George Orwell – Soldier and Writer
George Orwell, born in 1093 as Eric Arthur Blair is considered one of the most famous English novelists of the 20th century.
His father, Richard Blair, was the second generation of British soldiers. His mother was French, Ida Maybell Blair, the daughter of a failed merchant. He did not see his father until 1907, when he arrived on a three-month visit, after which he returned to India. Eric had two sisters, Marjorie and Avril.
At the age of six, he went to the Anglican School of Parochia. He grew up as a sullen, withdrawn, eccentric boy, and described all the accidents of this period in a posthumously published autobiography. He received a scholarship for the two most prestigious schools in England, Wellington and Eton. He spent his first semester at Wellington, but then moved to Eton, where he studied between 1917 and 1921. Some say he was an outstanding student, while others argue completely the opposite. Already as a boy, he decided to be a writer and study the British writers at Eton. He did not care too much for science, and ended with a poor grades, so he did not win a scholarship for the university, and he had to stop with further formal education and get hired.
He joined the Indian Imperial Police. He served in Burma for five years, then left the service. Here are the first possible disagreements with the system. Imperial power and its methods have deeply disappointed him, and the experiences and views on it came out in the novel “Burmese Days” and in two fantastic autobiographical stories “Elephant Killing” and “Suspension”. He left the police and for some time worked as a harbor worker in Burma before returning to England in 1927. Immediately after returning, he declared himself an anarchist and did so for several years to come; during the 1930s.
He committed himself to writing. In the spring of 1928, he moved to Paris, again hoping to be able to live as a freelance writer. Nevertheless, this did not go hand in hand, so he had to support himself as a wardrobe guy in hotels and restaurants. In 1929, ill and without money, he returned to London and later described his experiences from this period in the novel “Down and Out in Paris and London”. He then took the pseudonym of Orwell and signed all his future literary works under a pseudonym. Upon returning to London, he moved to an old family home and began writing “Burmese Days”. He became a teacher at a private school in 1932, and in 1936 he opened a rural store in Wellington, Hertfordshire, and married Eileen O’Shaughnessy.
Spanish civil war
At the end of 1936 Orwell went to Spain to report on a civil war that broke out between fascists and Republicans. In Barcelona he liked the atmosphere, it looked like anarchy works. He joined the communist militia (POUM). He fought on the front lines of Aragon, and received the rank of second lieutenant.
Orwell was severely wounded in the larynx, which will permanently affect his voice. He was disappointed with expectations and he was in conflict with the regime. He had to escape from Spain because the Communists wanted to kill him. He spent six months in Morocco. In this period in 1938 he suffered from tuberculosis and spent the winter in Morocco.
World War II
The Second World War began and Orwell wanted to fight fascists like in Spain, but the army declared him unfit. He served as a journalist and was reporting from various parts of the world. He adopted a son Richard in 1944, when he completed the novel The Animal Farm, which was published in England on August 17, 1945, and in the United States on August 26, 1946. With this novel, Orwell gained worldwide popularity for the first time in his career. This is a political story about the Russian Revolution and Stalin’s betrayal of its ideals. In it, a group of animals from the village yard is pushing human rulers and establishing their own authority. In the end, intelligent animals, eager for power, break down the revolution and create a form of dictatorship whose chains are worse and soulless than human. “ALL ANIMALS ARE EQUAL BUT SOME ANIMALS ARE MORE EQUAL THAN OTHERS.”
“1984” and death
Orwell wife died during the operation in 1945. He wrote the famous essay “Politics and English” about the language from which Orwell’s writing rules originated. He moved to the island of Jura on the Scottish coast. There he wrote the novel “One thousand nine hundred and eighty four.” This is a story of power that maintains its power through the systemic twisting of the truth and the constant rewriting of history for its own purposes. The climate on the island was harmful to his health, he felt bad, and because of this, in his own confession, the novel was so dull.
He got married to Sonia Bromvel in 1949, but died just few months later on January 21, 1950. He is buried in the Church of All Saints, in Satou, Cortene, Oxfordshire.
Down and out in Paris and London (1933)
Burmese Days (1934)
A Clergyman’s Daughter (1935)
Keep the Aspidistra Flying (1936)
The Road to Wigan Pier (1937)
Homage to Catalonia (1938)
Coming Up for Air (1939)
Animal Farm (1945)
A Thousand Nineteen Eighty-Four – 1984 (1949)