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George Orwell - Life and works

George Orwell was the pen-name of Eric Arthur Blair. He was born in 1903 in Bengal, India, and he was sent to school in England. Later he was admitted to Eton but he strongly resented its snobbishness: he was treated badly because he was not wealthy. After Eton Orwell refused to go to Oxford and Cambridge and decided to enroll instead in the Indian Imperial Police. After he returned to Europe with a keen sense of guilt in relation to the working classes, which he never lost. For this sense of social guilt he abandoned his upper-class friends and his family and worked in London and Paris Hotels and restaurants.
Later Orwell struggled to win a name for himself as a writer, also teaching in private schools and working in bookshops. Like many left-wing writers of 30s Orwell felt it a moral duty to fight on the republican side in the Spanish Civil War. His experience was bitter: he saw the manipulation of socialist enthusiasts who had flocked there from all over Europe. During the World War II Orwell was rejected for the army as unfit on medical grounds; he then went to work for the BBC Indian Service. In those years he also became literary editor of the social newspaper Tribune. It finally came to the surface in his political fable Animal Farm, a satire of the Russian Revolution.

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