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.
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.
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.
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.
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?