The famous English socialist writer Eric Arthur Blair, better know by his pen name George Orwell, lived a truly remarkable life. The writer’s relatively short life can be described as an exploration of the human social, emotional and cultural condition, shaped by a string of extreme experiences, each used to inspire his many iconic works, in which he documented his experiences in his characteristically straight forward, truthful style. Shortly after Orwell finished his scholarship at Eton he moved to Burma to work as a British policeman, which later inspired his novel ‘Burmese days’. Upon returning to England Orwell became interested in slumming, and set out on a number of outings living amongst the homeless in London, later moving to Paris and spending some time working in the Hotelling industry, both of which are starkly documented in his book ‘Down And Out in Paris And London’.
Why I Write is sure to put a rocket up the backside of any would be writer – or at least motivate them to pick up a pen
Later experiences inspired many other great works, including Coming Up for Air, Homage to Catalonia, and his two best known books, 1984 and Animal Farm. Whilst exploring Orwell, it can be intriguing to think of what a great deal he achieved during his life. During his 47 years he held many different professions, lived in a great deal of countries, did much political campaigning, and explored a variety of living conditions from the inside out. Although among the modern platform of media and politics Orwell has had a colossal influence, he was at times an isolated introverted character, often enjoying spending time alone reading, spending many of his early years extremely broke, worrying he was unsuccessful with women, holding an unfaithful relationship with his first wife, and suffering from bad lungs for much of his life, dying from tuberculosis at the young age of 46. Like a great many iconic stars, we can learn a great deal from when Orwell displayed virtue in his life, but also learn from his mistakes, and when he acted selfishly.
Like a great many iconic stars, we can learn a great deal from when Orwell displayed virtue in his life, but also learn from his mistakes, and when he acted selfishly
In his essay ‘Why I Write’, Orwell describes some of his early life, what motivates him to be a writer, why he believed he would become a writer and writes in some detail about how he sub-vocalised his life, which is maybe what helped him hone his skills of description. At only 2700 words (approx.), Why I Write is a great little read – and sure to put a rocket up the backside of any would be writer – or at least motivate them to pick up a pen.
Please find a link below to the book on Amazon: