Thursday, April 17, 2014
O is for...George Orwell
Oh boy, we're on to the letter O. Today is all about: George Orwell.
George Orwell (1903-1950)
The first thing I ever read written by George Orwell, the pen name for Eric Arthur Blair, was Animal Farm in the 9th grade. I'll admit that it was rough at the time. But looking back I can now list this book as one of my favorites. Especially after learning about the historical aspects that are represented in the book; it's so much more rewarding when you understand the background (this wasn't planned out very well considering we didn't cover this portion of history in Global Studies until after reading the book for English). Regardless, Orwell is a magnificent writer. An English novelist, essayist, journalist, and critic, Orwell focused much of his writing on social injustice, the support of democratic socialism, and the opposition of totalitarianism. Because of his work, Orwell is considered one of the 50 greatest British writers since 1945. He is credited for introducing several terms into the English language, including Orwellian, Big Brother, Thought Police, Doublethink, and Cold War, among others. Perhaps the most compelling work of Orwell's is his non-fiction. His time spent in Burma (today's Republic of the Union of Myanmar) garnered so much attention and produced wonderful essays. I always found a way to incorporate some of his essays into the syllabi for various writing courses that I taught; they always led to great discussions and reflections from the students. Sadly, Orwell succumbed to complications caused by tuberculosis at the age of 46.
Recommendation: "A Hanging," "Shooting an Elephant," and Animal Farm
Who are some of your favorite O writers?