Term Paper on George Orwell

This essay has a total of 2042 words and 8 pages.


George Orwell





Eric Arthur Blair was born in 1903 at Motihari in British-occupied India. While growing
up, he attended private schools in Sussex, Wellington and Eton. He worked at the
Imperial Indian Police until 1927 when he went to London to study the poverty stricken.
He then moved to Paris where he wrote two lost novels. After he moved back to England
he wrote Down and Out in Paris and London, Burmese Days, A Clergyman’s Daughter
and Keep the Aspidistra Flying. He published all four under the pseudonym George
Orwell. He then married Eileen O’Shaughnessy and wrote The Road to Wigan Pier.
Orwell then joined the Army and fought in the Spanish civil war. He became a socialist
revolutionary and wrote Homage to Catalonia, Coming Up for Air, and in 1943, he wrote
Animal Farm. It’s success ended Orwell’s financial troubles forever. In 1947 and 48,
despite Tuberculosis, he wrote Nineteen Eighty-Four. He died in 1950 (Williams 7-15).
George Orwell’s life has influenced modern society a great deal. In
1903, Eric Arthur Blair was born. Living in India until he was four, Blair and his family
then moved to England and settled at Henley. At the age of eight, Blair was sent to a
private school in Sussex, and he lived there, except on holidays, until he was thirteen. He
went to two private secondary schools: Wellington (for one term) and Eton (for four and
a half years). After Eton, Blair joined the Imperial Indian Police and was trained in
Burma. He served there for nearly five years and then in 1927, while home on leave,
decided not to return. He later wrote that he had come to understand and reject the
imperialism he was serving. He was stuck between the hatred of the empire and rage
against the native people who opposed it, which made his job more difficult. Blair, on
his first six months of release, traveled to eastern England to research the poor. In Spring
of 1928, he took a room in a working-class district of Paris. He wrote two novels, which
have been lost, as well as publishing a number of articles in French and English. He
became ill with pneumonia, worked ten weeks as a dishwasher and kitchen porter, and
returned to England at the end of 1929. He used his parents’ home in Suffolk for writing
and earned money from occasional articles and teaching. Blair then completed several
versions of what was to become his first book, called, not by his choice, Down and Out in
Paris and London. The book was a record of his experiences, but “If it’s all the same to
everybody, I would prefer [it] to be published pseudonymously”. Discussing the
publication of his first book with his agent, he decided on three possible pseudonyms:
Keneth Miles, George Orwell and H. Lewis Allways. He favored George Orwell. The
Orwell is a river in Suffolk, south of his parents’ home. “George Orwell” published his
first book in 1933. Down and Out... was followed by the novel Burmese Days, published
first in the United States rather than in England because of his English publishers fear of
it’s giving offense in Burma. After Burmese Days came two more novels: A Clergyman’s
Daughter, published in 1935; and Keep the Aspidistra Flying, published in 1936. In the
Spring of 1936 he moved to Hertfordshire and married Eileen O’Shaughnessy, an Oxford
graduate in English, a teacher, a journalist, and later a London graduate in psychology.
Orwell’s reputation at this time was based mainly on his accounts of poverty and
depression. His next book, The Road to Wigan Pier was written for the Left Book Club
and started his career as a political writer. Much of this book was composed of an essay
on class and socialism, which was Orwell’s first statement of his political position. In
July, he left for Spain to fight (and write) in the Spanish civil war. For the next two or
three years, Orwell became a revolutionary socialist. When he returned from war , he
wrote Homage to Catalonia and in the winter of 1938, wrote Coming Up for Air. In 1941
he wrote London Letter’s and in August joined the BBC as a talks producer in the Indian
Section of the Eastern Service. Later in the year, he began writing Animal Farm. It did
not appear until August 1945, at the end of the war. He and his wife adopted a son in
1944, but in 1945 his wife died during an operation. Animal Farm’s success ended
Orwell’s financial worries that he had suffered from for twenty years. In 1946, he settled
in Jura, Scotland, with his younger sister as housekeeper, though he returned to London
for the winter. During 1947, in the early stages of renewed tuberculosis, he wrote the first
drafts of Nineteen Eighty-Four. In 1948, amid several attacks, Orwell wrote the second
draft. In September, 1949, he went into a hospital in London, and in October married
Sonia Brownell. In January 1950, Eric Arthur Blair, AKA “George Orwell”, died.
(Williams 7-15) WORKS In 1933, Orwell wrote Down and Out in Paris and London.
This was his first book. It is the record of a young man’s (most-likely Orwell’s)
experiences with poverty in Paris and London. It did very well for a first novel. In most
ways it was a long, autobiographical essay on poverty. (Wykes 71-72) Orwell’s second
novel was Burmese Days. It was an account of Orwell’s experiences working for the
Imperial Indian Police in Burma. For fear of insulting Burma, this novel was published
first in the U.S. rather than in England. (Wykes 44) His next two novels were A
Clergyman’s Daughter and Keep the Aspidistra Flying. A Clergyman’s Daughter,
published in 1935, is the journey of Dorothy Hare. A journey of escape and
self-exploration (Wykes 4). Keep the Aspidistra Flying, published in 1936, is a novel
about middle-class decline and compromise (Wykes 7). Orwell regarded these novels as
failures. The Road to Wigan Pier, written for the Left Book Club in 1936 was Orwell’s
fourth novel. This book started Orwell’s life-long career change to political writing. The
first part of this book is reporting on the poor and unemployed. The second part is an
essay on class and socialism, as I mentioned before. It was the first statement of Orwell’s
political position. (Wykes 50-60) Homage to Catalonia, Orwell’s fifth novel, completed
his break with the orthodox left. It is an attempt to tell the truth about war from Orwell’s
point of view. The genre to which this book belongs was later defined by Orwell as the
“Political book...a sort of enlarged pamphlet combining history with political criticism”.
Orwell came to believe that Homage to Catalonia was the best book he had ever written.
During winter in 1938, Orwell wrote his sixth novel Coming Up for Air. It is the
discovery of George Bowling, that his boy-hood home has changed like everything else.
It is regarded as his best novel (with the exception of Animal Farm and Nineteen
Eighty-Four). It illustrates in great detail, the fact that everything peaceful eventually
becomes corrupt. After Coming Up for Air, Orwell wrote one of his most-loved novels,
Animal Farm. It is the “fairy story” of an animal revolution on the Manor Farm, The
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