George Orwell: Battling Big Brother

George Orwell: Battling Big Brother

George Orwell: Battling Big Brother

George Orwell: Battling Big Brother

Synopsis

George Orwell (1903-1950) is remembered mainly as the author of two of the most powerful, cogent social critiques ever written:Animal Farm(1945) and1984(1948). Less known is the turbulent life story of the popular novelist, from his birth in India as Eric Arthur Blair to his struggle to complete1984while suffering from tuberculosis, the disease that would kill him two years after the book's publication.
An original, independent spirit, Orwell chose an unusual career for an Eton graduate--he joined the Indian Imperial Police in Burma. Five years later, he came back to Europe and lived in both Paris and London, investigating the lives of the underprivileged and often sharing their experiences firsthand by living as a tramp. He fought against Fascism in the Spanish Civil War and simultaneously honed his writing skills while working as a journalist. Eventually he turned to writing as a full-time occupation, drawing on his varied experiences to recreate the precise details for which his novels are famous. Tanya Agathocleous's concise biography is enhanced by sidebars and picture captions which include numerous excerpts from Orwell's journalistic and literary writings. A final chapter explores Orwell's cultural legacy--his lasting contributions to freedom of thought throughout the world.

Excerpt

In 1948, on the tiny, windswept island of Jura off the coast of Scotland, a writer typed away furiously. Occasionally, he was interrupted by a coughing fit and had to stop to spit out blood. On some days he was so weak he typed lying down, the typewriter balanced on his lap. The writer was racing against time. His name was George Orwell, and he was dying of tuberculosis.

The manuscript that was so important to him was finally finished that year, just before his illness overcame him, and he was forced to leave his beloved island to get medical attention. The title of his manuscript was an inversion of the last two numbers of the current year, and a date in the not-toodistant future: Nineteen Eighty-four. It was a date he had selected carefully. What might society be like when his son was his age, if the injustices and suffering he had witnessed during World War II continued unchecked? The book that asked that question was a dark, terrifying vision of a world without freedom. As a follow-up to Animal Farm, the biting political satire he had published three years earlier, Nineteen Eighty-four was an instant success and finally brought him the fame and recognition he had sought for years.

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.