Peter Davison , the editor of Orwell's Complete Works , includes an interview with George Stuart, a contemporary of Orwell in Burma, who said that Orwell was transferred to Kathar as punishment for shooting an elephant. "An elephant was considered a valuable asset to any timber firm...and Orwell would have been severely reprimanded for such unnecessary slaughter. It was not long after the incident that he was transferred from Moulmein to a quiet post in Upper Burma called Katha."  : 224–225 Davison also includes in the complete works a news item from the Rangoon Gazette , March 22, 1926 which describes a Major E. C. Kenny shooting an elephant in similar circumstances. When one biographer questioned his wife, Sonia Brownell , she replied, "Of course he shot a fucking a [sic] elephant. He said he did. Why do you always doubt his word!"  : 225
Throughout the essay, Orwell weaves his thesis about the effects of imperialism not only on the oppressed but on the oppressors, as well. He says that “every white man’s life in the East was one long struggle not to be laughed at,” that “when the white man turns tyrant it is his own freedom that he destroys,” and that the imperialist “becomes a sort of hollow, posing dummy, the conventionalized figure of a sahib.” Orwell’s essay, however, is more than one person’s riveting narrative about the beginning of an awareness. “Shooting an Elephant” captures a universal experience of going against one’s own humanity at the cost of a part of that humanity.