E. M. Forster's Thoughts On George Orwell's Work

949 words - 4 pages

E. M. Forster's Thoughts on George Orwell's Work

     In a 1950 commentary by English novelist Edward Morgan Forster, the effects

    of a strong, well-constructed essay on an individual can readily be seen.

    The writings of George Orwell have forced Forster to delve into the depths

    of his own thoughts, even going so far as to prompt him to put those

    thoughts down on paper for others to evaluate. In his article, Forster

    analyzes, with critical intentions, an anthology of essays by George Orwell,

    collectively entitled Shooting an Elephant. He uses these pieces to discuss

    what he believes are Orwell's pejorative ideas and objectives for writing.

    It doesn't take long for Forster to begin to describe the deeper problems

    with Orwell's habits and style. Because of Orwell's tendency to focus on

    unpleasant topics, and because of his desire to share that subject matter

    with the rest of the world--almost immediately--Forster declares Orwell a

    nagger. The raw fact that Orwell never seemed to let up on those

    disconcerting issues troubled Forster, who felt that constant narrative

    delving into unpleasantness should be avoided.


    Later in his essay, Forster accuses Orwell of continuously looking into the

    future with the intention of "stamping upon [the] embryos" (303) of possible

    change, good or bad, which could occur in a people. Through this description

    of Orwell, along with Orwell's goal to "ameliorate a world which is bound to

    be unhappy" (303), Forster almost implies that Orwell attempts to play God.

    Throughout his commentary, Forster reiterates in multiple ways his belief

    that Orwell's works are too pessimistic and gray, leaving his audience with

    downhearted feelings and a despondent look into the future. Once again,

    Forster finds this candid negativity deplorable and undesirable. Though some

    of Forster's arguments bring up valid points, his underlying critical

    analysis of Orwell--as a sort of annoying and untiring gadfly pestering the

    world for the good of his own satisfaction and nothing more--is simply



    A quality piece of writing is judged effective by its ability to induce its

    readers into thought. This thought involves more than just a review of the

    surface plot. It involves contemplation of sometimes veiled implications

    which work to stimulate reflection over the appropriate aspects of an

    individual's life...

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