George Orwell Research Paper

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Glenn Devries
Dr. Smith

ENG 1302

4/24/08

George Orwell: The Man Behind 1984

Why did you choose George Orwell as your author to research?

I chose George Orwell as my author to research because I was interested in learning more about the man behind the novel “1984.” 1984 is a deep novel that is about three totalitarian nations that are always at war with each other in disputed territories so that they can maintain “peace” at their home territory. The three nations are Oceania, Eurasia, and East Asia. The government’s control over their country and populace makes Soviet Russia look like a democracy. The main character and narrator, Winston Smith lives in Oceania and he works for the Ministry of Truth that edits historical records so they agree with what the government says. I do not why the government even to trouble of doing that because 90-95% of the population cannot read books and the 5-10% that can are the ones running the country. Overall, I wanted to know what in George Orwell’s life inspired him to write the novel 1984 and what experiences in his life helped him write 1984.

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Who is George Orwell and what was his life like?

George Orwell was the pen name of Eric Arthur Blair. Eric Blair was born on June 25, 1903 in Motihari, Bengal, in the then British colony of India (Pengelly). Although Eric Blair was born in India, Eric’s mother, Ida, brought him to England at the age of one. Unfortunately, Eric “did not see his father again until 1907, when Richard visited England for three months before leaving again until 1912. (Pengelly)” Eric had an older sister, Marjorie, and a younger sister, Avril. “At the age of five, Blair entered the Anglican parish school of Henley-on-Thames which he attended for two years before entering the prestigious St. Cyprian’s school in Sussex. Corporal punishment was common in the day and possibly a source of his initial resentment towards authority. (Beasley)” These sources of resentment of authority paved the way for Eric to write novels criticizing Stalinism in “Animal Farm” and totalitarianism in general in “1984.” Eric did well enough at St. Cyprian’s to earn scholarships to both Wellington and Eton colleges. “After a term at Wellington, Eric moved to Eton, where he was a King's Scholar from 1917 to 1921. (Pengelly)” After finishing his studies at Eton, Eric was unable to obtain a university scholarship and his family unable to pay for his tuition, so he joined the Indian Imperial Police in Burma in 1922. “He came to hate imperialism, and when he returned to England on leave in 1927 he decided to resign and become a writer. (Smith)” He later moved to Paris in 1928 where his aunt lived, but his lack of success writing forced him to move back to England in 1929. Eric adopted his pen name in 1933, while writing for the New Adelphi. He chose a pen name that stressed his deep, lifelong affection for the English tradition and countryside: George is the patron saint of England, while the River Orwell in Suffolk was one of his most beloved English sites. “In December 1936, Orwell went to Spain to fight for the Republican side in the Spanish Civil War against Francisco Franco's Nationalist uprising. Although he travelled alone to Spain, he became part of the Independent Labour Party contingent, a group of some 25 Britons who joined the militia of the Workers' Party of Marxist Unification (POUM). (Smith)” Although Eric saw that the current government of Spain was corrupt and hated the government for that reason, he wanted to fight against Francisco Franco because he hated Communism even more that a corrupt government. “By his own admission, Orwell joined the POUM rather than the communist-run International Brigades by chance but his experiences, in particular his narrow escape from the communist suppression of the POUM in June 1937, made him sympathetic towards the POUM and turned him into a...
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