Sunday, October 31, 2010

George Orwell: His Principal Works

Autobiographical Works
1. Down and Out in Paris and London (1933): This book is a record of Orwell's personal experiences in the two cities of Paris and London where he made contact with the lowest of the low in French and English society—with social outcasts, with tramps, criminals, and prostitutes.

2. The Road to Wigan Pier (1937): a record of his experiences during his visit to the industrial town of Wigan and other places in northern England where he found the conditions to be very depressing.
3. Homage to Catalonia (1938) : a record of his experiences during the Spanish Civil War in which he had himself fought for a brief period.
Novels
1. Burmese Days (1934): a fictional account of his experiences in Burma where he had spent a few years as a police officer. The hero of the novel is a man called Flory, a melancholy young man, who is a timber-merchant in Burma.
2. A Clergyman's Daughter (1935): the story of Dorothy, the spinster daughter of a clergyman. She loses her memory after a sexual assault, leaves her home and, after some depressing experiences, returns home to resume her duties as her father's housekeeper.
3. Keep the Aspidistra Flying (1936): the story of Gordon Comstock ("twenty-nine and moth-eaten already"), who comes from a shabby-genteel family and, like Orwell, had suffered from going to school with boys much richer than himself. This, like Burmese Days, is a directly autobiographical novel.
4. Coming Up For Air (1939) : the story of George Bowling, a middle-aged suburban insurance agent. The themes of this novel are Orwell's intense dislike of London as a nightmarish metropolis, his pervasive fear of the impending war, and his longing for the imagined safety of his childhood.
5. Animal Farm (1945): a beast fable with allegorical significance. The book is a satire on the Communist regime in Russia under Stalin. It depicts Stalin's betrayal of the ideals of the Russian Revolution of October 1917.
6. Nineteen Eighty-Four (1949): a grim satire on totalitarianism. It is a nightmarish vision of the future as Orwell saw it at the time of writing this book. Its hero, Winston Smith, undergoes some horrendous experiences.
Essays, Letters, Articles Contributed to Magazines, etc.
Orwell wrote numerous essays and letters, and a large number of articles which he contributed to various magazines and journals. All these have been published under the title of The Collected Essays, Journalism, and Letters of George Orwell in four volumes:
Volume I.         An Age Like This: covering the period   1920-1940.
Volume II.       My Country Right  or Left: covering   the period 1940-1943.
Volume III.      As I Please: covering  the period 1943-1945.
Volume IV.      In Front of Your Nose: covering the period 1945 till Orwell's death.
Note. A memoir written by Orwell under the heading "Such, Such Were the Joys", containing his bitter memories of his school life, was published posthumously. Written in 1947, this memoir recalls his miserable experiences at St. Cyprian's school where he had spent six years from the age of eleven to seventeen.

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