George Orwell

“FOUR LEGS GOOD, TWO LEGS BAD was inscribed on the end wall of the barn, above the Seven Commandments and in bigger letters.” This is a famous line from Animal Farm by English author, George Orwell. Some of his major works are Animal Farm and 1984. He also published many newspaper and magazine articles. George Orwell was a different kind of writer.  Still to this day, he is well known for his unique, propagandist, and also controversial writing style. What made George Orwell the author he was? Why did George Orwell distort his writing? Orwell had a rough childhood, was ill or injured often, and had a lot of experience with propaganda, failure, wars, revolution, and socialism and these things could be the reasons why Orwell distorted his writing and became the writer he was.

George Orwell

To begin with, George Orwell’s childhood could have contributed to how he grew and developed as a writer. George Orwell was not born George Orwell. He was born as Eric Arthur Blair to Richard and Ida Blair on June 25, 1903 in Bengal, India. Orwell’s parents were both British but worked and lived in India, which was a part of the British Empire at the time. His father worked in the opium division of the Indian Civil Service and oversaw Britain’s trade with China, so he was always very busy and often away. After Orwell was born, his parents moved back to England, but Orwell’s father continued to work in India so George rarely saw him. Orwell recalled on this, “‘I barely saw my father before I was eight.’ He remembered him as a stern, quiet man who often said ‘Don’t’.” (Agathocleous 9) Orwell loved to write starting at a very young age, writing his first poem about a tiger with “chair-like teeth” at age four. In 1911, he received a scholarship to a very prestigious boys’ boarding school called St. Cyprian’s. Many of the school’s students were wealthy and more trusted by the staff so Orwell, coming from a lower class had to work harder to prove that he was good and worthy. The children were often punished and terrorized by the schools’ owners and the other boys were very snobby and Orwell did not enjoy the boarding school experience. From his school experiences, he was beginning to shape this image of abuses of power and said, “‘Life is hierarchical and what happened was right.’” (Agathocleous 11)

George Orwell

Furthermore, Orwell dealt with many illnesses and injuries that made him the author he was. After young George’s terrible education, he came down with a chronic cough that was eventually diagnosed as tuberculosis. In the late 1920’s when Orwell moved to Paris, he caught a bad case of pneumonia. He was taken to a hospital for the poor and the medical care was not strong at all. Students with little medical experience were allowed to practice on patients like Orwell and the procedures the students performed were described as “grim and no doubt harmful”. One of these procedures was known as “cupping” in which a vacuum was created within a glass and then placed on the patient’s back to create a blood blister which would eventually be drained. A while later, Orwell traveled to Spain and joined the POUM (In Spanish the letters stand for: Workers’ Party for Marxist Unification). On May 20, 1937, while fighting with POUM, Orwell was looking over a sandbag and was hit in the throat with a sniper bullet. Orwell was transported to a hospital and treated. His vocal chords were paralyzed for some time and he also couldn’t talk for quite a while. The bullet had missed his spine and main artery by only a millimeter. By 1947, George Orwell’s health was on a steep downhill slope and he was still working on writing 1984 at the time. He continued to struggle with his health and even through all of the hard times, Orwell managed to write and because of all of his time in a hospital bed, he could think, in some kind of way, and put his ideas on paper. He even came up with his pen name, George Orwell, while he was ill. All of his suffering and struggles with his health can be seen in his writing.

George Orwell

Additionally, Orwell experienced a lot of failure with his writing, was very involved with war and revolution, and also had a lot of experience with socialism. After his bad schooling experience at St. Cyprian’s, Orwell still managed to get into Eton, which was another prestigious boys’ boarding school. His academic performance was extremely poor and after college, he decided to join the Imperial Police force. During his time with the Imperial Police in Burma, he saw many brutal and unjust things and even had to perform them himself sometimes. Orwell was required to arrest and beat native Burmese when they were violating the law. He was even required supervise hangings. George soon left the Imperial Force and joined an underground communist group and was offered to be a writer of propaganda. Life was not going so well for Orwell and he became extremely poor and found his living situation horrendous and disgusting. Also, Orwell always made a point to show that he was against fascism and did what he could to write about his struggle of speaking out for what he thought. He was interested in observing the process of revolution in Spain and after his POUM group was betrayed by another group of communists, Orwell became furious, discouraged, and felt betrayed by POUM. To add on to this, after the fail of the Spanish Civil War, Orwell was crushed so, he went back home to England to write Animal Farm. The year was 1945, this was at the end of World War II. Animal Farm was rejected by more than 20 publishers in England and America because they believed it was a “dangerous” and extremely controversial book and they didn’t want to become a part of something like that. Not only did Orwell write this famous book, he went on to establish his own branch of socialism and published many articles. BBC noticed Orwell’s ability to write and hired him to work on the radio as a propagandist. Over time, George got the inspiration to become an author who can make propaganda an art. And so, while he was extremely ill, George Orwell worked on his next big book, 1984.  All of these challenges in life made George Orwell a propagandist and controversial author.

George Orwell

After five long years of medical struggles, George Orwell suffered from a massive hemorrhage of the lung and died. The date was January 21, 1950. Orwell was 46. George Orwell will be remembered for his unique writing style. His rough childhood, medical issues, and experience with failure, war, revolution, and socialism made him the well known author he is today. “Power is not a means; it is an end. One does not establish a dictatorship in order to safeguard a revolution; one makes the revolution in order to establish the dictatorship. The object of persecution is persecution. The object of torture is torture. The object of power is power.” -George Orwell, 1984

A Trip to the Capitol

This past Friday, my sister and I had the day off from school so our dad drove us all down to Denver to tour the Capitol.

At first we walked around on our own and then decided to take a tour that lasted about an hour. We got to see the Hall of Presidents, Brown’s Attic, the entrance to Governor Hickenlooper’s office, the Senate and House in session, and the breath-taking view from the dome.

President Kennedy in the Hall of Presidents
President Kennedy in the Hall of Presidents

 

Not only were there 61 steps to climb to reach the dome (yes, I counted) but the view of the Rocky Mountains and everything in Denver was great once we got there.

At the top of the dome; It was raining so we had to stay on the inside of the dome
At the top of the dome; It was raining so we had to stay inside but the view was still great!
The rotunda
The rotunda

We had a great day at the Capitol and I highly recommend it to people coming from out-of-state looking for something to do and for all Colorado residents.

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Going to visit monuments or important buildings in your area is a super fun and educational way to spend the day. For example, did you know that the Colorado flag is blue for our beautiful blue skies, red for the color red in the rocks, white for the snow-capped mountains, and yellow for the over 300 days of sunshine we get? Going places like the state capitol is a good way to learn more about things like the state motto or the meaning of the flag. (The motto is “nil sine numine” which means “nothing without providence”.

See what your area has to offer!

Did You Know: Wire-haired Dachshunds

Wire-haired dachshunds, cute, playful, super energetic, and beautiful. I have two of these adorable dogs and their names are Marty and Boo, and one of their birthdays is in 12 days, so here are some facts on this spunky breed:

Did You Know: Wire-haired Dachshunds

1. Wire-haired dachshunds love the outdoors and have great noses.

Did You Know: Wire-haired Dachshunds

2. They are a proud and bold species.

Did You Know: Wire-haired Dachshunds

3. With proper care and good health, a wire-haired dachshund can live 16 years.

Did You Know: Wire-haired Dachshunds

4. This breed loves people and works well with families.

Did You Know: Wire-haired Dachshunds

 

5. They originate from Germany and dachshund means “badger dog”.

Did You Know: Wire-haired Dachshunds

6. In Germany, dachshunds were bred for hunting and could easily get through nooks and small areas to reach game.

Did You Know: Wire-haired Dachshunds

7. These dogs can be silky or wire-haired or just wire-haired. When they are silky, the fur is much softer in appearance and touch.

Did You Know: Wire-haired Dachshunds

8. They have the intelligence of a two-year old.

Did You Know: Wire-haired Dachshunds

9. Dachshunds in general are very vocal dogs, so be prepared for lots of howling and barking at neighborhood dogs and other distractions. Dachshunds learn quickly, so training them to limit the barking should be fairly easy.

Did You Know: Wire-haired Dachshunds

Wire-haired dachshunds are super adorable, fun-loving, and intelligent dogs. If you’re looking for a dog, I highly recommend them. Happy Upcoming Birthday Boo! “Silence is golden, unless you have a dachshund. Then silence is very suspicious. Very, very suspicious.” -Unknown

Did You Know: Wire-haired Dachshunds

If you are interested in having one of these wonderful dogs, there is a great breeder in Cortez, Colorado and that’s where we got our dogs from. She does a very good job raising the puppies and they are very healthy and outgoing. For more information, click here.