São muitos aqueles que citam e plagiam George Orwell. Poucos aqueles que realmente o leram. Eu, por exemplo, ainda não li todos os seus livros; mas posso dizer que li alguns. Shooting an Elephant recolhe alguns textos dispersos e outros tantos ensaios, onde as opiniões fortes de Orwell ficam a ser conhecidas. Poucos são os autores que reúnem consenso. Orwell está longe de ser consensual, principalmente quando se refere a Gandhi: «Saints should always be judged guilty until they are proved innocent, but the tests that have to be applied to them are not, of course, the same in all cases. In Gandhi’s case the questions one feels inclined to ask are: to what extend was Gandhi moved by vanity – by the consciouness of himself as a humble, naked old man, sitting on a praying-mat and shaking empires by sheer spirutual power – and to what extend did he compromise his own principles by entering into politics, which of their nature are inseparable from coercion and fraud?» (p. 347).