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George Orwell's: A Hanging Essay

1763 words - 7 pages

A world famous Essayist, a Novelist, and Critic, George Orwell is a name most people have heard at one point in their lives. His work continues to be used for educational purposes and held to a very high standard by many. Best remembered for his twin satires on totalitarianism, Animal Farm and Nineteen Eighty-Four, Orwell was a major participant in the British socialist movement. Although championing a radical politics of collective ownership, he extolled tradition and love of country while drawing a sharp distinction between patriotism and nationalism ("ORWELL, GEORGE." ).
He was born into a poor but proud middle class family in Moti-hari, Bengal, India as Eric Arthur Blair. His surname, George Orwell, stuck with him after writing his first book Down and Out in Paris and London. This title was regarding his experiences of how his upbringing left him with feelings of great guilt, and how he then chose to live in squalor for a period of his life. With unemployment rates extremely high in the 1930’s he chose to join the labors and beggars and lived in low income lodging in London and Paris. He wondered the streets with professional vagrants and lived and learned their way of life. For Orwell this brought him closer to his roots and was an experience he has to live (“George Orwell.”).
Orwell was raised in England by his mother Ida, but he was often separated from his father Richard Orwell; who spent his time working in India. His reputation among the people led him to be known as young and eccentric but withdrawn by most people who knew him. Orwell made an interesting reputation for himself, as a brilliant but poverty stricken writer. His determination led him to many good things; Orwell was awarded two scholarships to what were considered some of England’s leading schools, Wellington and Eton (“George Orwell.”; Sheldon 53).
He received his education from Eton but he will be the first to say, ‘I did no work there and learned very little.’ He first attended Wellington for nine weeks before he received the news that he had been accepted to receive a scholarship to Eton. George remained at Eton from 1971 to 1921; he struggled academically and had no real hope of achieving his next goal of attending Oxford University because of his family’s financial situation (Sheldon; 59, 79).
Continuing on with the next chapter of his life, Orwell decided he would follow in his family’s footsteps and served with the English Imperial Police, positioned in Burma like his father. This is where he found his inspiration to write the novel Burmes Day’s and two of his essays, A hanging and Shooting an Elephant. Orwell was considered an upstanding member of the police force, although it was not where his heart was. In 1927, as Orwell was visiting England, he made a decision not to return to Burma and resigned his position as a police officer (“George Orwell.”; “Orwell, George).
By this time Orwell began to establish a career as a writer, but he was still motivated to...

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