George Orwell was a British novelist, critic, and essayist, famous for his novels Animal Farm and 1984. The latter is a profound dystopian novel that explores the dangers of totalitarian rule. George Orwell was a genuine badass too.
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Before adopting the pseudonym of George Orwell, Eric Arthur Blair’s childhood was a relatively normal period of growth for the upper-middle-class British boys of his time. Looking back now, it turns out that his life is very unusual. He is famous for writing the dystopian novel “1984”, which is considered one of the greatest classics of all time, but writing novels is only part of his life and career.
He was born in Bangladesh and belonged to the Sahib class. His father was a secondary British civil servant of the Indian civil service. His mother is French and the daughter of a teak trader in Myanmar (Burma). Their attitude was that of a “landless gentleman,” and Orwell later referred to them as lower-middle-class, and their views on social status had little to do with their income. Therefore, Orwell grew up in a lower snobbish atmosphere.
After returning to England with his parents, he was sent to a preparatory boarding school on the Sussex coast in 1911. He stood out among other boys, representing poverty and talent. He grew up as a melancholy, introverted and eccentric boy and later talked about the pain of those years in his posthumous autobiography article “Such, Such Were the Joys” (1953).
Orwell received scholarships from the two major English schools in Wellington and Eton. He studied for a short period and then continued to study in the latter, from 1917 to 1921. Aldous Huxley is one of his teachers at Eton College. He published his first book in the university journal.
Orwell did not go to college, but according to family tradition, he went to Burma in 1922 to serve as Deputy Chief of the British Imperial Police. He worked for radio stations in many countries and looked like a model servant of the empire. However, as a child, he wanted to be a writer, so he realized that the Burmese were ruled against the will of the British, and he was increasingly ashamed of his role as a colonial policeman.
His experience influenced his first novel, “Burmese Days,” published in New York in 1934 (a British publisher worried about defamation cases). However, based on his experience after leaving the police station, his first book was “Down and Out” (1933). Critic Bernard Crick (Bernard Crick) during this time he began to wander among the homeless, between the homeless and poor in London and Kent’s hop fields, writing that he wanted to see if the English poor were treated in their countryside in the same way as the Burmese were in theirs.
Orwell moved to Paris in 1928. In his own words, he lived in Paris for about a year and a half and wrote novels and short stories, none of which have been published. After running out of money, he experienced severe poverty for several years. During this time, he worked as a cheap private school teacher and a dishwasher.
Four years later, in his essay “Why I Write”, he explained: “I want to do more to turn political writing into an art.” His political beliefs are called democratic socialism; a British poverty documentary, The Road to Wigan Pier, provides information. The latter part of his criticism of the socialist intellectuals supported by Stalin was too controversial, and his interpretation of the Spanish Civil War was also quite controversial, which was a tribute to Catalonia (1938).
Animal Farm and Nineteen Eighty-Four
His novel Animal Farm (1945) (check the price on Amazon) also expressed his hatred of totalitarianism and satirized the development of the Russian Revolution in the allegorical style of the farm of the same name. 1984 (1949) (check the price on Amazon) addressed a similar theme in explaining the future of dystopia, directed by powerful Big Brother. Both books were translated worldwide, and the warring parties read them differently during the Cold War.
George Orwell Interesting facts
He had knuckle tattoos
When he was a police officer in Myanmar, Orwell had tattoos on his knuckles. Adrian Fierz, who knew Orwell, told the biographer Gordon Bowker that these tattoos are small blue spots in the shape of a “little grapefruit.” Orwell pointed out that some Burmese tribes believe that tattoos can protect them from bullets.
Once got himself arrested intentionally
In 1931, Orwell was deliberately arrested for being “drunk and incompetent” while investigating the impoverishment of the cited memoirs. That was done to “taste the prison and bring him closer to the vagrants and evil children.”
Voluntarily fought in the Spanish civil war
Like other writers Ernest Hemingway and other leftist writers, Orwell was in trouble during the Spanish Civil War. Orwell arrived in Spain shortly after the battle broke out in 1936, hoping to write a newspaper article. Instead, he eventually joins the Republican militia and “fights fascism”. “This looks to be the only thing he can do.”
The following year he was shot in the neck by a sniper but survived. He described the moment of being struck as “a huge vibration, no pain, just a violent vibration like the vibration received from an electrical terminal, with complete weakness, a feeling of torture and dryness”. He wrote on his war experience in the book “Homage to Catalonia”.
Orwell’s account of the Spanish Civil War in Homage to Catalonia is regarded as one of a few factually accurate descriptions of the war. Orwell was a rarity among leftist writers at the time in giving an accurate reporting of events, straying from the official “party line” of the communists.
Ernest Hemingway gave him a gun
During the Spanish Civil War, the Stalinists ignited POUM, a leftist organization fighting in Orwell. As a result, POUM members were arrested, tortured, and even killed. Orwell fled Spain before being detained, but when he went to Paris as a correspondent in 1945, he said he might still be at risk from communists targeting their enemy.
Sent the government a list of communist supporters
On May 2, 1949, Orwell conveyed a list of names to a friend at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. His job was to fight Soviet advertising. He suspects these 35 names are Communist sympathizers. Orwell points out in the letter: “It’s not a bad idea to list untrustworthy people.”
Orwell wants Britain to survive the threat of totalitarianism, and he almost certainly feels that he is helping the cause. Still, it is surprising that the people who invented the “big brother” concept were reluctant to provide the government with a list of suspicious names.
He worked between bouts of hospitalizations for tuberculosis and died in a London hospital in January 1950. The Orwell Foundation maintains a large number of Orwell resources, which can be accessed online for free.
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