George Orwell Eric Arthur Blair English Literature Essay

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Introduction: George Orwell was the pen name for Eric Arthur Blair, creator of two famous and satirical novels 1984 and Animal Farm. He was the creator of the quote "Big Brother is watching over you" which is widely referenced in today's media. (Mitchell 1) His books not only bring an intriguing story to the reader, but also display a hidden political message inside. After reading both Animal Farm and 1984 and finding out what was beyond the book, George Orwell was a brilliant choice for a paper topic.

Thesis Statement: The mind of George Orwell can only be stood when looking into his early life, travels, personal life, death, and what still brings him alive today.

Conclusion: From the criticism, essays, documentaries, and books that George Orwell wrote, he has formed himself to be one of the most essential and leading voices of the literary century. He had a unique style of thought, and many authors (or anyone for that matter) fail to replicate the creativity and flow that George Orwell had. George Orwell may not be with us today, but his works are still well recognized throughout the world.

"If you want a picture of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face, forever."

 -From 1984. (Orwell 1)


                   Orwell once said "… above all I wanted to make political writing into an art", which he certainly did. (Crick 1) There was a meaning to George Orwell's art though, to confront the readers into ciphering the hidden political message, and make the readers think beyond the book. Many writers try to mimic Orwell's creations, but inside Orwell experienced a set of original and weird events that few now can - or would want to - emulate. (Crick 1) Orwell was a far advanced man, and one of his gifts was to write books that you can almost smell. (Clark 1)                     


Early Life

Eric Arthur Blair, or penname "George Orwell" was born in Motihari, India on June 25, 1903. He was the son of Ida Mabel nee Limouzin (1875-1943) and Richard Walmesley Blair (1857-1938). He was brought to England at the age of three. His family was considered lower-upper middle class. (Crick 1) His father was an opium agent for the civil war. Orwell barely saw his father until he retired in 1912. (Merriman 1)

At age five, Orwell was already attending various religious schools. Orwell wrote his first published works during these years. While attending Eton, Orwell studied French from the author of "Brave New World", Aldous Huxley. (Merriman 1) He eventually realized that school was not for him, and instead of going to college he moved to Burma and joined the Indian Imperial Police Force because he wanted to follow in his father' s footsteps. (Crick 1)


His novel Burmese Days was first published in the United States in 1934 and then London in 1935, also based on his days in service. (Merriman 1)  Orwell stuck to the Burma Police for five years until 1927, when he resigned. He resigned after coming to hate the social arrogance of the British in Burma, especially their indifference to Burmese society.. (Crick1) After Orwell left from service, he travelled to Paris to make an attempt at short stories, writing freelance for various periodicals though he ended up getting rid of them because nobody would publish them (Merriman 1).

 Orwell also continued journalism during his European travels, as he was a journalist to the very fingertips. (Malcolm 1). In 1932, Orwell was a teacher for some time before moving to Hampstead, London to work in a bookstore. In 1936 Orwell and student of J.RR Tolkien, Eileen O'Shaughnessy married, and they would adopt a son named Richard Horatio. (Merriman 1) The couple celebrated the beginning of their marriage by planting trees and rose bushes in their cottage garden. (Clark 1)  Orwell published The Road to Wigan Pier in 1936, a clinical but moving account of living among the unemployed of the real working class. (Crick 1) To supplement his meague earnings as a writer, Orwell bought a bacon slicer and reopened his old shop, selling thirty shillings worth a week of goods and making enough profit to cover his rent. Orwell's career as a grocer was short-lived. (Clark 1)

In 1937, Orwell headed out to Spain to fight for the Republic. From the Spanish Civil War he wrote Homage to Catalonia in 1938, which was an honest description of war. During his time serving, Orwell was shot in the neck by a sniper bullet, and almost died on the way to the field hospital. (Crick 1) World War II followed soon after, and Orwell rushed to enlist but was deemed "unfit for military service" by the Medical Board. Orwell later found a comfortable position as a Home Guard. (Hitchens 1) During the period of the war, Orwell came out withAnimal Farm. Animal Farm was not published right away as publishers did not want to touch his anti-Stalinist allegory while war was still raging so it was held for publishing until after the war had ended. (Crick 1)

 Animal Farm is the story of a revolution gone sour. Aminalism, communism, and fascism are all illusions which are used by the pigs as a means of satisfying their greed and lust for power. (Orwell 2) Animal Farm represents human characteristics in an analogy of animal instincts, but it really gives insight into the Russian Revolution of 1917. It illustrates the futility of the revolution.

"A minute later, all five of them were in full flight down the cart track that led to the main road, with the animals pursuing them in triumph." - From Animal Farm. (Orwell 2)

Personal Life

      Orwell was always a man of the left. His earliest writing were directed against imperialism (in Burma) and class prejudice (in Britan), and he never lost his commitment to a wide-ranging socialist programme, which included the nationalization of all industries and puritive attacks on all the privileges of the upper class. (Malcolm 1)  Orwell was an English socialist of the classic kind, left-wing, but was also libertarian, egalitarian, and hostile to the Communist Party.

He maintained that no person or party was above criticism; When he was a member of the old left-wing Independent Labour Party, he wrote that "no writer can be a loyal member of a political party." Between 1927 and 1939, when asked where he stood politically, Orwell would often reply "Simply, I'm a Tory anarchist." (Crick 1)  Orwell wrote major essays on censorship, plain language, the social beliefs embodied in boys magazines, and against pornography and violence: he believed passionately in liberty, but also in condemning harshly the morally and aesthetically bad. ( Crick 1)


End of Orwell's Life

Eileen Orwell went in to the hospital for a hysterectomy and died under cardiac arrest. (Crick 1) George Orwell lived in Barnhill on the isle of Jura, as a place to escape after his wife died. This is where he wrote the novel 1984, a definite dystopian novel, set in a world beyond our imagination was written. The book was based on a world where totalitarianism really is total. (Orwell 1) 1984 was originally titled "Lost Man in Europe." From 1984, the term "Orwellian" formed, in reference to an idea or action that is so hostile to a free society. 1984 is one of the most widely read books of the twenty-first century. (Crick 1) Animal Farm and 1984 both display plots that involve the past being change and having the characters deceived by higher powers. (Orwell 2)

For the last thirteen years of his life, he was much more actively engaged in arguing against other people on the left. Orwell has a growing reputation, and great sales of his writings even after his death. (Malcom 1) Orwell spent ten hours a day writing, while suffering from tuberculosis. Orwell married Sonia Brownell on October 13, 1949 who dealed with his affairs and took care of him. (Crick 1) Orwell died in January 21, 1950 at the age of forty-six from an artery bursting in his lungs.

After researching George Orwell, I have to come to see that he was more than just an author. I've come to see that he was an extravagant voice of the twenty-first century who had a writing style that is not easily replicated. George Orwell was a man who put great dedication towards his writings, spending major amounts of his time (even when dying) on finishing works. He had very strong political views, that are equally represented throughout his books messages. He had a train of thought that was based on a satirical sort of world, and wrote novels and essays that were absolutely unique.

Orwell's Birth as Eric Arthur Blair on June 25, 1903, attendance at Eton, service as a colonial policeman in Burma, down-and-out years of "tramping", emergence as a writer in the 1930s, volunteer fighter against Franco in the Spanish Civil War (in which he was wounded), and brief window of fame and material success in the 1940s all contribute to creating George Orwell to be the person he was. (Miller 1)