Biography: George Orwell

George Orwell was the pen name of British author Eric Arthur Blair, born on June 25, 1903 in Motihari, India where his father, Richard Walmesley worked as a civil servant for the British Empire. Orwell's mother, Ida Mabel Blair, moved him and his sister Marjorie to England a year later as that they could be brought up in a more traditional Christian environment. Orwell went to prep schools and went on to Eton College. Orwell went to prep schools and went on to Eton College from 1917 to 1921. He began to write and publish some work in college periodicals. He didn't care much for school and decided not to pursue further education. Instead, he moved back to India the next year to work for the Indian Imperial Police in Burma from 1922-1927. This is where he got his first experiences with the poor and grew to hate his position as the hand of the oppressor for the Imperialist British. He wrote about this aversion in his essays, Shooting an Elephant and A Hanging (Menand). He retires his position and moves back to England where he continued to encounter the destitute in the East End district of London. In 1928, he moved to Paris to become a writer where he again lived among the poor, even taking a job as a dishwasher to make ends meet. He is hospitalized for the first of many times with pneumonia. He returned to England the next year where he lived as a tramp until he landed a job as a teacher at a small private school in Hayes, Middlesex. This position gave him the time to write his first book, Down and Out in Paris and London, published in 1933 and is the first time he uses the pen name George Orwell. This was an account of his days living the poor life in Europe. He becomes sick and is again hospitalized with pneumonia ...

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...ominence in the late 1940s as two brilliant satires warning of the brutalities of totalitarianism. These works, along with other novels, documentaries, essays, and criticisms that he wrote has since established him as one of the most significant and influential voices of the twentieth century.

Works Cited

Bowker, Gordon. Inside George Orwell. 1st. New York, NY: Palgrave Macmillan, 2003.

"George Orwell." Wikipedia. 20 04 2006. 01 04 2006


Hitchens, Christopher. Why Orwell Matters. Reprint. New York, NY: Basic Books, 2003.

Kreis, Steven. "Lectures on Twentieth Century Europe." History Guide. 26 02 2006. 05

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Menand, Louis. "Honest, Decent, Wrong." The New Yorker 27 01 2003

Stricherz, Mark. "Why George Orwell Was Pro-Life." Crisis Magazine 08 01 2004 01 04

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