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George Orwell[1]


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George Orwell[1]

  1. 1. George Orwell<br />Author of 1984, Animal Farm, Down and Out in Paris and London<br />
  2. 2. George Orwell<br />1984<br />Published in 1949, one year before Orwell’s death, this novel presents an imaginary future where a totalitarian state controls every aspect of life, even people's thoughts. The state called Oceania is ruled by a group known as the Party, its leader and dictator is Big Brother, and it is a world of perpetual war, government surveillance, mind control, and the elimination of citizens' rights. At the time Orwell was writing, totalitarian governments were on the march in many parts of the world and the future looked bleak. Winston Smith, the main character and protagonist is a civil servant whose responsibility is creating propaganda for the Party by rewriting history to render the Party with unlimited power and admiration. “He who controls the past, controls the future”. However, his miserable existence disillusions him into rebellion against Big Brother, which leads to his arrest, torture, and ultimate conversion.<br />Author of 1984, Animal Farm, Down and Out in Paris and London<br />
  3. 3. George Orwell<br />Totalitarianism<br />form of government that theoretically permits no individual freedom and that seeks to subordinate all aspects of the individual’s life to the authority of the government. Italian dictator Benito Mussolini coined the term totalitario in the early 1920s to describe the new fascist state of Italy, which he further described as: “All within the state, none outside the state, none against the state.” By the beginning of World War II, “totalitarian” had become synonymous with absolute and oppressive single-party government.<br />In the broadest sense, totalitarianism is characterized by strong central rule that attempts to control and direct all aspects of individual life through coercion and repression. Examples of such centralized totalitarian rule include the Maurya dynasty of India, the Ch’in dynasty of China, and the reign of Zulu chief Shaka. The totalitarian states of Nazi Germany under Adolf Hitler (1933–45) and the Soviet Union under Joseph Stalin (1924–53) were the first examples of decentralized or popular totalitarianism, in which the state achieved overwhelming popular support for its leadership. This support was not spontaneous; its genesis depended on a charismatic leader; and it was made possible only by modern developments in communication and transportation. - Encyclopedia Britannica<br />Hannah Arendt’s Origins of Totalitarianism (1951)<br />is the standard work on the subject.<br />
  4. 4. George Orwell<br />1984, the movie<br />1984 is based on the classic science fiction novel by George Orwell, which offered a bleak vision of a dystopic future where one’s thoughts and actions were controlled by a totalitarian government ruled by an entity known simply as “Big Brother”. The film has undergone a few of changes over the years, but the overall story remains intact. Orwell’s book is one that leaves such an indelible impression, that it might be impossible to truly capture the scope and feeling of it in a two hour film, but writer-director Radford does a fine job in extracting the core elements and filling in the blanks with a more cinematic feel. It may not quite be Orwell’s 1984, but it’s an effective piece all on its own. 1984 is an intelligent and thought-provoking film that casts grim parallels to the state of the world, especially as governments looking for those who are threats to their existence more closely watch us. While Orwell’s novel may be forever relevant, Radford’s film, as competently made as it is, is still a far way off from being a substitute.<br />- Vince Leo from Qwipster’s Movie Reviews<br />
  5. 5. George Orwell<br />cover artwork through the years <br />1984<br />
  6. 6. George Orwell<br />Animal Farm<br />Animal Farm was published on the heels of World War II, in England in 1945 and in the United States in 1946, and is a satire on equality, where all barnyard animals live free from their human masters' tyranny. Inspired to rebel by Major, an old boar, animals on Mr. Jones' Farm embrace Animalism and stage a revolution to achieve an idealistic state of justice and progress. After achieving independence, A power-hungry pig, Napoleon, becomes a dictator who leads the Animal Farm into "All Animals Are Equal / But Some Are More Equal Than Others" oppression. The beauty of this book as a teaching tool is that it can be read, and enjoyed by all ages. Young students may think it is just a book about farm animals, while older students can be encouraged to examine the complexities of how the book relates to societal situations.<br />Author of 1984, Animal Farm, Down and Out in Paris and London<br />
  7. 7. George Orwell<br />Animal farm, awards<br />Time Magazine’s list of the 100 best English-language novels (1923 to 2005)<br />#31 on the Modern Library List of Best 20th-Century Novels<br />Retrospective Hugo Award in 1996<br />Original 7 laws of animalism<br />Whatever goes upon two legs is an enemy<br />Whatever goes upon four legs, or has wings, is a friend.<br />No animal shall wear clothes.<br />No animal shall sleep in a bed.<br />No animal shall drink alcohol.<br />No animal shall kill any other animal.<br />All animals are equal.<br />Orwell on writing animal farm<br />“I saw a little boy, perhaps ten years old, driving a huge carthorse along a narrow path, whipping it whenever it tried to turn. It struck me that if only such animals became aware of their strength we should have no power over them, and that men exploit animals in much the same way as the rich exploit the proletariat.”<br />
  8. 8. George Orwell<br />cover artwork through the years <br />Animal farm<br />
  9. 9. George Orwell<br />Down and Out In Paris and London<br />Orwell was from a respectable middle class family, and was a King’s Scholar at Eaton College. After college he served in the Imperial Police. In the late 1920's he gave everything up to do deep cover investigative journalism, documenting and living the life of the impoverished in Paris and London. Down and Out in Paris and London, published in 1933, is a semi-autobiographical account of this time in his life, and was also his first full length work. The book describes a series of odd jobs, sleepless nights in common lodginghouses, the shame of barely being able to provide for oneself, the backbreaking toil of working 17 hour days for a meager amount of pay, and the constant chore of searching for food when there is none to be had. Orwell chronicles the situations and people he met throughout this time with great sensitivity, power.<br />Author of 1984, Animal Farm, Down and Out in Paris and London<br />
  10. 10. George Orwell<br />cover artwork through the years <br />Down and Out in Paris and London<br />
  11. 11. George Orwell<br />About the author<br />Eric Blair, before changing his name in 1933 to George Orwell, was born in 1903 in Motihari India and his mother brought him to England when he was one. From 1917 to 1921 Orwell was schooled and was a King’s Scholar at Eaton College, and formed lifelong friendships with a number of British intellectuals.<br />After Finishing Eaton, and having insufficient funds to pay his tuition, Orwell joined the Indian Imperial Police in Burhma. In 1928 he resigned from that position. He had grown to hate imperialism, and wrote about his time in Burma in Burmese Days, published in 1934.<br />At this point Orwell lived for several years in poverty as he recalls in the book Down and Out in Paris and London. He found work at a school teacher. Because of health problems he was forced to leave teaching and worked part-time as an assistant in a secondhand bookstore.<br />Orwell and son<br />When Eric Blair changed his name to George Orwell he chose a pen name that showed his affection for English Tradition. George is the patron saint of England, George V was the monarch at the time, and the River Orwell was one of his favorite English sites.<br />
  12. 12. George Orwell<br />About the author (continued)<br />Soon after the Spanish Civil War began, Orwell volunteered for the Republicans against Franco’s Nationalist uprising. In 1938 he became a member of the Independent Labour Part, and joined the militia of its sister party (the Workers’ Party of Marxist Unification), as an infantryman. Orwell was shot in the neck on May 20,1937 as he wrote about in his essay “Wounded by a Fascist Sniper”. He and his wife Eileen fled Spain after almost being arrested when the communists moved to suppress the Workers’ Party of Marxist Unification in June 1937.<br />Orwell began writing book reviews for the New English Weekly, and continued to do so until 1940. During World War II he was a member of the Home Guard. In 1941 he began to work for BBC Eastern Service on programs designed to gain Indian and East Asian support for Britain’s war efforts, and counter Nazi German political propaganda. He resigned in 1943 to become literary editor of Tribune. His regular column was called ‘As I Please’.<br />“If liberty means anything at all, it means the right to tell people what they do not want to hear.”<br />“Advertising is the rattling of a stick inside a swill bucket.”<br />“He who controls the past controls the future. He who controls the present controls the past”.<br />
  13. 13. George Orwell<br />About the author (continued)<br />Between 1936 and 1945 Orwell married, and adopted a son with Eileen O’Shaughnessey. Eileen died in 1945 during an operation, and shortly before Orwell’s death he married Sonia Brownell. During this time in 1944 Orwell finished Animal Farm, his anti-Stalinist novel, which was met with both critical and popular sentiments. For the first time in his life, royalties from his writing provided him with a comfortable income. Orwell continued writing journalism for the Observer and Manchester Evening News. In 1949 Nineteen Eighty Four was published. In 1950 Orwell died at the age of 46 from tuberculosis which he is thought to have contracted during his time described in Down and Out in Paris and London. 1984 reflects the bleakness of human suffering, and the indignity of pain and sickness. Orwell said of 1984 that the book would not have been so gloomy had he not been so sick while he was writing it.<br />
  14. 14. George Orwell<br />About the author (continued)<br />Throughout Orwell’s career he was best known for his journalism, and according to Newsweek was “the finest journalist of his day and the foremost architect of the English essay since Hazlitt.”<br />However, readers today are more often introduced to Orwell as a novelist. Orwell denied that Animal Farm was a reference to Stalinism, but remained to the end of his life a democratic socialist, and was a staunch anti-Stalinist and anti-communist.<br />He is known for his insights and knowledge of the use of the English language to perpetuate political implications, and for his concern over the use of the power of language to shape reality. In 1984 he coins the word ‘newspeak’ as a variant of the English language strictly limited by the government, making it impossible to voice any contradictory ideas.<br />Orwell’s 6 Rules of Writing<br />Never use a metaphor, simile or other figure of speech which you are used to seeing in print.<br />Never use a long word where a short one will do.<br />If it is possible to cut a word out, always cut it out.<br />Never use the passive where you can use the active.<br />Never use a foreign phrase, a scientific word, or a jargon word if you can think of an everyday English equivalent.<br />Break any of these rules sooner than say anything barbarous.<br />
  15. 15. George Orwell<br />George Orwell<br />Web Sources<br /><br />(This website is dedicated to information on Orwell<br /><br />(Orwell’s Rules on Writing Articles)<br /> (Comparison of Aldous Huxley and George Orwell)<br /><br />(This site has an assortment of George Orwell information. On this page towards the bottom there are some quizzes that I would like to have students check out to check their knowledge of George Orwell after they have done the reading. I would not grade these, I would use this as a group project to prompt class discussion)<br /><br />(This site is dedicated to George Orwell, and would be a good source for students to read excerpts from his other works.)<br /><br />(This site has a variety of information about George Orwell and allows access to many of his articles that he wrote while writing journalism.)<br />
  16. 16. George Orwell<br />Possible activities for Orwell Book:<br />Choose one of the three listed Orwell books from which to compose a news article. Please use articles written by Orwell for your inspiration.<br />(These articles can be found from the links on your web sources page)<br />Compare and Contrast 1984 with The Giver, by Lois Lowry.<br />Both novels discuss the idea of living in a society where every decision is made for you, but the people living in that society do not know any other life than the one they are accustomed to.<br />Compare and contrast Jonas’ experiences within his controlled community in The Giver with that of Winston Smith in 1984.<br />What difference do these similarities and differences make?<br />Analyze one positive and one negative social outcome in each book.<br />
  17. 17. George Orwell<br />Possible activities for Orwell Book:<br />List the rules from each book that must obeyed in each story in order to make a “perfect society”<br />1984<br />The Giver<br />
  18. 18. George Orwell<br />Possible activities for Orwell Book:<br />What might await the characters if they escape the rules of the tightly controlled society?<br />1984<br />The Giver<br />