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George Orwell biography

Eric Arthur Blair was born in 1903 in India. At that time India was a part of the British Empire, and Blair’s father held a post as an agent in Indian Civil Service. Eric’s mother was about eighteen years younger than her husband. Eric had an elder sister. The Blairs led a relitevely priviliged and fairly pleasant life, helping to administer the Empire. In 1907 when Eric was about eight years old, the family returned to England and lived at Henley. Blairs sent their son to a private preparatory school in Sussex at the age of eight. At the age of thirteen he won a scholarship to Wellington and soon after, another to Eton. At Eton he apprenticed himself to the masters of English prose who most appealed to him- including Swift, Sterne and Jack London.

While the carreers of his school-fellows led to either Oxford or Cambridge, Eric Blair joined the Indian Imperial Police in 1922. He trained in Burma, and served there in the police force for five years. In 1927 he resigned, because he felt that he was supportin a political system in which he could no longer believe, Even as early as this, his ideas about writing and his political ideas were closely linked. In his work he expressed hate to every form of man’s dominion over man.

He settled in London and there at the age of twenty-four, he started to teach himself how to write. In 1928 he took a drastic step and he lived among the poor, first in London, then in Paris. For him the poor were victims of injustice. In Paris he lived and worked in a working-class quarter and he got to know there with many artists and would-be artists. When he returned to London, he lived for a couple of months among the tramps and poor people. His experiences gave birth to Down and Out in Paris and London entitled A Scullion’s Diary. In fact, it is not a novel, it is a kind of documentary account of life unknown to most of its readers. After two rejections from publishers Orwell wrote Burmese Days, a book based on his experiences in colonial service.

We owe the rescue of Down and Out to Mabel Firez. She was asked to destroy the script. Instead she took the manuscript and brought it to a literaly agent. Soon it was accepted, but Eric Blair insisted on publishing it pseudonymously. By taking the pseudonym George Orwell he shedded his old identity and took on a new.

Eric Blair, old Etonain and English colonial policeman changed into George Orwell, classless anti-authoritarian.

His next book was A Clergyman’s Daughter and Keep The Aspidistra Flying. In 1936 he opened a village shop in Wallington, where he did business in the mornings and wrote in the afternoons. The same year he married Eileen O’Shaughnessy and received a commission from the Left Book Club to examine the conditions of the poor and unemployed. This resulted into The Road to Wigan Pier. He went on living among the poor about whom he was to write his book. Once again it was a journey of comparative comfort of middle-class life. The Left Book Club was not pleased with the book due to the often criticizm of the English class system and English socialism.

Having completed The Road to Wigan Pier he went to Spain at the end of 1936 with the idea of writing newspaper articles of the Civil War. In Barcelona he found his dream about class equality and he joined in the struggle. After receiving a basic military training he was sent to the front, where he spent a couple of months and was wounded in the throat. When he returned to Barcelona, he found a completely changed city and his group was accused of being a Fascist militia. He and his wife escaped to France, but he still believed that socialism in action was a human possibility. His account of his time in Spain was published in Homage to Catalonia.

In 1938, Orwell became ill with tuberculosis and spent the winter in Morocco. While being there, he wrote a novel Coming up for Air. In 1939 the Second World War broke out and Orwell wanted to fight, as he had done in Spain, against the fascist enemy, but he was declared physically unfit. During the wor he worked for BBc, served in the Home Guard and in 1943 he became literary editor and began writing Animal Farm. In 1944 the Orwells adopted a son, ut in 1945 his wife died during an operation. Towards the end of the war, he went to Europe as a reporter. In 1945 he went to Scotland and he wrote Nineteen Eighty-Four there. The Scottish climate was unsuitable for someone suffering from tuberculosis and the book reflects the bleakness of human suffering, the infignity of pain. He said that the book would not have been so gloomy had he not been so ill. Later he married Sonja Brownell. He died in January 1950.

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