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.
In order to accomplish his task of clarifying the true nature of imperialism for his audience, Blair appeals to many emotions along the way.
To begin with the most obvious of them all, he appeals to the curiosity of the reader.
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.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.The reader would question “Why else would the natives treat the people who are supposed to be there to help them so poorly?It was he who was forced into shooting the elephant by the masses of Burmese people who surrounded him.It was he who felt the actual tension of imperialism upon him.Along with the appeal to curiosity, Blair also employs an appeal of spite.As Blair explains how the people of the country he was in treated him and the other Europeans it gives the reader an idea of what kind of situation this particular agent of imperialism was in.The audience sees what is happening to him: his insides are melting, causing him to become the hollow, posing figurine that is the “white man” in the East.In doing so, he conforms himself to do what the crowd wants to see.He writes as though he is seeing himself in the third person.He becomes “the white man”, and gives the audience the eyes of the Burmese crowd to look upon him during this moment.