19) British Literature II. - George Orwell
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19. British Literature II. – George Orwell LIFE: George Orwell was born in 1903 and was an important prosaist, journalist and essayist His real name was Eric Blair but from 1930 he used the pseudonym Orwell (a name of an English river) He was born in India into a not very rich English family He was sent back to England to be educated at Eton, a prestigious school for rich boys, and as a scholarship student he felt the weight of his lower social status After Eton he went to Burma, where he joined the Imperial Police. Orwell felt sympathy for people of lower economic classes. He struggled to survive at low-paying jobs, first in Paris and later in London He sympathised with the socialists and participated as a volunteer in the Spanish Civil War on the side of the Republicans However, he was not a follower of any political party; he took an independent view and was sceptical of communism as well as capitalism. He continued to write novels, essays, and political articles during the 1930s and 1940s. George Orwell died from tuberculosis in 1950. HIS STYLE AND LITERARY WORK: His most famous books are the political allegories of Stalinism - Animal Farm (1945) and the anti- utopian Nineteen-Eighty-Four (1949) Animal Farm o Is a novel based on the lives of a society of animals living on a farm, which is owned by Mr. Jones. The animals revolted against human rules and cruelty and started to rule themselves. o They all live according to the Seven Commandments of an old pig Major, who led the revolution but who died shortly after. New leader Napoleon, also a pig, changed Major’s orders, made the pigs superior and brought totalitarian manners. o The farm represents the land of the Soviet Union. Farmer Jones (represents the tsar) takes advantage of the animals (the people), because he has always done so and he feels it right. When the animals revolt, they are led by the intelligent pigs. The plot parallels historical events: the idealistic revolution, the establishment of secret police (the dogs), forced civilisation of the farm and so on. The leader-pig Napoleon has become more like the old farmer and manipulates other animals. The revolutionary doctrine that "All animals are equal" has been corrupted to "Some animals are more equal than others". Nineteen-Eighty-Four describes England under a dictatorship of mechanised bureaucracy. It is a story of Winston Smith, the man who was dissatisfied with the system, but had no chance of changing it and finally his personality was absolutely destroyed. Orwell shows the real totality with all its atrocities and nonsense. OTHER AUTHORS OF THIS ERA James Joyce - Odysseus Agatha Christie – many detective stories such as Ten Little Niggers J.R.R. Tolkien – The Lord of the Rings, Hobbit J. K. Rowling – Harry Potter G.R.R. Martin – Game of thrones