“Every generation imagines itself to be more intelligent than the one that went before it, and wiser than the one that comes after it.”
George Orwell was born Eric Arthur Blair in Motihari, Bihar, British India today in 1903. He would have been 109.
Orwell was a writer who both drew on his own experiences and penned dystopic fantasy to skewer social injustice and totalitarianism.
Although born in India he was raised in England. He returned to the East as a member of the Indian Police Service in 1922. He worked there for five years until he came down with Dengue fever, at which point he came back to Great Britain. Orwell’s novel Burmese Days and his essays “A Hanging” and “Shooting an Elephant” are based on his experiences in India and Burma.
Upon his return to England he took up housing on London’s Portobello Road and decided to write about the lives of the impoverished in his own country. He dressed as if he lived in the streets, took menial jobs and purposefully got himself arrested so he could write first hand accounts of society’s
underbelly. The book Down and Out in Paris and London chronicled this time period. But he was a man living two lives, as he also held respectable jobs as a journalist and as a teacher much of that time.
Other novels include: The Clergyman’s Daughter, Coming up for Air, The Road to Wigan Pier, Homage to Catalonia and Keep the Aspidistra Flying
Animal Farm, an allegorical take on Communism and corruption, was published in 1945. It was a critical and financial success, but Orwell was is poor health. He published Nineteen Eighty-Four , his last novel, about a grim society with perpetual war, thoughtcrimes, doublethink, and Newspeak in 1949.