliated, so he had to shoot the elephant. He shot the elephant, and everyone went silent.
Once the elephant was shot, it did not go down as quickly, The officer quickly shot the elephant again in areas wanting it to not suffer and die quickly. However, the officer did not know the elephant's body, so he didn't know where to shoot to kill it. Eventually, he just had to walk away because he could not bear watching it, and he found out that people had later looted the elephant to the bare bones.
I want the meat!
I call the tusks!
Once the narrator had shot the elephant and walked away, he felt a sense of remorse, but he knew he had to do it for his pride and to not get humiliated as much anymore. However, he also legally could do it since the elephant had killed the indian man, so that was another reason he shot and killed the elephant.
I didn't want to shoot the elephant, but I had to for my honor and pride. I can't take the humiliation anymore.