Difference between revisions of "George Orwell"

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'''George Orwell''' is the pen name of '''Eric Arthur Blair''' (June 25, 1903  - January 21, 1950), an [[Open mind|open-minded]], leading English writer, essayist and journalist who became increasingly critical of his ideological allies on the left.  He grew increasingly [[conservative]] while maintaining his good standing among democratic socialists, which allowed him to continue his columns and perhaps to introduce them to conservative insights.  "There are nevertheless four aspects of Orwell's later work which are more closely linked to conservative than to left-wing styles of thinking."<ref>http://revel.unice.fr/cycnos/document.html?id=1391</ref>  The tension between the conservative Orwell grew to become and the democratic socialist he still allowed others to view him as, may account for some of his interesting word inventions like "doublethink".
 
'''George Orwell''' is the pen name of '''Eric Arthur Blair''' (June 25, 1903  - January 21, 1950), an [[Open mind|open-minded]], leading English writer, essayist and journalist who became increasingly critical of his ideological allies on the left.  He grew increasingly [[conservative]] while maintaining his good standing among democratic socialists, which allowed him to continue his columns and perhaps to introduce them to conservative insights.  "There are nevertheless four aspects of Orwell's later work which are more closely linked to conservative than to left-wing styles of thinking."<ref>http://revel.unice.fr/cycnos/document.html?id=1391</ref>  The tension between the conservative Orwell grew to become and the democratic socialist he still allowed others to view him as, may account for some of his interesting word inventions like "doublethink".
  
Unlike most writers, Orwell's greatest works came late in his life.  He harshly criticized communism and totalitarianism in ''[[1984]]'', his finest novel.  His short story named ''[[Animal Farm]]'' was an allegorical reference to the Russian Revolution and a frightening tale of how people can change the meaning of words and commandments over time to suit a totalitarian regime.  These works were far more influential than his first novel, based on his experiences on the Imperial Police Force in Burma, ''[[Burmese Dаys]]'', which explored the evils of [[coloniаlism]].  His highly influential essay, "Politics in the English Language," attacked the [[liberal obfuscation]] which was already present in his day, and championed clear speech.
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Unlike most writers, Orwell's greatest works came late in his life.  He harshly criticized communism and totalitarianism in ''[[1984]]'', his finest novel.  His short story named ''[[Animal Farm]]'' was an allegorical reference to the Russian Revolution and a frightening tale of how people can change the meaning of words and commandments over time to suit a totalitarian regime.  These works were far more influential than his first novel, based on his experiences on the Imperial Police Force in Burma, ''[[Burmese Dаys]]'', which explored the evils of [[coloniаlism]].  His highly influential essay, "Politics in the English Language," attacked the the obfuscation of meaning in political speech which was already present in his day, and championed clear speech.
  
 
== Biography ==
 
== Biography ==

Revision as of 07:58, 16 April 2010

George Orwell (Eric Blair)

George Orwell is the pen name of Eric Arthur Blair (June 25, 1903 - January 21, 1950), an open-minded, leading English writer, essayist and journalist who became increasingly critical of his ideological allies on the left. He grew increasingly conservative while maintaining his good standing among democratic socialists, which allowed him to continue his columns and perhaps to introduce them to conservative insights. "There are nevertheless four aspects of Orwell's later work which are more closely linked to conservative than to left-wing styles of thinking."[1] The tension between the conservative Orwell grew to become and the democratic socialist he still allowed others to view him as, may account for some of his interesting word inventions like "doublethink".

Unlike most writers, Orwell's greatest works came late in his life. He harshly criticized communism and totalitarianism in 1984, his finest novel. His short story named Animal Farm was an allegorical reference to the Russian Revolution and a frightening tale of how people can change the meaning of words and commandments over time to suit a totalitarian regime. These works were far more influential than his first novel, based on his experiences on the Imperial Police Force in Burma, Burmese Dаys, which explored the evils of coloniаlism. His highly influential essay, "Politics in the English Language," attacked the the obfuscation of meaning in political speech which was already present in his day, and championed clear speech.

Biography

Orwell's political views became to move away from the far left when he volunteered to fight the Spanish Fаscist forces to keep them from overturning the socialist government of Spain in the Spаnish Civil War (1936-1939). He enlisted in the POUM (In English, Workers Party for Marxist Unity) Militia, and saw action on the Aragon front, where he fought side by side with Anаrchists and Communists, as well as Republican regulars.

He became disillusioned with the Spanish government's policy of withholding arms from the POUM and the Anarchists, which he saw as an attempt by the Communists to water down the revolutionary nature of the Anti-Fascist resistance, and centralize power in the hands of the Moscow-backed Communist Party. Taking a bullet through his neck but surviving, Orwell was invalided to Barcelona, where he witnessed the Stalinist repression of Trotskyist and Anarchist parties. Orwell and his wife were forced to escape from Spain as fugitives, after the POUM was banned by the increasingly repressive regime.

Despite his persecution, Orwell initially continued to support the Republic upon his return to England, viewing a Communist dominated Spain as better than a Fascist Spain. He recounted his experiences in Spain in the book Homage to Catalonia.[2] He remained a socialist, and was for a time in the late 1930s a member of the Independent Labour Party, although he split from the ILP over its opposition to the Second World Wаr. Orwell served in the Home Guаrd during the war.

Orwell had only ten years left in his life when he returned. During that period he and his wife adopted a baby boy, but Orwell's wife died shortly thereafter.

In those ten years Orwell wrote his famous anti-communist fictional works, demonstrating how much his views had moved to the right from his youth. First he spent three years writing Animаl Farm (1944), and then perhaps five years on the longer novel 1984 (1949). Orwell continued to espouse forms of sociаlism[3] right up to his death, but utilized his position as a regular columnist for the left-labor Tribune paper to strongly criticize the USSR. Such criticism was unusual for a left-winger of the period, but Orwell was so well respected that his position was secure. "I belong to the left and must work with it," he declared in 1945.[4] He died of tuberculosis in 1950.

Quotes

  • "In a time of universal deceit telling the truth is a revolutionary act."
  • "All issues are political issues ...."[5]
  • "It cannot be said too often - at any rate, it is not being said nearly often enough - that collectivism is not inherently democratic, but, on the contrary, gives to a tyrannical minority such powers as the Spanish Inquisitors never dreamt of."
  • "One sometimes gets the impression that the mere words 'Socialism' and 'Communism' draw towards them with magnetic force every fruit-juice drinker, nudist, sandal-wearer, sex-maniac, Quaker, 'Nature Cure' quack, pacifist and feminist in England."
  • "If only the sandals and pistachio-colored shirts could be put in a pile and burnt, and every vegetarian, teetotaler and creeping Jesus sent home to Welwyn Garden City to do his yoga exercises quietly. As with the Christian religion, the worst advertisement for Socialism is its adherents."
  • "The truth is that to many people calling themselves Socialists, revolution does not mean a movement of the masses with which they hope to associate themselves; it means a set of reforms which 'we,' the clever ones, are going to impose upon 'them,' the Lower Orders."
  • "War against a foreign country only happens when the moneyed classes think they are going to profit from it."
  • "The nationalist not only does not disapprove of atrocities committed by his own side, he has a remarkable capacity for not even hearing about them."
  • "I have no particular love for the idealized 'worker' as he appears in the bourgeois Communist's mind, but when I see an actual flesh-and-blood worker in conflict with his natural enemy, the policeman, I do not have to ask myself which side I am on."
  • "If liberty means anything at all, it means the right to tell people what they do not want to hear."

Bibliography

Books

Essays

Poetry

  • Romance
  • A Little Poem
  • Awake! Young Men of England
  • Kitchener
  • Our Minds are Married, But we are Too Young
  • The Pagan
  • The Lesser Evil
  • Poem From Burma

References

  1. http://revel.unice.fr/cycnos/document.html?id=1391
  2. [1]
  3. [2]
  4. http://revel.unice.fr/cycnos/document.html?id=1391
  5. http://www.mtholyoke.edu/acad/intrel/orwell46.htm