George Orwell, 1903-1950

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George Orwell was born Eric Arthur Blair in 1903 in Motihari, Bengal, India. His father, Richard Walmesley Blair was a civil servant for the British government. In 1904 Orwell moved with his mother and sister to England where he remained until 1922. He began to write at an early age, and was even published in college periodicals, but he did not enjoy school. Orwell failed to win a university scholarship and without the opportunity to continue his education he went to Burma and served in the administration of the Indian Imperial Police from 1922 to 1927 when he resigned in part due to his growing dislike of British imperialism. When Orwell returned to Europe he was in poor financial condition and worked low paying jobs in France and England. Finally, in 1928, he decided to become a professional writer. In 1933 he assumed the name George Orwell by which he would become famous. It was Animal Farm that made finally Orwell prosperous. His other world wide success was Nineteen Eighty-Four, which Orwell said was written "to alter other people's idea of the kind of society they should strive after." Sadly Orwell never lived to see how successful it would become. He died in London on January 21, 1950.

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ANIMAL FARM (64 KB)  
Fiction
A satirical allegory of the Russian Revolution, particularly directed against Stalin's Russia. Led by the pigs, the Animals on Mr Jones's farm revolt against their human masters. After their victory they decide to run the farm themselves on egalitarian principles. Inspired by the example of Boxer, the hard-working horse, the cooperation prosper. The pigs become corrupted by power and a new tyranny is established under Napoleon (Stalin). 'All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others.' Snowball (Trotsky), an idealist, is driven out. The final betrayal is made when the pigs engineer a rapproachement with Mr Jones. The book was originally rejected for publication by T.S. Eliot in 1944, but has gained since its appearance in 1945 a status of a classic. - Film adaptation from 1955 was a faithful rendition of Orwell's original work, but watered in the end the satire, and presented a socialist viewpoint: the system is good, but the individuals are corruptible.


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1984 - NINETEEN EIGHTY-FOUR (232 KB) 
Fiction
In 1984, Winston Smith lives in London which is part of the country Oceania. The world is divided into three countries that include the entire globe: Oceania, Eurasia, and Eastasia. Oceania, and both of the others, is a totalitarian society led by Big Brother, which censors everyone’s behavior, even their thoughts. Winston is disgusted with his oppressed life and secretly longs to join the fabled Brotherhood, a supposed group of underground rebels intent on overthrowing the government. Winston meets Julia and they secretly fall in love and have an affair, something which is considered a crime. One day, while walking home, Winston encounters O'Brien, an inner party member, who gives Winston his address. Winston had exchanged glances with O'Brien before and had dreams about him giving him the impression that O'Brien was a member of the Brotherhood. Since Julia hated the party as much as Winston did, they went to O'Brien’s house together where they were introduced into the Brotherhood. O'Brien is actually a faithful member of the Inner-Party and this is actually a trap for Winston, a trap that O'Brien has been cleverly setting for seven years. Winston and Julia are sent to the Ministry of Love which is a sort of rehabilitation center for criminals accused of thoughtcrime. There, Winston was separated from Julia, and tortured until his beliefs coincided with those of the Party. Winston denounces everything he believed him, even his love for Julia, and was released back into the public where he wastes his days at the Chestnut Tree drinking gin.

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