George Orwell Essay, Research Paper
Many authors relate their writing can be connected to their own life experiences. For instance the author George Orwell has written many essays that are in direct relation to his own life. And one another note his novels such as 1984 are in relation to the time period in which it was written. The environment in which a person lives can have a direct effect on how the outcome of their writing is.
George Orwell is in fact the pen name of Eric Arthur Blair. He was born June 25, 1903, in Motihari, Bengal (India). When he was educated at Eton College. After leaving their in 1927 he served with the Indian Imperial Police in Burma. India was such an important part of his life because both of his parents were members of the Indian Civil Service. After a short term with them he moved to Paris for two years and then back to England. Orwell then moonlighted as a school teacher, private tutor and a bookshop assistant. During the Spanish American War he fought in the POUM militia on the Republican side, and during World War II he served as a home guard. After the stints in the army he became a talks producer for an Indian Service of the BBC. Then he went on to join the Tribune and later on was a special correspondent for the Observer. By January 1950 Mr. Orwell s life had been lived and he passed away (www.extrapris.com/store/orwell.html 1).
Novels and documentaries written by Orwell have since established him as an important and influential author of the century (Levity.com 1). Down and Out in Paris and London was published in 1933. This short story was about his years of living in poverty after leaving Burma. Burmese Days(1934), was about Orwell s days with the Imperial Police in Burma. Then in 1938 he wrote Homage to Catalina, it is a documentary about his experiences in the Spanish Civil War. There he was wounded and forced to run for his life by communists (Levity.com 2).
By 1940 George Orwell had his big break. Animal Farm was released in 1945, this novel is a clever way of attacking Stalinism. His other big success was 1984 which was first released in 1949. Fear of being overrun by the government were the main ideas of this novel. In 1968 Collected Essays, Journalism, and Letters of George Orwell was published.
The world was a very busy place during the years that George Orwell lived his life. In 1907 Great Britain joins a defense pact with France and Russia, this formed the Triple Entente( History 8). Orwell was only 4 years old and already threats of war during his lifetime were affecting him. By the time he was 11 World War 1 had started. In 1915 Gandhi returned to India to lead non-violent protests against the British rule (History 15).
During WW1 there are serious food shortages, rationing and higher prices are a result. At age 15 Orwell had just lived through one of the many wars in his life time. Ten years after the end of World War 1, 62 nations join a say no to war pact named Kellogg-Briand. The main countries included the USA, Italy, Great Britain, and Japan.
By 1930 the Nazi Party came in second in their election (History 31). Tensions in Europe were rising again and this time Hitler was in the middle of it. Then the Spanish Civil War took place, this is were the story Homage to Catalina took place. The Nazis attack the Jews in 1938 this is the largest act of anti-semitism ever. The next year Germany invades Poland, then Britain and France declare war on Germany. 1940 Winston Churchill becomes the Prime Minister of Britain, he replaces Neville Chamberlain ( History 41). World War II ended in 1945, the casualties exceeded 50 million people. Then in 1948 Gandhi is assassinated after India finally becomes
Independent of Britain (History 49) .
The book 1984 starts out with Winston Smith he is a part of a totalitarian world. This book takes place either in or around the year 1984. The world Winston Smith is living in is one where the government has control over everything. The people are under some sort of trance where everything the government does is the right thing and they will stick by them no matter what. It wasn t always like this, or so the people think. The government has taken away all their past memories and the people have no recollection of any past circumstances.
There are three main parties in the Country of Oceania The Outer Party, which Winston is a member of. The Inner Party and The Proles (Commoners and Workers) are the other two. While at the daily two minute hate which is a propaganda film that is repeated daily, Winston catches the eye of O Brien who is a member of the Inner Party (Gerenser 1). Winston starts to think that this man might have the same thought of the government that he does. While daydreaming about this Winston fails to notice he has written DOWN WITH BIG BROTHER numerous times all over the diary he had purchased. This can cause some trouble because Big Brother is their government figure, going against them at anytime is almost guaranteed death.
That night Winston has a dream he dreams of his mother and sister. Because of his greediness he had let them starve in the war. Then he dreamt of the girl in the records department where he worked. When he is awakened by the morning two minute hate he seems to have thoughts that relate back to his childhood. But it is a brief memory, everything after that has been a product of the government, they have changed history to their benefit (Gerenser 2). That night Winston goes to dinner with a philologist who is currently working on the 11th edition of the Newspeak Dictionary, Newspeak is Oceania s official language. Orwell then states One of these days thought Winston with a sudden deep conviction, Syme will be vaporized. He is too intelligent. ( Orwell 47). This quotation represents how powerful the government actually is. If one of their people get too intelligent then they will be taken care of.
The next day Winston decides to not take part in Community action. He goes to walk around the Proles quarters. He ends up back at an old junk shop where he earlier purchased the diary. Mr. Carrington the owner of the shop shows him an old-fashioned room which is empty of telescreens. Telescreens are the governments way of being in your home at all times and the people can do nothing about it. As Winston leaves the shop he bumps into the girl from his dream. There is something about that girl that he can t put his finger on, perhaps she s a spy or even part of the thought police (Gerenser 3).
Winston learns the girls name is Julia. They decide to meet again and she takes him to a place which is unobservable. Julia reveals her attraction to him because of the look of Party rebellion on his face (Gerenser 3). Winston and Julia meet again in a few days to prepare for hate week, which is a huge event for the party.
Syme has vanished and one day O Brien asks of him. In doing this questioning O Brien is committing a thought crime. Winston and Julia agree to meet at O Brien s house in order to see the 11th edition Newspeak Dictionary. While they are their O Brien is able to turn off his telescreen which normally is impossible for anyone to do. Before he realizes what he is doing Winston is blurting out about his thoughts against the party. He says how he believes in the Brotherhood and Emmanuel Goldstein is a great man.
A few days after this meeting Winston receives a copy of a book written by Emanuel Goldstein , simply titled The Book . Hate week has now begun and Oceania is in yet another war. It seems as if all the country does is fight with their two rivals Eastasia and Eurasia. This causes tons of work for Winston since he has to change all reports and articles to make Oceania the victor in the war (Gerenser 4). During all this Winston still finds time to read The Book . There are three chapters titled War is Peace, Ignorance is Strength and Freedom is Slavery. Ironically these were the same phrases as The Party had. As he read on the book analyzed how the party works.
The next morning Winston is sure with the help of the Proles he will over come the Party. All of a sudden he turns to Julia and says We are the death . Then a voice behind them repeats the phrase. The picture on the wall turns to a telescreen and uniformed men thunder into the room. They leave with Winston and Julia (Gerenser 4).
Winston now thinks to be in the Ministry of Love which is a government building where no one knows what goes on in. He finds himself in a room with four different telescreens surrounding him. They yell and scream at him if he makes any noises or movements. Soon O Brien enters, Winston thinks they got him too, but he is told a different story. The Party had gotten him a long time ago. After that a guard comes in and knocks Winston out. When he wakes he finds himself tied down to a sort of bed. O Brien is to now teach him doublethink. Which is mainly if you see four and the government tells you its five, then its five. Using drugs and pain Winston allows it to happen to him. He is then brought to the last of his integration stage. Room 101 is the most feared room ever. This is where you are tortured by a numerous amount of things. Winston s fate is to have rats chew his face off. His last chance out is to give up someone else so that they will take his spot. He yells out for Julia. This is his final betrayal and they release him (Gerener 5).
As the end of the story comes to a close Winston spends his days at the Chestnut Tree Caf , where he plays chess and drinks gin on a regular basis. He meets with Julia one day, though their isn t much to talk about because he has come to realize that he loves Big Brother and it is pointless for him to exist with out I it (Gerenser 5).
The essay Shooting an Elephant by George Orwell, mainly describes an internal conflict between his own personal morals and his decision to kill the elephant (Blaze 1). The elephant in this case represents imperialistic Burma. His decision to kill the elephant is a direct result of oppression. You could even say Orwell s morals are being challenged. The essay itself seems simple enough but Orwell s use of metaphor gives it some complexity. For example They were watching me as they would watch a conjuror about to perform a trick. (Elephant 165). Oppression is an unnecessary burden he doesn t need to have.
Through all this he is in one way or another condemning imperialism. He doesn t agree with the British at all, but he has a choice to either go his own way or join and be like all the other white men in the east (Blaze ). Orwell justified these actions by saying Only to not act like a fool (Orwell 165). British Imperialism wasn t only dominant in Burma, but in many other countries also were in the same position. Orwell also states that I perceived in this moment that when the white man turns tyrant it is his own freedom he destroys. (Elephant 165).
Like no one can prevent the next victim of the elephant, the same can be said about the British (Blaze). While Orwell s reasons for killing the elephant seem reasonable, underneath he is really questioning his own actions, just like he questions the British actions. George Orwell despised both the British Empire and the Burmese natives. Since the elephant represents imperialism, it is his way of expressing his resentment towards imperialism.
Many authors write their real life experiences into their novels. George Orwell is no exception. In the book 1984 he gives us the story of Winston Smith who is a citizen of the factious totalitarian country of Oceania. Many similarities between this book and the time period in which Orwell lived are present. For instance the main character is named Winston. Winston Churchill was the leader of Britain when the book was written. Also the country Oceania that Winston is a part of is at war with two other countries throughout the book. This can be related to WWII and Germanys fight with the countries of the world. Big Brother is somewhat like a Hitler type of figure, he had total control of his people just like Big Brother has on his people.
I also had the chance to read a non-fiction essay by Orwell called Shooting an Elephant . This entire essay is about his struggle to help Burma to break free from imperialistic Britain while he was in India. This relates to 1984 because the main character is giving the same sort of fight for freedom.
The time in which an author lives really does have an effect on what they write about. George Orwell is a perfect example of this. He lived during a time of war and government corruption, since that was really all he experienced during his life he wrote of that.