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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.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.
While reading the essay Shooting an Elephant, first published in 1936 by Eric Blair under the pen name of George Orwell, one gets captivated by the intricate web of rhetoric that Blair weaves throughout the piece.
Surely, the reason this essay keeps the attention of the reader so well is because Blair writes with an unmistakably strong exigency.
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.
One of the two levels utilized by the curiosity appeal keeps the attention of the reader and carries them on to the meat of the essay, while the other plants a few rhetorical devices (such as the appeal of spite in paragraphs one and two) and gets the reader in a certain state of mind for what Blair has in store for them.
Essay On Shooting The Elephant
It is important to note that he does not directly address what his argument will be until paragraph three.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.The most significant appeal to pity can be found on page 108, specifically paragraph two.This paragraph reveals to the audience the mental suffering that Blair had undergone throughout this experience.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.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.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?