George Orwell: biografia, stile e opere

Riassunto della vita, il pensiero, lo stile e le opere di George Orwell: Animal farm e 1984 (1 pagine formato docx)

Appunto di sarascantamburlo


The Dystopian Novel.

As utopia concentrated on the positive, so dystopia painted the most negative picture possible of the present and the future to come. It revolts against modernity. While the utopian order was perfect in the morals end, the dystopian one was perfect in the social sense. It was the dreadful perfection of some modern system. While utopian societies were ideal in the sense of “the best possible”, dystopian societies represented the victory or tyranny of the idea.
George Orwell. Born Eric Blair in India, he was taken as a small child in England by his mother, and there was educated in school.
He could not stand the lack of privacy and the humiliating punishments of the public schools and so changed it. He began to develop an independent minded personality. He passed the India Office examinations for the Indian Imperial Police and he remained in Bruma 5 years long. It was not simply that he wanted to break away from British imperialism in India, he wished to escape every form of men’s control over men. Back in London he started an experiment: wearing second hand clothes and living in poor conditions to experience poverty and learn how institutions for poors work.

George Orwell: life and works


After that he began publishing his works with the pseudonym George Orwell, George had an englishness about it and Orwell was the name of a river he was fond of.  He married and was commissioned to investigate conditions among the miners, factory workers and unemployed. He went to Spain to report the Spanish Civil War. Back in England they adopted a child but he suffered from bronchitis and she died during an operation. He had deep understanding of the English characters ant its dislike of abstract theories. On the other hand his various experiences contributed to his unusual ability to see his country from the outside and o judge it. His life and work were marked by the unresolved conflict between his middle class background and education and his emotional identification with the working class.
He insisted on tolerance, justice and decency in human relationship, and warned against the rising of urban civilization. He presented a devastating critique of totalitarism, warning about violation of liberty and helping the readers to recognize tyranny in all its forms.


Nineteen Eighty-Four, 1984. The novel describes a future world divided into 3 blocks: Oceania, Eurasia, Eastasia. The regimented oppressive world of Oceania is rule by “The Party”, led by the “Big Brother” and is continuously at war with the other two states. In order to control people’s lives the party is implementing “Newspeak”, an inverted language with limited number of words. Free thought, sex and any expression of individuality are forbidden but the protagonist, Wilson Smith, illegally buys a diary in which he writes his thoughts and memories, addressing them to the future generations. At the Ministry of Truth he notices an attractive girl named Julia, who proves to have rebellious attitude and they began a secret affair. O’Brien, a member of the inn party tells them he’s working against the party and gives them a copy of the manifesto of the brotherhood. While they’re reading it in their room some soldiers break in and arrest them. O’Brian is a party spy, he tortures and brain washes Willson for moth, he’s also forced to face his greatest fear, rats on his head. His will is broken and he’s released, when he meets Julia he doesn’t love her anymore, he gives up his identity and love the big brother.
Set in a grotesque, squalid London, it is a dystopian novel. Orwell presents a picture of the future as being under the constant control of Big Brother. There’s no privacy because there are monitors (telescreen) everywhere. Love is forbidden and the country is in a perpetual state of war. The party controls press, propaganda, communication and language. Gradual introduction of the newspeak, whose lexicon is so limited that it’s impossible to express ideas.
Sense of lost: beauty, truth and emotions belong to the past, Winston is the last man who believes in human values. Smith is the commonest English surname and Winston refers to Churchill. The novel is a satire of a society which destroy fraternity. The dictator is called Big Brother but he doesn’t act like a brother, he doesn’t watch over his people but controls them. Themes: importance of memory, abolishment of individuality and satire against hierarchical society.


Animal FarmStalin signed a non aggression pact with Hitler, which allowed Germany to take over Polen and Czechoslovakia. Orwell’s indignation brings him to write Animal Farm, where he expresses his disillusionment with totalitarism in the form of an animal fable. The book is a short narrative set on a farm where a group of oppressed animals, capable of speech and reason, overcome their cruel master and set up a revolutionary government. The pigs supervise the enterprise under Napoleon’s leadership. At first the animals’ like is guided by 7 commandments, however these are gradually altered by the pigs, who become dictatorial and aggressive.