Monday, June 25, 2012

George Orwell wrote Animal Farm, 1984

George Orwell
It is the birthday of novelist George Orwell, whose best-known books, Animal Farm (1946) and Nineteen Eighty-Four (1949), warn of social ills. Both are considered among the best English language novels of the 20th century. 

Animal Farm is a biting satire that criticizes Stalinist Russia and the Soviet regime that ran the country, and the corruption of original socialist ideas, which Orwell supported. One main principle of the Animal Farm society begins as "All animals are equal" but eventually becomes "All animals are equal but some are more equal than others." 

Nineteen Eighty-Four describes a society ruled by a totalitarian group known as The Party and a enigmatic dictator known as Big Brother, a term that has entered the popular vocabulary along with thought police, Newspeak, Oldspeak, doublethink, crimethink, ungood, unperson and more. Orwell's work gave rise to the term Orwellian to describe an authoritarian society or concept. Orwell's name was actually Eric Blair. 

He chose the pseudonym George Orwell because of his love of the Orwell River, a waterway in Suffolk County, England, where he lived much of his life. Orwell worked as a journalist for several newspapers and contributed to numerous magazines. His Homage to Catalonia (1938) tells of his experiences as a soldier in the Spanish Civil War. His Burmese Days (1934) is based on his time as an officer in the Indian Imperial Police in Burma. 

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