George Orwell’s motives for writing
In the essay, “Why I Write” by George Orwell, he explains his reasons and motives for writing. He gives us a brief summary of his literary attempts at becoming a writer from a young age to his completed works as an experienced writer at an older age. He justifies how a person’s motives for writing changes over time due to their experiences in life and the atmosphere of the world around them.
George Orwell lists four motives for writing in which he feels exists in every writer to a certain degree. The four motives are sheer egoism, aesthetic enthusiasm, historical impulse, and political purpose. Orwell claims that these motives differ in degree from time to time. He also gives us background information because he feels that one cannot assess a writer’s motives without knowing something of their early development. He insists that he is a person in which the motives, sheer egoism, aesthetic enthusiasm, and historical impulse outweighs political purpose.
The motive, sheer egoism existed in Orwell at a younger age. Orwell argues that people with this motive write to simply feel clever, to be talked about, and to get back at grown-ups from angst throughout childhood. He tells us about how he was isolated and undervalued as a child. He also tells us about a time when he wrote a poem at the age of five, and his mother took it down to dictate it. I could imagine how the trauma from that event catapulted him to writing. Those experiences as a youth is what caused him to have sheer egoism as a motive for writing.
Later on, at about the age of sixteen, Orwell started to write for aesthetic enthusiasm. At that time he suddenly discovered the joy of words and the sounds and associations of words. It was clear what kind of books he wanted to write. He states that he wanted to waste enormous naturalistic novels with unhappy endings, full of detailed descriptions and arresting similes, and also full of purple passages...
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