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And because it was the “natives” who were spiteful towards the Europeans it sways the reader to the assumption that it must have been the Europeans who were in the wrong.
It is this need of his to tell the world the truth about imperialism that enables him to write something so captivating.
Blair found himself in Moulmein, Burma, as a police officer of the town.
As the reader reads the first two pages, many questions are subconsciously being asked in their mind.
Questions such as “What does imperialism have to do with an elephant? Blair’s use of appealing to curiosity here works on two rhetorical levels.
He found out what imperialism really is in its naked form, and the nature of it, from an incident in which he was practically pushed into shooting an elephant by the Burmese people.
Although he did not want to shoot the elephant, nor did he have to, he ended up doing so due to the immense pressure he felt during the time.
Blair’s argument is made clear: that when these so-called white men turn despotic, it is their own freedom that they hinder. He strongly emphasizes that the imperialists are there playing the part of a conventionalized, hollow figure who does nothing but try to impress the natives and avoid being laughed at.
“He wears a mask, and his face grows to fit it” (pg. It is obvious for whom Blair wrote this essay: the people who are somehow involved in imperialism.
He realized that while it may seem that the “white man” in the East is above the people living there and is there to teach them the “right” ways, he is actually just some pawn that can be moved about the board by the people that he is there to oppress.
Coming from their “superior” civilizations falsely believing that they must educate the rest of the world, the imperialists are only doing damage to themselves.