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George Orwell's Essays

Fifty Essays

❶For example, the dear old lady who 'wants a book for an invalid' a very common demand, that , and the other dear old lady who read such a nice book in and wonders whether you can find her a copy.

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George Orwell
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I often wondered whether any of the others grasped that I had done it solely to avoid looking a fool. Our civilization, pace Chesterton, is founded on coal, more completely than one realizes until one stops to think about it. The machines that keep us alive, and the machines that make machines, are all directly or indirectly dependent upon coal. In the metabolism of the Western world the coal-miner is second in importance only to the man who ploughs the soil.

He is a sort of caryatid upon whose shoulders nearly everything that is not grimy is supported. For this reason the actual process by which coal is extracted is well worth watching, if you get the chance and are willing to take the trouble.

When you go down a coal-mine it is important to try and get to the coal face when the 'fillers' are at work. This is not easy, because when the mine is working visitors are a nuisance and are not encouraged, but if you go at any other time, it is possible to come away with a totally wrong impression. On a Sunday, for instance, a mine seems almost peaceful.

The time to go there is when the machines are roaring and the air is black with coal dust, and when you can actually see what the miners have to do. At those times the place is like hell, or at any rate like my own mental picture of hell. Most of the things one imagines in hell are if there—heat, noise, confusion, darkness, foul air, and, above all, unbearably cramped space.

Everything except the fire, for there is no fire down there except the feeble beams of Davy lamps and electric torches which scarcely penetrate the clouds of coal dust.

When you have finally got there—and getting there is a in itself: I will explain that in a moment—you crawl through the last line of pit props and see opposite you a shiny black wall three or four feet high.

This is the coal face. Overhead is the smooth ceiling made by the rock from which the coal has been cut; underneath is the rock again, so that the gallery you are in is only as high as the ledge of coal itself, probably not much more than a yard. The first impression of all, overmastering everything else for a while, is the frightful, deafening din from the conveyor belt which carries the coal away.

You cannot see very far, because the fog of coal dust throws back the beam of your lamp, but you can see on either side of you the line of half-naked kneeling men, one to every four or five yards, driving their shovels under the fallen coal and flinging it swiftly over their left shoulders.

They are feeding it on to the conveyor belt, a moving rubber, belt a couple of feet wide which runs a yard or two behind them. Down this belt a glittering river of coal races constantly. In a big mine it is carrying away several tons of coal every minute. It bears it off to some place in the main roads where it is shot into tubs holding half a tun, and thence dragged to the cages and hoisted to the outer air. It is impossible to watch the 'fillers' at work without feeling a pang of envy for their toughness.

It is a dreadful job that they do, an almost superhuman job by the standard of an ordinary person. For they are not only shifting monstrous quantities of coal, they are also doing, it in a position that doubles or trebles the work. They have got to remain kneeling all the while—they could hardly rise from their knees without hitting the ceiling—and you can easily see by trying it what a tremendous effort this means. Shovelling is comparatively easy when you are standing up, because you can use your knee and thigh to drive the shovel along; kneeling down, the whole of the strain is thrown upon your arm and belly muscles.

And the other conditions do not exactly make things easier. There is the heat—it varies, but in some mines it is suffocating—and the coal dust that stuffs up your throat and nostrils and collects along your eyelids, and the unending rattle of the conveyor belt, which in that confined space is rather like the rattle of a machine gun.

But the fillers look and work as though they were made of iron. They really do look like iron hammered iron statues—under the smooth coat of coal dust which clings to them from head to foot.

It is only when you see miners down the mine and naked that you realize what splendid men, they are. Most of them are small big men are at a disadvantage in that job but nearly all of them have the most noble bodies; wide shoulders tapering to slender supple waists, and small pronounced buttocks and sinewy thighs, with not an ounce of waste flesh anywhere. In the hotter mines they wear only a pair of thin drawers, clogs and knee-pads; in the hottest mines of all, only the clogs and knee-pads.

You can hardly tell by the look of them whether they are young or old. They may be any age up to sixty or even sixty-five, but when they are black and naked they all look alike. No one could do their work who had not a young man's body, and a figure fit for a guardsman at that, just a few pounds of extra flesh on the waist-line, and the constant bending would be impossible.

You can never forget that spectacle once you have seen it—the line of bowed, kneeling figures, sooty black all over, driving their, huge shovels under the coal with stupendous force and speed. They are on the job for seven and a half hours, theoretically without a break, for there is no time 'off'.

Actually they, snatch a quarter of an hour or so at some time during the shift to eat the food they have brought with them, usually a hunk of bread and dripping and a bottle of cold tea. The first time I was watching the 'fillers' at work I put my hand upon some dreadful slimy thing among the coal dust.

It was a chewed quid of tobacco. Nearly all the miners chew tobacco, which is said to be good against thirst. Probably you have to go down several coal-mines before you can get much grasp of the processes that are going on round you. This is chiefly because the mere effort of getting from place to place; makes it difficult to notice anything else, In some ways it is even disappointing, or at least is unlike what you have, expected.

You get into the cage, which is a steel box about as wide as a telephone box and two or three times as long. It holds ten men, but they pack it like pilchards in a tin, and a tall man cannot stand upright in it. The steel door shuts upon you, and somebody working the winding gear above drops you into the void. You have the usual momentary qualm in your belly and a bursting sensation in the cars, but not much sensation of movement till you get near the bottom, when the cage slows down so abruptly that you could swear it is going upwards again.

In the middle of the run the cage probably touches sixty miles an hour; in some of the deeper mines it touches even more. When you crawl out at the bottom you are perhaps four hundred yards underground. That is to say you have a tolerable-sized mountain on top of you; hundreds of yards of solid rock, bones of extinct beasts, subsoil, flints, roots of growing things, green grass and cows grazing on it—all this suspended over your head and held back only by wooden props as thick as the calf of your leg.

But because of the speed at which the cage has brought you down, and the complete blackness through which you have travelled, you hardly feel yourself deeper down than you would at the bottom of the Piccadilly tube. What is surprising, on the other hand, is the immense horizontal distances that have to be travelled underground.

Before I had been down a mine I had vaguely imagined the miner stepping out of the cage and getting to work on a ledge of coal a few yards away.

I had not realized that before he even gets to work he may have had to creep along passages as long as from London Bridge to Oxford Circus. In the beginning, of course, a mine shaft is sunk somewhere near a seam of coal; But as that seam is worked out and fresh seams are followed up, the workings get further and further from the pit bottom.

If it is a mile from the pit bottom to the coal face, that is probably an average distance; three miles is a fairly normal one; there are even said to be a few mines where it is as much as five miles. But these distances bear no relation to distances above ground. For in all that mile or three miles as it may be, there is hardly anywhere outside the main road, and not many places even there, where a man can stand upright.

You do not notice the effect of this till you have gone a few hundred yards. You start off, stooping slightly, down the dim-lit gallery, eight or ten feet wide and about five high, with the walls built up with slabs of shale, like the stone walls in Derbyshire. Every yard or two there are wooden props holding up the beams and girders; some of the girders have buckled into fantastic curves under which you have to duck.

Usually it is bad going underfoot—thick dust or jagged chunks of shale, and in some mines where there is water it is as mucky as a farm-yard. Also there is the track for the coal tubs, like a miniature railway track with sleepers a foot or two apart, which is tiresome to walk on. Everything is grey with shale dust; there is a dusty fiery smell which seems to be the same in all mines. You see mysterious machines of which you never learn the purpose, and bundles of tools slung together on wires, and sometimes mice darting away from the beam of the lamps.

They are surprisingly common, especially in mines where there are or have been horses. It would be interesting to know how they got there in the first place; possibly by falling down the shaft—for they say a mouse can fall any distance uninjured, owing to its surface area being so large relative to its weight. You press yourself against the wall to make way for lines of tubs jolting slowly towards the shaft, drawn by an endless steel cable operated from the surface.

You creep through sacking curtains and thick wooden doors which, when they are opened, let out fierce blasts of air. These doors are an important part of the ventilation system. The exhausted air is sucked out of one shaft by means of fans, and the fresh air enters the other of its own accord. But if left to itself the air will take the shortest way round, leaving the deeper workings unventilated; so all the short cuts have to be partitioned off.

At the start to walk stooping is rather a joke, but it is a joke that soon wears off. I am handicapped by being exceptionally tall, but when the roof falls to four feet or less it is a tough job for anybody except a dwarf or a child. You not only have to bend double, you have also got to keep your head up all the while so as to see the beams and girders and dodge them when they come.

You have, therefore, a constant crick in the neck, but this is nothing to the pain in your knees and thighs.

After half a mile it becomes I am not exaggerating an unbearable agony. You begin to wonder whether you will ever get to the end—still more, how on earth you are going to get back. Your pace grows slower and slower. You come to a stretch of a couple of hundred yards where it is all exceptionally low and you have to work yourself along in a squatting position.

Then suddenly the roof opens out to a mysterious height—scene of and old fall of rock, probably—and for twenty whole yards you can stand upright. The relief is overwhelming. But after this there is another low stretch of a hundred yards and then a succession of beams which you have to crawl under. You go down on all fours; even this is a relief after the squatting business. But when you come to the end of the beams and try to get up again, you find that your knees have temporarily struck work and refuse to lift you.

You call a halt, ignominiously, and say that you would like to rest for a minute or two. Your guide a miner is sympathetic. He knows that your muscles are not the same as his.

But finally you do somehow creep as far as the coal face. You have gone a mile and taken the best part of an hour; a miner would do it in not much more than twenty minutes. Having got there, you have to sprawl in the coal dust and get your strength back for several minutes before you can even watch the work in progress with any kind of intelligence.

Coming back is worse than going, not only because you are already tired out but because the journey back to the shaft is slightly uphill. You get through the low places at the speed of a tortoise, and you have no shame now about calling a halt when your knees give way.

Even the lamp you are carrying becomes a nuisance and probably when you stumble you drop it; whereupon, if it is a Davy lamp, it goes out. Ducking the beams becomes more and more of an effort, and sometimes you forget to duck. You try walking head down as the miners do, and then you bang your backbone. Even the miners bang their backbones fairly often. This is the reason why in very hot mines, where it is necessary to go about half naked, most of the miners have what they call 'buttons down the back'—that is, a permanent scab on each vertebra.

When the track is down hill the miners sometimes fit their clogs, which are hollow under-neath, on to the trolley rails and slide down. In mines where the 'travelling' is very bad all the miners carry sticks about two and a half feet long, hollowed out below the handle. In normal places you keep your hand on top of the stick and in the low places you slide your hand down into the hollow.

These sticks are a great help, and the wooden crash-helmets—a comparatively recent invention—are a godsend. They look like a French or Italian steel helmet, but they are made of some kind of pith and very light, and so strong, that you can take a violent blow on the head without feeling it. When finally you get back to the surface you have been perhaps three hours underground and travelled two miles, and you, are more exhausted than you would be by a twenty-five-mile walk above ground.

For a week afterwards your thighs are so stiff that coming downstairs is quite a difficult feat; you have to work your way down in a peculiar sidelong manner, without bending the knees.

Your miner friends notice the stiffness of your walk and chaff you about it. Yet even a miner who has been long away front work—from illness, for instance—when he comes back to the pit, suffers badly for the first few days. It may seem that I am exaggerating, though no one who has been down an old-fashioned pit most of the pits in England are old-fashioned and actually gone as far as the coal face, is likely to say so.

But what I want to emphasize is this. Here is this frightful business of crawling to and fro, which to any normal person is a hard day's work in itself; and it is not part of the miner's work at all, it is merely an extra, like the City man's daily ride in the Tube.

The miner does that journey to and fro, and sandwiched in between there are seven and a half hours of savage work. I have never travelled much more than a mile to the coal face; but often it is three miles, in which case I and most people other than coal-miners would never get there at all. This is the kind of point that one is always liable to miss. When you think of the coal-mine you think of depth, heat, darkness, blackened figures hacking at walls of coal; you don't think, necessarily, of those miles of creeping to and fro.

There is the question of time, also. A miner's working shift of seven and a half hours does not sound very long, but one has got to add on to it at least an hour a day for 'travelling', more often two hours and sometimes three.

Of course, the 'travelling' is not technically work and the miner is not paid for it; but it is as like work as makes no difference. It is easy to say that miners don't mind all this. Certainly, it is not the same for them as it would be for you or me. They have done it since childhood, they have the right muscles hardened, and they can move to and fro underground with a startling and rather horrible agility.

A miner puts his head down and runs, with a long swinging stride, through places where I can only stagger. At the workings you see them on all fours, skipping round the pit props almost like dogs. But it is quite a mistake to think that they enjoy it.

I have talked about this to scores of miners and they all admit that the 'travelling' is hard work; in any case when you hear them discussing a pit among themselves the 'travelling' is always one of the things they discuss.

It is said that a shift always returns from work faster than it goes; nevertheless the miners all say that it is the coming away after a hard day's work, that is especially irksome. It is part of their work and they are equal to it, but certainly it is an effort.

It is comparable, perhaps, to climbing a smallish mountain before and after your day's work. When you have been down in two or three pits you begin to get some grasp of the processes that are going on underground. I ought to say, by the way, that I know nothing whatever about the technical side of mining: I am merely describing what I have seen.

Coal lies in thin seams between enormous layers of rock, so that essentially the process of getting it out is like scooping the central layer from a Neapolitan ice. In the old days the miners used to cut straight into the coal with pick and crowbar—a very slow job because coal, when lying in its virgin state, is almost as hard as rock. Nowadays the preliminary work is done by an electrically-driven coal-cutter, which in principle is an immensely tough and powerful band-saw, running horizontally instead of vertically, with teeth a couple of inches long and half an inch or an inch thick.

It can move backwards or forwards on its own power, and the men operating it can rotate it this way or that. Incidentally it makes one of the most awful noises I have ever heard, and sends forth clouds of coal dust which make it impossible to see more than two to three feet and almost impossible to breathe.

The machine travels along the coal face cutting into the base of the coal and undermining it to the depth of five feet or five feet and a half; after this it is comparatively easy to extract the coal to the depth to which it has been undermined.

Where it is 'difficult getting', however, it has also to be loosened with explosives. A man with an electric drill, like a rather small version of the drills used in street-mending, bores holes at intervals in the coal, inserts blasting powder, plugs it with clay, goes round the corner if there is one handy he is supposed to retire to twenty-five yards distance and touches off the charge with an electric current.

This is not intended to bring the coal out, only to loosen it. Occasionally, of course, the charge is too powerful, and then it not only brings the coal out but brings the roof down as well. After the blasting has been done the 'fillers' can tumble the coal out, break it up and shovel it on to the conveyor belt.

It comes out first in monstrous boulders which may weigh anything up to twenty tons. The conveyor belt shoots it on to tubs, and the tubs are shoved into the main road and hitched on to an endlessly revolving steel cable which drags them to the cage.

Then they are hoisted, and at the surface the coal is sorted by being run over screens, and if necessary is washed as well. As far as possible the 'dirt'—the shale, that is—is used for making the roads below. All what cannot be used is sent to the surface and dumped; hence the monstrous 'dirt-heaps', like hideous grey mountains, which are the characteristic scenery of the coal areas.

When the coal has been extracted to the depth to which the machine has cut, the coal face has advanced by five feet. Fresh props are put in to hold up the newly exposed roof, and during the next shift the conveyor belt is taken to pieces, moved five feet forward and re-assembled. As far as possible the three operations of cutting, blasting and extraction are done in three separate shifts, the cutting in the afternoon, the blasting at night there is a law, not always kept, that forbids its being done when other men are working near by , and the 'filling' in the morning shift, which lasts from six in the morning until half past one.

Even when you watch the process of coal-extraction you probably only watch it for a short time, and it is not until you begin making a few calculations that you realize what a stupendous task the 'fillers' are performing. Normally each o man has to clear a space four or five yards wide.

The cutter has undermined the coal to the depth of five feet, so that if the seam of coal is three or four feet high, each man has to cut out, break up and load on to the belt something between seven and twelve cubic yards of coal. This is to say, taking a cubic yard as weighing twenty-seven hundred-weight, that each man is shifting coal at a speed approaching two tons an hour.

I have just enough experience of pick and shovel work to be able to grasp what this means. When I am digging trenches in my garden, if I shift two tons of earth during the afternoon, I feel that I have earned my tea.

But earth is tractable stuff compared with coal, and I don't have to work kneeling down, a thousand feet underground, in suffocating heat and swallowing coal dust with every breath I take; nor do I have to walk a mile bent double before I begin. The miner's job would be as much beyond my power as it would be to perform on a flying trapeze or to win the Grand National. I am not a manual labourer and please God I never shall be one, but there are some kinds of manual work that I could do if I had to.

At a pitch I could be a tolerable road-sweeper or an inefficient gardener or even a tenth-rate farm hand. But by no conceivable amount of effort or training could I become a coal-miner, the work would kill me in a few weeks. Watching coal-miners at work, you realize momentarily what different universes people inhabit.

Down there where coal is dug is a sort of world apart which one can quite easily go through life without ever hearing about. Probably majority of people would even prefer not to hear about it. Yet it is the absolutely necessary counterpart of our world above. Practically everything we do, from eating an ice to crossing the Atlantic, and from baking a loaf to writing a novel, involves the use of coal, directly or indirectly.

For all the arts of peace coal is needed; if war breaks out it is needed all the more. In time of revolution the miner must go on working or the revolution must stop, for revolution as much as reaction needs coal.

Whatever may be happening on the surface, the hacking and shovelling have got to continue without a pause, or at any rate without pausing for more than a few weeks at the most.

In order that Hitler may march the goose-step, that the Pope may denounce Bolshevism, that the cricket crowds may assemble at Lords, that the poets may scratch one another's backs, coal has got to be forthcoming. But on the whole we are not aware of it; we all know that we 'must have coal', but we seldom or never remember what coal-getting involves.

Here am I sitting writing in front of my comfortable coal fire. It is April but I still need a fire. Once a fortnight the coal cart drives up to the door and men in leather jerkins carry the coal indoors in stout sacks smelling of tar and shoot it clanking into the coal-hole under the stairs. It is only very rarely, when I make a definite mental-effort, that I connect this coal with that far-off labour in the mines. It is just 'coal'—something that I have got to have; black stuff that arrives mysteriously from nowhere in particular, like manna except that you have to pay for it.

You could quite easily drive a car right across the north of England and never once remember that hundreds of feet below the road you are on the miners are hacking at the coal.

Yet in a sense it is the miners who are driving your car forward. Their lamp-lit world down there is as necessary to the daylight world above as the root is to the flower. It is not long since conditions in the mines were worse than they are now. There are still living a few very old women who in their youth have worked underground, with the harness round their waists, and a chain that passed between their legs, crawling on all fours and dragging tubs of coal. They used to go on doing this even when they were pregnant.

And even now, if coal could not be produced without pregnant women dragging it to and fro, I fancy we should let them do it rather than deprive ourselves of coal. But-most of the time, of course, we should prefer to forget that they were doing it. It is so with all types of manual work; it keeps us alive, and we are oblivious of its existence. More than anyone else, perhaps, the miner can stand as the type of the manual worker, not only because his work is so exaggeratedly awful, but also because it is so vitally necessary and yet so remote from our experience, so invisible, as it were, that we are capable of forgetting it as we forget the blood in our veins.

In a way it is even humiliating to watch coal-miners working. It raises in you a momentary doubt about your own status as an 'intellectual' and a superior person generally. For it is brought home to you, at least while you are watching, that it is only because miners sweat their guts out that superior persons can remain superior. You and I and the editor of the Times Lit. As you travel northward your eye, accustomed to the South or East, does not notice much difference until you are beyond Birmingham.

In Coventry you might as well be in Finsbury Park, and the Bull Ring in Birmingham is not unlike Norwich Market, and between all the towns of the Midlands there stretches a villa-civilization indistinguishable from that of the South. It is only when you get a little further north, to the pottery towns and beyond, that you begin to encounter the real ugliness of industrialism—an ugliness so frightful and so arresting that you are obliged, as it were, to come to terms with it.

A slag-heap is at best a hideous thing, because it is so planless and functionless. It is something just dumped on the earth, like the emptying of a giant's dust-bin. On the outskirts of the mining towns there are frightful landscapes where your horizon is ringed completely round by jagged grey mountains, and underfoot is mud and ashes and over-head the steel cables where tubs of dirt travel slowly across miles of country.

Often the slag-heaps are on fire, and at night you can see the red rivulets of fire winding this way and that, and also the slow-moving blue flames of sulphur, which always seem on the point of expiring and always spring out again. Even when a slag-heap sinks, as it does ultimately, only an evil brown grass grows on it, and it retains its hummocky surface.

One in the slums of Wigan, used as a playground, looks like a choppy sea suddenly frozen; 'the flock mattress', it is called locally.

Even centuries hence when the plough drives over the places where coal was once mined, the sites of ancient slag-heaps will still be distinguishable from an aeroplane. I remember a winter afternoon in the dreadful environs of Wigan. All round was the lunar landscape of slag-heaps, and to the north, through the passes, as it were, between the mountains of slag, you could see the factory chimneys sending out their plumes of smoke.

The canal path was a mixture of cinders and frozen mud, criss-crossed by the imprints of innumerable clogs, and all round, as far as the slag-heaps in the distance, stretched the 'flashes'—pools of stagnant water that had seeped into the hollows caused by the subsidence of ancient pits. It was horribly cold. The 'flashes' were covered with ice the colour of raw umber, the bargemen were muffled to the eyes in sacks, the lock gates wore beards of ice.

It seemed a world from which vegetation had been banished; nothing existed except smoke, shale, ice, mud, ashes, and foul water. But even Wigan is beautiful compared with Sheffield. Sheffield, I suppose, could justly claim to be called the ugliest town in the Old World: It has a population of half a million and it contains fewer decent buildings than the average East Anglian village of five hundred. If at rare moments you stop smelling sulphur it is because you have begun smelling gas.

Even the shallow river that runs through the town is-usually bright yellow with some chemical or other. Once I halted in the street and counted the factory chimneys I could see; there were thirty-three of them, but there would have been far more if the air had not been obscured by smoke. One scene especially lingers in my mind. A frightful patch of waste ground somehow, up there, a patch of waste ground attains a squalor that would be impossible even in London trampled bare of grass and littered with newspapers and old saucepans.

To the right an isolated row of gaunt four-roomed houses, dark red, blackened by smoke. To the left an interminable vista of factory chimneys, chimney beyond chimney, fading away into a dim blackish haze. Behind me a railway embankment made of the slag from furnaces. In front, across the patch of waste ground, a cubical building of red and yellow brick, with the sign 'Thomas Grocock, Haulage Contractor'.

At night, when you cannot see the hideous shapes of the houses and the blackness of everything, a town like Sheffield assumes a kind of sinister magnificence. Sometimes the drifts of smoke are rosy with sulphur, and serrated flames, like circular saws, squeeze themselves out from beneath the cowls of the foundry chimneys.

Through the open doors of foundries you see fiery serpents of iron being hauled to and fro by redlit boys, and you hear the whizz and thump of steam hammers and the scream of the iron under the blow. The pottery towns are almost equally ugly in a pettier way. Right in among the rows of tiny blackened houses, part of the street as it were, are the 'pot banks'—conical brick chimneys like gigantic burgundy bottles buried in the soil and belching their smoke almost in your face.

You come upon monstrous clay chasms hundreds of feet across and almost as deep, with little rusty tubs creeping on chain railways up one side, and on the other workmen clinging like samphire-gatherers and cutting into the face of the cliff with their picks.

I passed that way in snowy weather, and even the snow was black. The best thing one can say for the pottery towns is that they are fairly small and stop abruptly. Less than ten miles away you can stand in un-defiled country, on the almost naked hills, and the pottery towns are only a smudge in the distance. When you contemplate such ugliness as this, there are two questions that strike you.

First, is it inevitable? Secondly, does it matter? I do not believe that there is anything inherently and unavoidably ugly about industrialism. A factory or even a gasworks is not obliged of its own nature to be ugly, any more than a palace or a dog-kennel or a cathedral. It all depends on the architectural tradition of the period. The industrial towns of the North are ugly because they happen to have been built at a time when modern methods of steel-construction and smoke-abatement were unknown, and when everyone was too busy making money to think about anything else.

They go on being ugly largely because the Northerners have got used to that kind of thing and do not notice it. Many of the people in Sheffield or Manchester, if they smelled the air along the Cornish cliffs, would probably declare that it had no taste in it. But since the war, industry has tended to shift southward and in doing so has grown almost comely. The typical post-war factory is not a gaunt barrack or an awful chaos of blackness and belching chimneys; it is a glittering white structure of concrete, glass, and steel, surrounded by green lawns and beds of tulips.

Look at the factories you pass as you travel out of London on the G. But in any case, though the ugliness of industrialism is the most obvious thing about it and the thing every newcomer exclaims against, I doubt whether it is centrally important. And perhaps it is not even desirable, industrialism being what it is, that it should learn to disguise itself as something else.

As Mr Aldous Huxley has truly remarked, a dark Satanic mill ought to look like a dark Satanic mill and not like the temple of mysterious and splendid gods. Moreover, even in the worst of the industrial towns one sees a great deal that is not ugly in the narrow aesthetic sense.

A belching chimney or a stinking slum is repulsive chiefly because it implies warped lives and ailing children. Look at it from a purely aesthetic standpoint and it may, have a certain macabre appeal. I find that anything outrageously strange generally ends by fascinating me even when I abominate it. The landscapes of Burma, which, when I was among them, so appalled me as to assume the qualities of nightmare, afterwards stayed so hauntingly in my mind that I was obliged to write a novel about them to get rid of them.

In all novels about the East the scenery is the real subject-matter. It would probably be quite easy to extract a sort of beauty, as Arnold Bennett did, from the blackness of the industrial towns; one can easily imagine Baudelaire, for instance, writing a poem about a slag-heap. But the beauty or ugliness of industrialism hardly matters. Its real evil lies far deeper and is quite uneradicable.

It is important to remember this, because there is always a temptation to think that industrialism is harmless so long as it is clean and orderly. But when you go to the industrial North you are conscious, quite apart from the unfamiliar scenery, of entering a strange country.

This is partly because of certain real differences which do exist, but still more because of the North-South antithesis which has been rubbed into us for such a long time past. There exists in England a curious cult of Northernness, sort of Northern snobbishness.

A Yorkshireman in the South will always take care to let you know that he regards you as an inferior. If you ask him why, he will explain that it is only in the North that life is 'real' life, that the industrial work done in the North is the only 'real' work, that the North is inhabited by 'real' people, the South merely by rentiers and their parasites.

The Northerner has 'grit', he is grim, 'dour', plucky, warm-hearted, and democratic; the Southerner is snobbish, effeminate, and lazy—that at any rate is the theory. Hence the Southerner goes north, at any rate for the first time, with the vague inferiority-complex of a civilized man venturing among savages, while the Yorkshireman, like the Scotchman, comes to London in the spirit of a barbarian out for loot.

And feelings of this kind, which are the result of tradition, are not affected by visible facts. Just as an Englishman five feet four inches high and twenty-nine inches round the chest feels that as an Englishman he is the physical superior of Camera Camera being a Dago , so also with the Northerner and the Southerner.

I remember a weedy little Yorkshireman, who would almost certainly have run away if a fox-terrier had snapped at him, telling me that in the South of England he felt 'like a wild invader'. But the cult is often adopted by people who are not by birth Northerners themselves.

A year or two ago a friend of mine, brought up in the South but now living in the North, was driving me through Suffolk in a car. We passed through a rather beautiful village. He glanced disapprovingly at the cottages and said:. Down here it's just the other way about—beautiful villages and rotten people. All the people in those cottages there are worthless, absolutely worthless.

I could not help inquiring whether he happened to know anybody in that village. No, he did not know them; but because this was East Anglia they were obviously worthless. Another friend of mine, again a Southerner by birth, loses no opportunity of praising the North to the detriment of the South.

Here is an extract from one of his letters to me:. I am in Clitheroe, Lanes I think running water is much more attractive in moor and mountain country than in the fat and sluggish South. Here you have an interesting example of the Northern cult. Not only are you and I and everyone else in the South of England written off as 'fat and sluggish', but even water when it gets north of a certain latitude, ceases to be H2O and becomes something mystically superior. But the interest of this passage is that its writer is an extremely intelligent man of 'advanced' opinions who would have nothing but con-tempt for nationalism in its ordinary form.

Put to him some such proposition as 'One Britisher is worth three foreigners', and he would repudiate it with horror. But when it is a question of North versus South, he is quite ready to generalize.

All nationalistic distinctions—all claims to be better than somebody else because you have a different-shaped skull or speak a different dialect—are entirely spurious, but they are important so long as people believe in them. There is no doubt about the Englishman's inbred conviction that those who live to the south of him are his inferiors; even our foreign policy is governed by it to some extent.

I think, therefore, that it is worth pointing out when and why it came into being. When nationalism first became a religion, the English looked at the map, and, noticing that their island lay very high in the Northern Hemisphere, evolved the pleasing theory that the further north you live the more virtuous you become.

The histories I was given when I was a little boy generally started off by explaining in the naivest way that a cold climate made people energetic while a hot one made them lazy, and hence the defeat of the Spanish Armada. This nonsense about the superior energy of the English actually the laziest people in Europe has been current for at least a hundred years.

In the mythology of Garlyle, Creasey, etc. This theory was never pushed to its logical end, which would have meant assuming that the finest people in the world were the Eskimos, but it did involve admitting that the people who lived to the north of us were superior to ourselves. Hence, partly, the cult of Scotland and of Scotch things which has so deeply marked English life during the past fifty years.

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We're hoping to rely on loyal readers, rather than erratic ads. Click the Donate button and support Open Culture. Fiction Free Audio Books: Poetry Free Audio Books: Eleanor Jacques was now married and had gone to Singapore and Brenda Salkield had left for Ireland, so Blair was relatively isolated in Southwold — working on the allotments , walking alone and spending time with his father.

Eventually in October, after sending A Clergyman's Daughter to Moore, he left for London to take a job that had been found for him by his aunt Nellie Limouzin. This job was as a part-time assistant in Booklovers' Corner, a second-hand bookshop in Hampstead run by Francis and Myfanwy Westrope, who were friends of Nellie Limouzin in the Esperanto movement.

The Westropes were friendly and provided him with comfortable accommodation at Warwick Mansions, Pond Street. He was sharing the job with Jon Kimche , who also lived with the Westropes. Blair worked at the shop in the afternoons and had his mornings free to write and his evenings free to socialise. These experiences provided background for the novel Keep the Aspidistra Flying As well as the various guests of the Westropes, he was able to enjoy the company of Richard Rees and the Adelphi writers and Mabel Fierz.

The Westropes and Kimche were members of the Independent Labour Party , although at this time Blair was not seriously politically active. A Clergyman's Daughter was published on 11 March In early Blair met his future wife Eileen O'Shaughnessy , when his landlady, Rosalind Obermeyer, who was studying for a master's degree in psychology at University College London , invited some of her fellow students to a party.

One of these students, Elizaveta Fen, a biographer and future translator of Chekhov , recalled Blair and his friend Richard Rees "draped" at the fireplace, looking, she thought, "moth-eaten and prematurely aged. In June, Burmese Days was published and Cyril Connolly's review in the New Statesman prompted Blair as he then became known to re-establish contact with his old friend.

The relationship was sometimes awkward and Blair and Heppenstall even came to blows, though they remained friends and later worked together on BBC broadcasts. By October his flatmates had moved out and he was struggling to pay the rent on his own. He remained until the end of January , when he stopped working at Booklovers' Corner. At this time, Victor Gollancz suggested Orwell spend a short time investigating social conditions in economically depressed northern England.

Priestley had written about England north of the Trent , sparking an interest in reportage. The depression had also introduced a number of working-class writers from the North of England to the reading public. It was one of these working-class authors, Jack Hilton, whom Orwell sought for advice. Orwell had written to Hilton seeking lodging and asking for recommendations on his route. On 31 January , Orwell set out by public transport and on foot, reaching Manchester via Coventry , Stafford, the Potteries and Macclesfield.

Arriving in Manchester after the banks had closed, he had to stay in a common lodging-house. The next day he picked up a list of contacts sent by Richard Rees. One of these, the trade union official Frank Meade, suggested Wigan , where Orwell spent February staying in dirty lodgings over a tripe shop. At Wigan, he visited many homes to see how people lived, took detailed notes of housing conditions and wages earned, went down Bryn Hall coal mine , and used the local public library to consult public health records and reports on working conditions in mines.

During this time, he was distracted by concerns about style and possible libel in Keep the Aspidistra Flying. He made a quick visit to Liverpool and during March, stayed in south Yorkshire, spending time in Sheffield and Barnsley.

As well as visiting mines, including Grimethorpe , and observing social conditions, he attended meetings of the Communist Party and of Oswald Mosley —"his speech the usual claptrap — The blame for everything was put upon mysterious international gangs of Jews"—where he saw the tactics of the Blackshirts —"one is liable to get both a hammering and a fine for asking a question which Mosley finds it difficult to answer. The first half of the book documents his social investigations of Lancashire and Yorkshire , including an evocative description of working life in the coal mines.

The second half is a long essay on his upbringing and the development of his political conscience, which includes an argument for socialism although he goes to lengths to balance the concerns and goals of socialism with the barriers it faced from the movement's own advocates at the time, such as "priggish" and "dull" socialist intellectuals and "proletarian" socialists with little grasp of the actual ideology.

Gollancz feared the second half would offend readers and added a disculpatory preface to the book while Orwell was in Spain. Orwell needed somewhere he could concentrate on writing his book, and once again help was provided by Aunt Nellie, who was living at Wallington, Hertfordshire in a very small 16th-century cottage called the "Stores".

Wallington was a tiny village 35 miles north of London, and the cottage had almost no modern facilities. Orwell took over the tenancy and moved in on 2 April Keep the Aspidistra Flying was published by Gollancz on 20 April Orwell's research for The Road to Wigan Pier led to him being placed under surveillance by the Special Branch from , for 12 years, until one year before the publication of Nineteen Eighty-Four.

Orwell married Eileen O'Shaughnessy on 9 June Shortly afterwards, the political crisis began in Spain and Orwell followed developments there closely. At the end of the year, concerned by Francisco Franco 's military uprising, supported by Nazi Germany , Fascist Italy and local groups such as Falange , Orwell decided to go to Spain to take part in the Spanish Civil War on the Republican side.

Under the erroneous impression that he needed papers from some left-wing organisation to cross the frontier, on John Strachey 's recommendation he applied unsuccessfully to Harry Pollitt , leader of the British Communist Party.

Pollitt was suspicious of Orwell's political reliability; he asked him whether he would undertake to join the International Brigade and advised him to get a safe-conduct from the Spanish Embassy in Paris.

The American writer told Orwell that going to fight in the Civil War out of some sense of obligation or guilt was "sheer stupidity" and that the Englishman's ideas "about combating Fascism, defending democracy, etc. There was very little military action and Orwell was shocked by the lack of munitions, food and firewood as well as other extreme deprivations.

The unit was then sent on to Huesca. Meanwhile, back in England, Eileen had been handling the issues relating to the publication of The Road to Wigan Pier before setting out for Spain herself, leaving Nellie Limouzin to look after The Stores.

Eileen volunteered for a post in John McNair's office and with the help of Georges Kopp paid visits to her husband, bringing him English tea, chocolate and cigars. He returned to the front and saw some action in a night attack on the Nationalist trenches where he chased an enemy soldier with a bayonet and bombed an enemy rifle position.

In April, Orwell returned to Barcelona. That would soon change. He spent much of the time on a roof, with a stack of novels, but encountered Jon Kimche from his Hampstead days during the stay. The subsequent campaign of lies and distortion carried out by the Communist press, [65] in which the POUM was accused of collaborating with the fascists, had a dramatic effect on Orwell.

Instead of joining the International Brigades as he had intended, he decided to return to the Aragon Front. Once the May fighting was over, he was approached by a Communist friend who asked if he still intended transferring to the International Brigades. Orwell expressed surprise that they should still want him, because according to the Communist press he was a fascist.

After his return to the front, he was wounded in the throat by a sniper's bullet. He recovered sufficiently to get up and on 27 May was sent on to Tarragona and two days later to a POUM sanatorium in the suburbs of Barcelona. The bullet had missed his main artery by the barest margin and his voice was barely audible. It had been such a clean shot that the wound immediately went through the process of cauterisation.

He received electrotherapy treatment and was declared medically unfit for service. By the middle of June the political situation in Barcelona had deteriorated and the POUM—painted by the pro-Soviet Communists as a Trotskyist organisation—was outlawed and under attack. Orwell and his wife were under threat and had to lie low, [n 3] although they broke cover to try to help Kopp. Finally with their passports in order, they escaped from Spain by train, diverting to Banyuls-sur-Mer for a short stay before returning to England.

Observing events from French Morocco, Orwell wrote that they were "only a by-product of the Russian Trotskyist trials and from the start every kind of lie, including flagrant absurdities, has been circulated in the Communist press.

He found his views on the Spanish Civil War out of favour. Kingsley Martin rejected two of his works and Gollancz was equally cautious. At the same time, the communist Daily Worker was running an attack on The Road to Wigan Pier , taking out of context Orwell writing that "the working classes smell"; a letter to Gollancz from Orwell threatening libel action brought a stop to this. Orwell returned to Wallington, which he found in disarray after his absence.

He acquired goats, a rooster he called Henry Ford and a poodle puppy he called Marx; [74] [75] [76] and settled down to animal husbandry and writing Homage to Catalonia.

There were thoughts of going to India to work on the Pioneer , a newspaper in Lucknow , but by March Orwell's health had deteriorated. He was thought initially to be suffering from tuberculosis and stayed in the sanatorium until September.

Connolly brought with him Stephen Spender , a cause of some embarrassment as Orwell had referred to Spender as a "pansy friend" some time earlier.

In the latter part of his stay at the clinic, Orwell was able to go for walks in the countryside and study nature. Myers secretly funded a trip to French Morocco for half a year for Orwell to avoid the English winter and recover his health. Orwell spent time in Wallington and Southwold working on a Dickens essay and it was in July that Orwell's father, Richard Blair, died.

At the outbreak of the Second World War , Orwell's wife Eileen started working in the Censorship Department of the Ministry of Information in central London, staying during the week with her family in Greenwich.

Orwell also submitted his name to the Central Register for war work, but nothing transpired. He returned to Wallington, and in late he wrote material for his first collection of essays, Inside the Whale. For the next year he was occupied writing reviews for plays, films and books for The Listener , Time and Tide and New Adelphi. On 29 March his long association with Tribune began [77] with a review of a sergeant's account of Napoleon 's retreat from Moscow. At the beginning of , the first edition of Connolly's Horizon appeared, and this provided a new outlet for Orwell's work as well as new literary contacts.

It was the time of the Dunkirk evacuation and the death in France of Eileen's brother Lawrence caused her considerable grief and long-term depression.

Throughout this period Orwell kept a wartime diary. Orwell was declared "unfit for any kind of military service" by the Medical Board in June, but soon afterwards found an opportunity to become involved in war activities by joining the Home Guard. His lecture notes for instructing platoon members include advice on street fighting, field fortifications, and the use of mortars of various kinds.

Sergeant Orwell managed to recruit Fredric Warburg to his unit. At Wallington he worked on " England Your England " and in London wrote reviews for various periodicals. Visiting Eileen's family in Greenwich brought him face-to-face with the effects of the blitz on East London. Eleven volumes eventually appeared, of which Orwell's The Lion and the Unicorn: Socialism and the English Genius , published on 19 February , was the first.

He also applied unsuccessfully for a job at the Air Ministry. Meanwhile, he was still writing reviews of books and plays and at this time met the novelist Anthony Powell. One could not have a better example of the moral and emotional shallowness of our time, than the fact that we are now all more or less pro Stalin.

This disgusting murderer is temporarily on our side, and so the purges, etc. He supervised cultural broadcasts to India to counter propaganda from Nazi Germany designed to undermine Imperial links. This was Orwell's first experience of the rigid conformity of life in an office, and it gave him an opportunity to create cultural programmes with contributions from T.

Eliot , Dylan Thomas , E. At the end of August he had a dinner with H. Wells which degenerated into a row because Wells had taken offence at observations Orwell made about him in a Horizon article. In October Orwell had a bout of bronchitis and the illness recurred frequently. David Astor was looking for a provocative contributor for The Observer and invited Orwell to write for him — the first article appearing in March At the BBC, Orwell introduced Voice , a literary programme for his Indian broadcasts, and by now was leading an active social life with literary friends, particularly on the political left.

Late in , he started writing regularly for the left-wing weekly Tribune [87]: In March Orwell's mother died and around the same time he told Moore he was starting work on a new book, which turned out to be Animal Farm. Just six days before his last day of service, on 24 November , his adaptation of the fairy tale , Hans Christian Andersen 's The Emperor's New Clothes was broadcast. It was a genre in which he was greatly interested and which appeared on Animal Farm ' s title-page.

In November , Orwell was appointed literary editor at Tribune , where his assistant was his old friend Jon Kimche. Orwell was on staff until early , writing over 80 book reviews [93] and on 3 December started his regular personal column, " As I Please ", usually addressing three or four subjects in each.

By April Animal Farm was ready for publication. Gollancz refused to publish it, considering it an attack on the Soviet regime which was a crucial ally in the war. A similar fate was met from other publishers including T. Eliot at Faber and Faber until Jonathan Cape agreed to take it. In May the Orwells had the opportunity to adopt a child, thanks to the contacts of Eileen's sister Gwen O'Shaughnessy, then a doctor in Newcastle upon Tyne. In June a V-1 flying bomb struck Mortimer Crescent and the Orwells had to find somewhere else to live.

Orwell had to scrabble around in the rubble for his collection of books, which he had finally managed to transfer from Wallington, carting them away in a wheelbarrow. Another bombshell was Cape's reversal of his plan to publish Animal Farm. The decision followed his personal visit to Peter Smollett , an official at the Ministry of Information.

Smollett was later identified as a Soviet agent. Orwell had been looking for the opportunity throughout the war, but his failed medical reports prevented him from being allowed anywhere near action. He went to Paris after the liberation of France and to Cologne once it had been occupied by the Allies. It was while he was there that Eileen went into hospital for a hysterectomy and died under anaesthetic on 29 March She had not given Orwell much notice about this operation because of worries about the cost and because she expected to make a speedy recovery.

Orwell returned home for a while and then went back to Europe. He returned finally to London to cover the general election at the beginning of July. Animal Farm had particular resonance in the post-war climate and its worldwide success made Orwell a sought-after figure. For the next four years, Orwell mixed journalistic work—mainly for Tribune , The Observer and the Manchester Evening News , though he also contributed to many small-circulation political and literary magazines —with writing his best-known work, Nineteen Eighty-Four , which was published in In the year following Eileen's death he published around articles and a selection of his Critical Essays , while remaining active in various political lobbying campaigns.

He employed a housekeeper, Susan Watson, to look after his adopted son at the Islington flat, which visitors now described as "bleak". In September he spent a fortnight on the island of Jura in the Inner Hebrides and saw it as a place to escape from the hassle of London literary life. David Astor was instrumental in arranging a place for Orwell on Jura. In late and early Orwell made several hopeless and unwelcome marriage proposals to younger women, including Celia Kirwan who later became Arthur Koestler 's sister-in-law , Ann Popham who happened to live in the same block of flats and Sonia Brownell , one of Connolly's coterie at the Horizon office.

Orwell suffered a tubercular haemorrhage in February but disguised his illness. In or early , while still living at Canonbury Square, Orwell wrote an article on "British Cookery", complete with recipes, commissioned by the British Council.

Given the post-war shortages, both parties agreed not to publish it. Conditions at the farmhouse were primitive but the natural history and the challenge of improving the place appealed to Orwell.

His sister Avril accompanied him there and young novelist Paul Potts made up the party. Tensions developed and Potts departed after one of his manuscripts was used to light the fire. Orwell meanwhile set to work on Nineteen Eighty-Four. Later Susan Watson's boyfriend David Holbrook arrived. A fan of Orwell since school days, he found the reality very different, with Orwell hostile and disagreeable probably because of Holbrook's membership of the Communist Party.

Orwell returned to London in late and picked up his literary journalism again. Now a well-known writer, he was swamped with work. Apart from a visit to Jura in the new year he stayed in London for one of the coldest British winters on record and with such a national shortage of fuel that he burnt his furniture and his child's toys.

The heavy smog in the days before the Clean Air Act did little to help his health about which he was reticent, keeping clear of medical attention. Meanwhile, he had to cope with rival claims of publishers Gollancz and Warburg for publishing rights. About this time he co-edited a collection titled British Pamphleteers with Reginald Reynolds. As a result of the success of Animal Farm , Orwell was expecting a large bill from the Inland Revenue and he contacted a firm of accountants of which the senior partner was Jack Harrison.

The firm advised Orwell to establish a company to own his copyright and to receive his royalties and set up a "service agreement" so that he could draw a salary.

Jack Harrison left the details at this stage to junior colleagues. Orwell left London for Jura on 10 April During that time his sister's family visited, and Orwell led a disastrous boating expedition, on 19 August, [] which nearly led to loss of life whilst trying to cross the notorious Gulf of Corryvreckan and gave him a soaking which was not good for his health. In December a chest specialist was summoned from Glasgow who pronounced Orwell seriously ill and a week before Christmas he was in Hairmyres Hospital in East Kilbride, then a small village in the countryside, on the outskirts of Glasgow.

Tuberculosis was diagnosed and the request for permission to import streptomycin to treat Orwell went as far as Aneurin Bevan , then Minister of Health.

David Astor helped with supply and payment and Orwell began his course of streptomycin on 19 or 20 February In January , in a very weak condition, he set off for a sanatorium at Cranham, Gloucestershire , escorted by Richard Rees.

The sanatorium at Cranham consisted of a series of small wooden chalets or huts in a remote part of the Cotswolds near Stroud. Visitors were shocked by Orwell's appearance and concerned by the short-comings and ineffectiveness of the treatment. Friends were worried about his finances, but by now he was comparatively well-off.

He was writing to many of his friends, including Jacintha Buddicom, who had "rediscovered" him, and in March , was visited by Celia Kirwan. Kirwan had just started working for a Foreign Office unit, the Information Research Department , set up by the Labour government to publish anti-communist propaganda, and Orwell gave her a list of people he considered to be unsuitable as IRD authors because of their pro-communist leanings.

Orwell's list , not published until , consisted mainly of writers but also included actors and Labour MPs. In June Nineteen Eighty-Four was published to immediate critical and popular acclaim. Orwell's health had continued to decline since the diagnosis of tuberculosis in December In mid, he courted Sonia Brownell , and they announced their engagement in September, shortly before he was removed to University College Hospital in London. Sonia took charge of Orwell's affairs and attended him diligently in the hospital, causing concern to some old friends such as Muggeridge.

Further meetings were held with his accountant, at which Harrison and Mr and Mrs Blair were confirmed as directors of the company, and at which Harrison claimed that the "service agreement" was executed, giving copyright to the company. On the evening of 20 January , Potts visited Orwell and slipped away on finding him asleep.

Orwell had requested to be buried in accordance with the Anglican rite in the graveyard of the closest church to wherever he happened to die. The graveyards in central London had no space, and fearing that he might have to be cremated against his wishes, his widow appealed to his friends to see whether any of them knew of a church with space in its graveyard.

He maintains a public profile as patron of the Orwell Society. In , Sonia Brownell brought a High Court action against Harrison when he declared an intention to subdivide his 25 percent share of the company between his three children. For Sonia, the consequence of this manoeuvre would be to have made getting overall control of the company three times more difficult. She was considered to have a strong case, but was becoming increasingly ill and eventually was persuaded to settle out of court on 2 November She died on 11 December , aged During most of his career, Orwell was best known for his journalism, in essays, reviews, columns in newspapers and magazines and in his books of reportage: Down and Out in Paris and London describing a period of poverty in these cities , The Road to Wigan Pier describing the living conditions of the poor in northern England, and class division generally and Homage to Catalonia.

Modern readers are more often introduced to Orwell as a novelist, particularly through his enormously successful titles Animal Farm and Nineteen Eighty-Four. The former is often thought to reflect degeneration in the Soviet Union after the Russian Revolution and the rise of Stalinism ; the latter, life under totalitarian rule.

Nineteen Eighty-Four is often compared to Brave New World by Aldous Huxley ; both are powerful dystopian novels warning of a future world where the state machine exerts complete control over social life. In , Nineteen Eighty-Four and Ray Bradbury 's Fahrenheit were honoured with the Prometheus Award for their contributions to dystopian literature.

In he received it again for Animal Farm. The novel is pessimistic; industrialism and capitalism have killed the best of Old England, and there were great, new external threats. In homely terms, Bowling posits the totalitarian hypotheses of Borkenau, Orwell, Silone and Koestler: They aren't like these chaps in the old days who crucified people and chopped their heads off and so forth, just for the fun of it They're something quite new — something that's never been heard of before".

In an autobiographical piece that Orwell sent to the editors of Twentieth Century Authors in , he wrote: But I believe the modern writer who has influenced me most is W. Somerset Maugham , whom I admire immensely for his power of telling a story straightforwardly and without frills.

Orwell's investigation of poverty in The Road to Wigan Pier strongly resembles that of Jack London's The People of the Abyss , in which the American journalist disguises himself as an out-of-work sailor to investigate the lives of the poor in London. In his essay "Politics vs. An Examination of Gulliver's Travels" Orwell wrote: Orwell was an admirer of Arthur Koestler and became a close friend during the three years that Koestler and his wife Mamain spent at the cottage of Bwlch Ocyn, a secluded farmhouse that belonged to Clough Williams-Ellis , in the Vale of Ffestiniog.

Darkness at Noon for the New Statesman in , saying:. What was frightening about these trials was not the fact that they happened — for obviously such things are necessary in a totalitarian society — but the eagerness of Western intellectuals to justify them. Other writers admired by Orwell included: Chesterton , whom he regarded as a writer of considerable talent who had chosen to devote himself to "Roman Catholic propaganda", [] and to Evelyn Waugh , who was, he wrote, "ab[ou]t as good a novelist as one can be i.

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Every time I've taught George Orwell’s famous essay on misleading, smudgy writing, “Politics and the English Language," to a group of undergraduates, we've delighted in pointing out the number of times Orwell violates his own rules—indulges some form of vague, “pretentious” diction.

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Essay: George Orwell George Orwell was born Eric Arthur Blair in Montihari, Begal, India, on June 25th, One year after being born, he moved to England with his mother and sister. Free Essay: George Orwell's War is Peace. Freedom is slavery. Ignorance is strength. These are the beliefs that the citizens of Oceania, in the novel.

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After reading and understanding George Orwell’s feelings through his experiences in his essay “A Hanging.” We come to realize that George Orwell, a visitor from the European establishment, gets the . A Collection of Essays [George Orwell] on canlimacizlemek.tk *FREE* shipping on qualifying offers. George Orwell's collected nonfiction, written in the clear-eyed and uncompromising style that earned him a critical following One of the most thought-provoking and vivid essayists of the twentieth century4/5(85).