George orwell collection of essays

A Collection of Essays

Forget that silly bit of cant about private property, this is merely Orwell clinging to his image of himself as a Socialist.

I don't question that he honestly thought that property should be distributed more fairly, but no one who recognizes that tyranny succeeds tyranny can truly believe in the type of government coercion that would be required to effect this distribution. One can say of Orwell, as he says of Dickens, that what we carry away from his writing is his "hatred of tyranny.

His humanism ironically comes through in his Reflections on Gandhi. This is unquestionably true.

A Collection of Essays

It is doubtful whether this is true. The point is that they are incompatible. Of course, in a sense he is here accusing Gandhi of attempting the same type of human re-engineering for which he honors Dickens, but we'll not ask for too great a consistency. Orwell perceives the ugly air of fanaticism about Gandhi, and he had learned the costs exacted by fanatics in Spain and that even laudable social goals can not justify the inhuman means to which fanatics resort.

Orwell's ultimate judgment parallels that he makes of Dickens; where Dickens is judged worthy for his hatred of tyranny, Gandhi is held suspect because of his personal tyranny over those around him. This reflects the central insight of Orwell's oeuvre, that even noble ends can not justify authoritarian means. In what may well be the greatest of his essays, Shooting an Elephant , Orwell specifically addressing the evils of Imperialism, capturing, perhaps better than anyone else ever has, the real moral damage that men do to themselves when they seek to exercise this kind of power over others.

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One day, while serving as a minor official in Burma, Orwell was called upon to shoot a rogue elephant. I had halted on the road.

And at that distance, peacefully eating, the elephant looked no more dangerous than a cow. But at that moment I glanced round at the crowd that had followed me.

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He wears a mask, and his face grows to fit it. I had committed myself to doing it when I sent for the rifle.

The crowd would laugh at me. Even if, like me, you believe that Colonialism was a net benefit to native peoples see Orrin's review of Things Fall Apart , it is impossible to escape the conclusion that a system which required such actions of it's administrators was evil. Any system which turns those who administer it into tyrants, wielding arbitrary power over the lives of others, is evil. But all these are minor points. Never us a long word where a short one will do. If it is possible to cut a word out, always cut it out. Never use the passive where you can use the active.

Series: The collected essays, journalism, and letters of George Orwell

Break any of these rules sooner than say anything outright barbarous. I shouldn't like to load this point with more freight than it will bear, but the modern defenders of traditional language, to an even greater extent than one would expect, have by and large been conservatives. Of course, preservation is by it's very nature a conservative activity, but Orwell, C. Lastly, there may be those who would say that here, as in many other reviews, I've leaned to heavily on the political character of what the author has to say. Well, here's what Orwell says in Why I Write : Putting aside the need to earn a living, I think there are four great motives for writing, at any rate for writing prose.

Fifty Essays

They exist in different degrees in every writer, and in any one writer the proportions will vary from time to time, according to the atmosphere in which he is living. Sheer egoism. The great mass of human beings are not acutely selfish. Aesthetic enthusiasm. Shooting an Elephant, Marrakech and Politics and the English Language is essential for anyone, anywhere.

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You can tell Orwell is a great A Collection of Essays. George Orwell. In this bestselling compilation of essays, written in the clear-eyed, uncompromising language for which he is famous, Orwell discusses with vigor such diverse subjects as his boyhood schooling, the Spanish Civil War, Henry Miller, British imperialism, and the profession of writing.