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George orwells thoughts in writing the novel 1984

In doing so, this milestone details several major events in George Orwell's life that contributed in substantial ways to the political beliefs and worldviews behind Nineteen Eighty-Four. This background is then used as inspiration for a piece of creative writing that draws on the major themes of Orwell's masterpiece.


Introduction This milestone articulates the major influences behind three of the themes found in George Orwell's novel, 1984: The error of hierarchical class systems; The horror of politically-induced warfare; And the need for a free, unbiased media. This research is timely, given the recent surge in the novel's popularity.

More recently, after the 2016 Presidential election, 1984 became the 1 best-selling book on Amazon. As more and more people read this novel, it is important to understand where it came from and what its message means. Although a large group of information exists on how Orwell's 1984 can be interpreted, less attention has been given to how this work came to be from the psychological perspective of its author. This milestone aims to help fill this gap.

In a sense, this project represents a continuation of all my previous experience of analyzing literature and researching the historical background of well-known cultural icons. However, the deliverable aspect of this milestone, consisting of a piece of creative writing inspired by the themes of 1984, is new to me. I've done plenty of creative writing in the past, but have never been constrained by theme requirements.

This represents a new challenge. A Selected Biography The following chapters in George Orwell's life have been selected for exploration because of their clear connections with themes in 1984. Furthermore, each of these events was written about by George Orwell himself, either in essays, novels, or letters. These first-person accounts give an important and undiluted perspective on George Orwell's thought process as a political satirist. Childhood at Crossgates Eric Blair, who adopted the pen name George Orwell in 1933 [4]was born in 1903 in Bihar, India [5]to a family with multiple generations of imperialist background.

His great-great grandfather was a plantation owner in Jamaica, his grandfather was a Church of England minister in India and Tasmania [6]and his father was a sub-deputy agent in the Opium Department of the Indian Civil Service [7]. Blair moved with his mother to England when he was one year old [8]. Though he was very young at the time, this process of moving from a country where his family had a function and authority to a country where they had neither would have a lasting impact on Blair's sense george orwells thoughts in writing the novel 1984 class [9].

Blair would not see his father again until he was eight years old.

By then Blair had lost all affection for his father, whom he saw "as a gruff-voiced elderly man forever saying 'Don't' [10]. At age ten, Blair was moved into the scholarship class, a group of boys specially trained to win scholarships at desirable public schools [12]. Blair later george orwells thoughts in writing the novel 1984 the experience in an essay, "Such, Such Were the Joys: And with what learning!

Your job was to learn exactly those things that would give an examiner the impression that you knew more than you did know, and as far as possible to avoid burdening your brain with anything else. Subjects which lacked examination-value, such as geography, were almost completely neglected, mathematics was also neglected if you were a "classical," science was not taught in any form - indeed it was so despised that even an interest in natural history was discouraged - and the books you were encouraged to read in your spare time were chosen with one eye on the "English Paper.

Not only was a caste-like structure perpetuated by the other students at Crossgates, many if whom came from "millionaire [14] " families, but clear favoritism for the monied students was also clear amongst the administration.

Blair described how students from aristocratic or millionaire backgrounds were far less likely to receive beatings than the poorer students, and were given far greater lenience when it came to laziness and low quality of work [15]. Blair was disgusted by this favoritism, realizing early on that many of the ideals that he was supposed to strive for, "to be at once a Christian and a social success," were unattainable because they depended "not only on what you did but on what you were [16].

The Spanish Civil War From Crossgates, Blair earned a scholarship to the well-regarded public school Eton [17]but, once there, his performance proved "disappointing" [18].

  • Orwell, a gentle, unworldly sort of man, arrived with just a camp bed, a table, a couple of chairs and a few pots and pans;
  • In other cases numbers and facts have been completely made up;
  • In 1949, the year 1984 seemed to be the far future and got the attention of book lovers.

This assessment cost Blair an opportunity to study at Oxford or Cambridge, and he instead joined the Indian Imperial Police in Burma [19]. Here Blair became one of just ninety police officers tasked with managing a city with "a population which was equal to that of a medium-sized European city [20]. Blair later reflected that as a police officer, he was "hated by a large number of people [21].

His experiences are documented george orwells thoughts in writing the novel 1984 his novel, "Homage to Catalonia," in which he explains that he had first traveled to Spain "with the notion of writing newspaper articles, but. Blair recounted in Homage to Catalonia the rifle given to him shortly before he was sent to the front lines: It was a German Mauser dated 1896 - more than forty years old!

It was rusty, the bolt was stiff, the wooden barrel-guard was split; one glance down the muzzle showed that it was corroded and past praying for. Most of the rifles were equally bad, some of them even worse. The sergeant gave us five minutes' 'instruction', which consisted in explaining how you loaded a rifle and how you took the bolt to pieces.

Cartridges were handed out, fifty to a man, and then the ranks were formed and we strapped our kits on our backs and set out for the front line, about three miles away. Blair wrote that in trench warfare during the winter, the five most important things, in order, are firewood, food, tobacco, candles, and the enemy [26]. Out at the front, Blair began to "marvel at the futility of it all [27] ," of a war that moved nowhere. Blair returned to Barcelona on April 26th, but spent most of his time on leave fighting in the streets for the Socialists [28].

He returned to the front lines on May 10th, and on May 20th was shot by an enemy sniper through the throat. Blair describes the experience as "very interesting" and like being "struck by lightning [29]. Quickly, however, Blair learned that his militia-party had been outlawed and that its members were being arrested and executed.

Pursued by police, Blair was barely able to escape to France on June 23rd [33].

  1. Through these strong connections between major events in Orwell's life and central themes in Nineteen Eighty-Four, it can be clearly seen that Orwell took a great deal of his inspiration from events surrounding him.
  2. Blair wrote the following in a letter in 1944. I feel that intellectual honesty and balanced judgement have simply disappeared from the face of the earth.
  3. There was no electricity.
  4. When reading my work, I believe that it is important to keep in mind that much of it, like 1984, is either metaphorical or satirical. When what is true one day is said to be false the next and vice versa, this could lead to a state of affairs in which ignorance is accepted as the status quo.

World War II and BBC Propaganda Blair is best known today for his strong critique of totalitarianism, but he also dedicated much of his talent to the opposition of British imperialism. This view was formed early in Blair's career as a writer, influenced by his experiences of class, oppression, and his time in Burma [34]. Blair later wrote, "I know enough of British imperialism not to like it, but I would support it against Nazism or Japanese imperialism, as the lesser evil [35].

How Has George Orwell's Novel 1984 Come True Today?

His task was to create propaganda in the form of weekly news reviews and cultural programs intended to send a "strong antifascist signal to India while at the same time attempting to strengthen Idia's loyal support of the British war effort [36]. Though Blair worked hard to perform his task within the required guidelines, he was regularly censored by the Ministry of Information [37]. Often, the work of censorship was delegated to Blair's colleagues within the BBC.

As an example, Blair was prevented from inviting H. Wells and George Bernard Shaw to present on the radio because they were considered "loose cannons," critical of the war [38].

Working as a propagandist created a moral conflict for Blair. In 1938, Blair had written in Homage to Catalonia that "one of the most horrible features of war is that all the war-propaganda, all of the screaming and lies and hatred, comes invariably from people who are not fighting [39]. However, Blair was hesitant to put pen name, George Orwell, on many of his broadcasts.

The masterpiece that killed George Orwell

These were instead produced under the name Eric Blair [41]. In April 1942, he wrote the following in his diary: You can go on and on telling lies, and the most palpable lies at that, and even if they are not actually believed, there is no strong revulsion. We are all drowning in filth. I feel that intellectual honesty and balanced judgement have simply disappeared from the face of the earth. The official reason for his resignation, though, is different from what may have been expected.

The following is an excerpt from a letter Blair sent to LF Rushbrook Williams, the Eastern Service Director [43] I am tendering my resignation because for some time past I have been conscious that I was wasting my own time and the public money on doing work that produces no result. I believe that in the present political situation the broadcasting of British propaganda to India is an almost hopeless task. Whether these broadcasts should be continued at all is for others to judge, but I myself prefer not to spend my time on them when I could be occupying myself with journalism which does produce some measurable effect.

I feel that by going back to my normal work of writing and journalism I george orwells thoughts in writing the novel 1984 be more useful than I am at present. While it is likely that Blair felt himself wasted as a propagandist, it is probable that the main reason for his resignation was his ongoing moral disagreement with the work at hand [45].

Blair was inspired to compose this novel by a desire to expose Stalin's regime as "inscrutable" and "a savage kind of state-capitalism [47]. Though it would take Blair several years to complete this work, the main thesis behind it was solidly formed from the start. Blair wrote the following in a letter in 1944: Hitler, no doubt, will soon disappear, but only at the expense of strengthening a Stalin, b the Anglo-American millionaires and c all sorts of petty fuhrers of the type of de Gaulle.

All the national movements everywhere. With this go the horrors of emotional nationalism and a tendency to disbelieve in the existence of objective truth because all the facts have to fit in with the words and prophecies of some infallible fuhrer. Already history has in a sense ceased to exist. Hitler can say that the Jews started the war, and if he survives that will become official history. He can't say that two and two are five, because for the purposes of, say, ballistics they have to make four.

But if the sort of world that I am afraid of arrives, a world of two or three great superstates which are unable to conquer one another, two and two could become five if the fuhrer wished it. That, so far as I can see, is the direction in which george orwells thoughts in writing the novel 1984 are actually moving, though, of course, the process is reversible [50] In the last three years of his life, Blair moved in and out of hospitals with pneumonia and tuberculosis.

Blair struggled to complete Nineteen Eighty-Four, which was published in June of 1949, before his death on January of 1950. Eric Blair was forty-six years old [51]. The Influences of 1984 Many of the influences behind George Orwell's Nineteen Eighty-Four came more or less directly from his own life experiences.

The analysis conducted here will focus on three influences, each contributing to a major theme in Orwell's work. First, Orwell developed a strong aversion to class distinctions during his time at Crossgates, and from his work in Burma's police force [52] [53].

This hatred for anything approaching a caste system appears in Nineteen Eighty-Four as a scalding critique of the party system. In Oceania, society is divided into three classes: The proles, the Outer Party, and the Inner Party [54]. In this system, as at Crossgates, what you were able to achieve and how highly you were regarded depended "not only on what you did but on what you were [55].

Members of the Inner Party enjoy good food, comfortable living conditions, and the ability to turn off their telescreens, luxuries that are unattainable for anyone else [58]. As with Orwell's more general Democratic Socialist political beliefs, these issues of injustice can be seen as direct consequences of his experiences as a child and young adult.

From his experiences in the Spanish Civil War, Orwell gained a lasting sense of the futility and george orwells thoughts in writing the novel 1984 of armed conflicts in which neither army can - or is willing to - defeat the other [59]. Nineteen Eighty-Four is set in a world divided into three superstates. These powers are constantly at war with one another, but none can defeat the others, and, more to the point, none are willing to try.

In Nineteen Eighty-Four, power is maintained through constant conflict and the threat that if citizens overthrow their governments, they will be crushed by the other world powers [60]. Orwell was first inspired to write about such a world by the 1943 Tehran Conference, in which Marshal Stalin, President Roosevelt, and Prime Minister Churchill met to discuss how the world should function after the end of the Second World War [61]. Orwell saw this as the beginnings of a "carve-up" of the globe into superpowers [62].

This view was further entrenched by the use of the atomic bomb in 1945, which Orwell believed would lead the way to a world in which complete destruction was a constant threat [63].