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She was considered to have a strong case, but was becoming increasingly ill and eventually was persuaded to settle out of court on 2 November She died on 11 December , aged During most of his career, Orwell was best known for his journalism, in essays, reviews, columns in newspapers and magazines and in his books of reportage: Down and Out in Paris and London describing a period of poverty in these cities , The Road to Wigan Pier describing the living conditions of the poor in northern England, and class division generally and Homage to Catalonia.

Modern readers are more often introduced to Orwell as a novelist, particularly through his enormously successful titles Animal Farm and Nineteen Eighty-Four. The former is often thought to reflect degeneration in the Soviet Union after the Russian Revolution and the rise of Stalinism ; the latter, life under totalitarian rule.

Nineteen Eighty-Four is often compared to Brave New World by Aldous Huxley ; both are powerful dystopian novels warning of a future world where the state machine exerts complete control over social life. In , Nineteen Eighty-Four and Ray Bradbury 's Fahrenheit were honoured with the Prometheus Award for their contributions to dystopian literature.

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In he received it again for Animal Farm. The novel is pessimistic; industrialism and capitalism have killed the best of Old England, and there were great, new external threats. So's Joe Stalin. They aren't like these chaps in the old days who crucified people and chopped their heads off and so forth, just for the fun of it They're something quite new — something that's never been heard of before".

Eliot and D. But I believe the modern writer who has influenced me most is W. Somerset Maugham , whom I admire immensely for his power of telling a story straightforwardly and without frills. Orwell's investigation of poverty in The Road to Wigan Pier strongly resembles that of Jack London's The People of the Abyss , in which the American journalist disguises himself as an out-of-work sailor to investigate the lives of the poor in London. In his essay "Politics vs. Literature: An Examination of Gulliver's Travels" Orwell wrote: "If I had to make a list of six books which were to be preserved when all others were destroyed, I would certainly put Gulliver's Travels among them.

Orwell was an admirer of Arthur Koestler and became a close friend during the three years that Koestler and his wife Mamain spent at the cottage of Bwlch Ocyn, a secluded farmhouse that belonged to Clough Williams-Ellis , in the Vale of Ffestiniog. Orwell reviewed Koestler's. Darkness at Noon for the New Statesman in , saying:. Brilliant as this book is as a novel, and a piece of brilliant literature, it is probably most valuable as an interpretation of the Moscow "confessions" by someone with an inner knowledge of totalitarian methods. What was frightening about these trials was not the fact that they happened — for obviously such things are necessary in a totalitarian society — but the eagerness of Western intellectuals to justify them.

Chesterton , whom he regarded as a writer of considerable talent who had chosen to devote himself to "Roman Catholic propaganda", [] and to Evelyn Waugh , who was, he wrote, "ab[ou]t as good a novelist as one can be i. Throughout his life Orwell continually supported himself as a book reviewer. His reviews are well known and have had an influence on literary criticism. He wrote in the conclusion to his essay on Charles Dickens , [].

When one reads any strongly individual piece of writing, one has the impression of seeing a face somewhere behind the page. It is not necessarily the actual face of the writer. I feel this very strongly with Swift , with Defoe , with Fielding , Stendhal , Thackeray , Flaubert , though in several cases I do not know what these people looked like and do not want to know. What one sees is the face that the writer ought to have.

Well, in the case of Dickens I see a face that is not quite the face of Dickens's photographs, though it resembles it. It is the face of a man of about forty, with a small beard and a high colour.

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He is laughing, with a touch of anger in his laughter, but no triumph, no malignity. It is the face of a man who is always fighting against something, but who fights in the open and is not frightened, the face of a man who is generously angry — in other words, of a nineteenth-century liberal, a free intelligence, a type hated with equal hatred by all the smelly little orthodoxies which are now contending for our souls.

George Woodcock suggested that the last two sentences also describe Orwell. He considered this Shaw's best play and the most likely to remain socially relevant, because of its theme that war is not, generally speaking, a glorious romantic adventure. His essay In Defence of P.

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Wodehouse contains an amusing assessment of Wodehouse's writing and also argues that his broadcasts from Germany during the war did not really make him a traitor. He accused The Ministry of Information of exaggerating Wodehouse's actions for propaganda purposes. In , the British Council commissioned Orwell to write an essay on British food as part of a drive to promote British relations abroad. The hour at which people have their breakfast is of course governed by the time at which they go to work.

In , the essay was discovered in the British Council's archives along with the rejection letter. The British Council issued an official apology to Orwell over the rejection of the commissioned essay. Arthur Koestler said that Orwell's "uncompromising intellectual honesty made him appear almost inhuman at times. John Newsinger has argued [] that Lucas could only do this by portraying "all of Orwell's attacks on Stalinism [—] as if they were attacks on socialism, despite Orwell's continued insistence that they were not.

Orwell's work has taken a prominent place in the school literature curriculum in England, [] with Animal Farm a regular examination topic at the end of secondary education GCSE , and Nineteen Eighty-Four a topic for subsequent examinations below university level A Levels. Alan Brown noted that this brings to the forefront questions about the political content of teaching practices.

Study aids, in particular with potted biographies, might be seen to help propagate the Orwell myth so that as an embodiment of human values he is presented as a "trustworthy guide", while examination questions sometimes suggest the "right ways of answering" in line with the myth. Historian John Rodden stated: " John Podhoretz did claim that if Orwell were alive today, he'd be standing with the neo-conservatives and against the Left. And the question arises, to what extent can you even begin to predict the political positions of somebody who's been dead three decades and more by that time?

In Orwell's Victory , Christopher Hitchens argues: "In answer to the accusation of inconsistency Orwell as a writer was forever taking his own temperature.

In other words, here was someone who never stopped testing and adjusting his intelligence". John Rodden points out the "undeniable conservative features in the Orwell physiognomy" and remarks on how "to some extent Orwell facilitated the kinds of uses and abuses by the Right that his name has been put to. In other ways there has been the politics of selective quotation. Thereafter I knew where I stood. Every line of serious work that I have written since has been written directly or indirectly against totalitarianism and for Democratic Socialism as I understand it.

If the book itself, Animal Farm , had left any doubt of the matter, Orwell dispelled it in his essay Why I Write : 'Every line of serious work that I've written since has been written directly or indirectly against Totalitarianism The sweat and agony was less in the slum-life than in the effort to turn the experience into literature. In his essay " Politics and the English Language " , Orwell wrote about the importance of precise and clear language, arguing that vague writing can be used as a powerful tool of political manipulation because it shapes the way we think.

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In that essay, Orwell provides six rules for writers:. Andrew N. Rubin argues that "Orwell claimed that we should be attentive to how the use of language has limited our capacity for critical thought just as we should be equally concerned with the ways in which dominant modes of thinking have reshaped the very language that we use. The adjective " Orwellian " connotes an attitude and a policy of control by propaganda, surveillance, misinformation, denial of truth and manipulation of the past.

In Nineteen Eighty-Four , Orwell described a totalitarian government that controlled thought by controlling language, making certain ideas literally unthinkable. Several words and phrases from Nineteen Eighty-Four have entered popular language. The " Thought Police " are those who suppress all dissenting opinion. Orwell may have been the first to use the term " cold war " to refer to the state of tension between powers in the Western Bloc and the Eastern Bloc that followed World War II in his essay, "You and the Atom Bomb", published in Tribune on 19 October He wrote:.

We may be heading not for general breakdown but for an epoch as horribly stable as the slave empires of antiquity.

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James Burnham 's theory has been much discussed, but few people have yet considered its ideological implications — this is, the kind of world-view, the kind of beliefs, and the social structure that would probably prevail in a State which was at once unconquerable and in a permanent state of 'cold war' with its neighbours.

It is a fictitious account of Orwell doing a book tour in the United States something he never did in his lifetime. It moved to Off-Broadway in Orwell's birthplace, a bungalow in Motihari , Bihar, India, was opened as a museum in May The wall behind the statue is inscribed with the following phrase: "If liberty means anything at all, it means the right to tell people what they do not want to hear". These are words from his proposed preface to Animal Farm and a rallying cry for the idea of free speech in an open society. She could not recall his having schoolfriends to stay and exchange visits as her brother Prosper often did in holidays.

Jacintha Buddicom repudiated Orwell's schoolboy misery described in the essay, stating that "he was a specially happy child". She noted that he did not like his name because it reminded him of a book he greatly disliked— Eric, or, Little by Little , a Victorian boys' school story.

Connolly remarked of him as a schoolboy, "The remarkable thing about Orwell was that alone among the boys he was an intellectual and not a parrot for he thought for himself". He would generally win the arguments — or think he had anyhow. He was one of those boys who thought for himself.

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Blair liked to carry out practical jokes. Buddicom recalls him swinging from the luggage rack in a railway carriage like an orangutan to frighten a woman passenger out of the compartment. Blair had an interest in natural history which stemmed from his childhood.


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In letters from school he wrote about caterpillars and butterflies, [] and Buddicom recalls his keen interest in ornithology. He also enjoyed fishing and shooting rabbits, and conducting experiments as in cooking a hedgehog [18] or shooting down a jackdaw from the Eton roof to dissect it. Later in Southwold, his sister Avril recalled him blowing up the garden. When teaching he enthused his students with his nature-rambles both at Southwold [] and Hayes.

Buddicom and Blair lost touch shortly after he went to Burma and she became unsympathetic towards him. Mabel Fierz, who later became Blair's confidante, said: "He used to say the one thing he wished in this world was that he'd been attractive to women. He liked women and had many girlfriends I think in Burma.