George Orwell's 1984, Animal Farm, And Burmese Days

2740 words - 11 pages

Political corruption and dissatisfaction affected many people in the early twentieth century; especially the prolific writer George Orwell. George Orwell’s works 1984, Animal Farm, and Burmese Days, through their ubiquitous uses of stunning imagery, extreme totalitarianism, and raw diction, warn of the dangers of ambitious figures, corrupt governmental control, and the recurrence of vicious tyrannies while reflecting impressionable events in his life.
Born on June 25, 1903 to parents Richard Walmesley Blair and Ida Mabel, “George Orwell” was born Eric Arthur Blair in Motihari, Bengal, India (Merriman, “George Orwell”). Orwell referred to his own family as a member of the “lower – upper – middle class” in his 1933 book The Road to Wigan Pier; this definition means that though his family was a literal member of the middle class, their atmosphere was that of “impoverished snobbery”(Merriman; “George Orwell”, Biography.com). The class Blair had been born into was called by the Indians “sahibs” (“George Orwell”, Biography.com). The year after his birth, Blair moved with his mother back to England, where he grew up with sisters Marjorie and later Avril until his father’s return in 1912 (Merriman, “George Orwell”). He began his education at age five at an Anglican parish school in Henley – on – Thomas; he started at the St. Cyprian school in Sussex two years later, at the age of 7 years (Merriman, “George Orwell”). The common use of corporal punishment throughout schools in England in the time period leads to the belief that Blair, subjected to this abuse of power, may have come to despise and resent the exercising of authority (Merriman, “George Orwell”). His first work, published while Blair was studying at the St. Cyprian school, was a poem called “Awake! Young Men of England.” (Merriman, “George Orwell”). Blair went to Eton on scholarship from 1917 to 1921, learning French from Aldous Huxley, the author of Brave New World (Merriman, “George Orwell”). After leaving Eton, Blair enlisted in the Indian Civil Service under the British Raj of India, working in Burma from 1922 to 1927 as a member of the Indian Imperial Police; from his time in Burma, Blair grew to love the native Burmese and to hate English imperialism; embarrassed of his role as a colonial police officer, Blair’s beliefs came to show up in such words as Burmese Days, Animal Farm, and 1984 (Merriman; “George Orwell”, Biography.com). Blair’s political beliefs were crucially changed by his time in Burma; immediately afterward, he regarded himself as an anarchist and then a socialist; avoiding communism (“George Orwell, Biography.com). In Burma, Blair made the final decision to pursue a career as a writer. After his resignation from the Indian Civil Service on January 1, 1928, Blair moved to Paris to write and contracted pneumonia, moved to London the next year and changed his name to “George Orwell” to avoid embarrassing his family with the knowledge of his career change from...

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