George Orwell (1903-1950)

George Orwell, whose real name was Eric Blair, was well-educated in Eton. After an upper-class education he worked for Burma Police during 1922-1927, because he was eager “to escape not merely from imperialism but from every form of man’s domination over man”.

In 1937 he fought for the Republicans in the Spanish Civil War. From then on he worked as a journalist and novelist. About his life in Spain Orwell writes in his novel “Homage to Catalonia” (1938).

His famous work, “Animal Farm” was written in 1945. It is a satirical fable about Stalin’s Russia, a political allegory, which tells the story of a political revolution that went wrong. The animals on the farm, led by the pigs, drive out their master Jones and take control of the farm, but the purity of their political ideas is soon destroyed, and they become as greedy and cunning as the farmer whom they banished.

Nineteen Eighty-Four” was written in 1949. The novel describes a future world where every word and action is seen and controlled by the state, which has developed a kind of the television that can watch people in their own homes, and is changing the language so that the only words left are those for objects and ideas that the government wants the people to know about. For Orwell, the quality of a language implies the quality of the society that does with it, thus the government, regulating the language, manipulates the people who use it. This picture of the future, influenced by the hardships and sorrows of the Second World War, is depressing and gloomy.

Orwell shows that the state must play an important part in a reasonable society, but he also feels that each person in such a society needs to be independent.

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