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Orwell : A Visual Introduction b.1903 – June 25; Motihari/Bihar, Bengal, India married Eileen O’Shaughnessy, 1936 (she died in 1945) married Sonia Brownell,

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Presentation on theme: "Orwell : A Visual Introduction b.1903 – June 25; Motihari/Bihar, Bengal, India married Eileen O’Shaughnessy, 1936 (she died in 1945) married Sonia Brownell,"— Presentation transcript:

1 Orwell : A Visual Introduction b.1903 – June 25; Motihari/Bihar, Bengal, India married Eileen O’Shaughnessy, 1936 (she died in 1945) married Sonia Brownell, 1948 d January 21; University College Hospital London, England Orwell with Richard Horatio Blair (adopted in 1944 by Eric and Eileen) - Eileen died March 29 in 1945 while under anesthetic for a cancer operation “What does the future hold for rough and ready bikers? Refrigerators that tell you how many eggs you can eat, motorcycles outlawed and encased in acrylic, an oppressive government that eats individual freedoms like candy and crushes any who speaks out against it. Sam “Chopper” Orwell is apiece [sic] of motorcycling fiction that takes us on a harrowing ride into what has become less and less fictitious every day in America: the federalization and subsequent removal of American freedom. Ride with Sam Orwell, outlaw biker, as he and his bros learn how to fight the establishment, whip the criminal law enforcement Gestapo, and restore American liberties and their right to ride. Hang on for the ride of your life.”

2 Orwell entered the Burmese police (as a “Probationer”) in 1922 after attending St. Cyprian’s ( ) and then Eton ( )

3 long “fiction” Burmese Days, 1934 A Clergyman’s Daughter, 1935 Keep the Aspidistra Flying, 1936 Coming Up for Air, 1939 Animal Farm, 1945 Nineteen Eighty-Four, 1949 “non”-fiction Down and Out in Paris and London, 1933 (published under “George Orwell”) The Road to Wigan Pier, 1937 Homage to Catalonia, 1938 Inside the Whale, and Other Essays, 1940 The Lion and the Unicorn, 1941 Critical Essays, 1946 (published as Dickens, Dali, and Others in the U.S.) Shooting an Elephant, and Other Essays, 1950 published posthumously Such, Such Were the Joys, 1953 (written about 1948) The Collected Essays, Journalism, and Letters of George Orwell, 1968 (4 volumes; Sonia Orwell and Ian Angus, editors) Orwell: The War Commentaries, 1986 The always tall Blair

4 - in The Road to Wigan Pier, Orwell wrote that he had been born into the “lower-upper-middle” class - he learned early what class distinctions meant (at St. Cyprian’s he was a “scholarship student,” meaning that his fees were reduced from £180 to £90 per year, since his family could not afford the full tuition) - as a Probationer in the Burmese Police (his father had been in the Opium Department) Blair encountered corrupt local magistrates and corrupt imperial policies - by 1927 he returned to England and resigned from the service, having seen the effects of British imperialism (Burmese Days is published in 1934) - the “old Etonian” spends 1928 and 1929 living in poverty (in Paris) and tramping (in London) having expressed his intention to become a writer (Down and Out in Paris and London is published in 1933) Orwell at the borders... St. Cyprian’s

5 Orwell at the borders… - in late 1936 Orwell headed to Spain to fight with the POUM (the Partido Obrero de Unificación Marxista or The Workers Party of Marxist Unification) against Franco - the POUM was a Trotskyist group (founded in 1935) that believed in permanent revolution and supported collectivization of the means of production - by 1937, however, Orwell was fleeing Spain (wanted by Stalinist communists); Orwell’s “democratic socialism,” his anti-communism, and his anti-fascism provide important historical background to 1984

6 Orwell at the borders… - having suffered poor health from childhood (and having been shot in the throat while in Spain), Orwell was ineligible to fight in WWII - however, Orwell ends up at the BBC preparing propaganda (for the most part) which is to be transmitted via shortwave to India - vetting of all material Orwell produced happened in a 1st floor conference room - Room 101 Eastern Service of the BBC (Left to right, sitting) Venu Chitale, J. M. Tambimuttu, T. S. Eliot, Una Marson, Mulk Raj Anand, C. Pemberton, Narayana Menon; (standing) George Orwell, Nancy Barrat, William Empson

7 Orwell at the borders… - in 1945 (Eileen and George are living through the London blitz) Orwell accepts a post as foreign correspondent for The Observer (despite his poor health and despite the fact that he and Eileen had recently adopted a son) - Orwell gets as far as Paris (where he meets Ernest Hemingway) and then receives a telegram with news of Eileen’s death during her operation (what Orwell had mistakenly thought a “minor procedure”) , with Richard 1941

8 Orwell at the borders… - Orwell returned to England and would divide his time between London and Jura - from London to Jura involved a train to Glasgow, bus to the west coast of Scotland, boat to the island of Kintyre, bus across Kintyre, boat to Jura, and taxi to Barnhill - a 48 hour ordeal Orwell’s Barnhill

9 See “Charles’ George Orwell Links”

10 George Orwell - Socialist, Anarchist or What...? On George Orwell's Political Development Claus B. Storgaard George Orwell “Why Orwell Still Matters” (a video essay) Some useful sites


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