His real name and reason behind this change.
* He was born as Eric Arthur Blair
* The reason he changed his name was due to a sudden change in his own lifestyle; we went from being a pillar of the British imperial establishment to a literary and political rebel. * He never fully abandoned his original name, but all of his official work came under the name of George Orwell * The surname he adopted came from a river in East Anglia called Orwell which he visited when he was a young boy.
* He was born on 25 June 1903 in Motihari, Bengal. This place used to be a British colony but it is now India. * His father, Richard Walmesley Blair, worked in the Indian Civil Service (group of British that controlled the Indian colony) * When he was one year old, his mother Ida Mabel Limouzin Blair him and his 6-year-old sister Marjorie and moved back to England to raise the children there. This was common at the time, so the children had the chance of a true british life and a strong education. * They were part of what may be described as “lower-upper-middle class”of British society. * As a young boy he attended St. Cyprian’s, a rigorous boys’ boarding school in East Sussex, England. * He was a good student but hated boarding school. Even as a young boy he noted differences in how the staff treated wealthy students compared to scholarship students like him. * His reasonable grades got him a prestigious King’s Scholarship to Eton College, and in 1917 he went to the famous boys’ high school. Once he got there, he hated it, ditched his work and his grades plummeted down. He left in 1921 without his diploma.
(Young adult years)
* After failing in high school, he instead got into the Indian Imperial Police (the British colonial force that kept control of the South Asian colonies). Once he got in, in 1922 he headed off to Burma. * Eric Blair spent five years in Burma. He hated it due to the things he saw. These
experiences left him disillusioned by the British colonial system. * In 1927 he caught dengue fever. This was the first serious health concern in his life and had Burma due to this. When he returned to England to recover, he decided to resign from the Imperial Police. His political beliefs
* George Orwell believed that all political theories were hopeless except for socialism. * He argued that if there were no more very rich and no more very poor people, a society would still have a vast number of other problems to solve, because a society which is balanced in wealth, is not a perfect society. * In Orwell’s point of view most of the labour parties of Europe were just parties in the hand of trade unions, which were concerned just of local problems and especially wages. * His dream was that Europe would become a socialist regime itself then be an example for the whole world and that socialism – real socialism and not totalitarian communism – will spread around the world. * Orwell did not like Communism as well, because he saw that the Communists always had to find excuses to hide their own failure and their own errors. * Orwell saw in the Communist as well as in the Fascist leaders just people who were greedy for power and that their political views did not matter a lot as long as they got power. His experiences in war
(What happened, basic overview)
* George Orwell fought in Spanish civil war. His experience here only reinforced his view on Communists, the Fascist and authoritarian respectively totalitarian regimes in general. He saw himself that their only aim was to get the power over Spain and that they did not fight to actually help the people in their country. * Orwell set out for Spain on about 23 December 1936.
* There was very little military action at the beginning of his army life, and with the lack of survival tools the experience was uncomfortable. * Orwell was quickly made a corporal due to his previous police training. * He was offered a position by a communist friend later in the war to transfer to the International Brigades (main political fight in Barcelona) as they thought he was a fascist. He said “No one who was in Barcelona then, or for months later, will forget the horrible atmosphere produced by fear, suspicion, hatred, censored newspapers, crammed jails, enormous food queues and prowling gangs of armed men.” * After his return to the front, he was wounded in the throat by a sniper’s bullet. Unable to speak, and with blood pouring from his mouth. He recovered sufficiently.
The bullet had missed his main artery by the barest margin and his voice was barely understandable. 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 was outlawed and under attack. Members, including Kopp, were arrested and others were in hiding. Orwell and his wife were under threat and had to lie low although they broke cover to try to help Kopp. * Finally with their passports in order, they escaped from Spain by train. (How his experience in war may have changes his thoughts on politics) During the Spanish civil war Orwell was exposed to a new way of governing he hadn’t seen or experienced before, and by seeing this and how this country was run gave his a clear understanding of what he thought was right and what was wrong.
How he died
* In 1950, George Orwell passed away at age 46 after a three-year battle against tuberculosis. * This is an infectious disease caused by the growth of nodules (tubercles) in the tissues.