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GEORGE ORWELL WAS THE PEN NAME of the English author Eric Arthur Blair Orwell was educated in England at Eton College After service with the Indian Imperial Police in Burma from 1922 to 1927 he returned to Europe to become a writer He lived for several years in poverty His earliest experiences resulted in the book Down and Out in Paris and London By 1936 Orwell had joined the Republican forces in the Spanish Civil War Orwell was critical of Communism but basically considered himself a Socialist He was wounded in the fighting Late in the war Orwell fought the Communists and eventually had to flee Spain for his life Orwell documented many of his experiences during the Spanish Civil War in his Homage to Catalonia Orwells various experiences with totalitarian political regimes had a direct impact on his prose Orwells best-known books reflect his opposition to totalitarianism Animal Farm and Nineteen Eighty-Four In an article entitled Why I Write Orwell would explain Every line of serious work that I have written since 1936 has been written directly or indirectly against totalitarianismAnimal Farm was the first book in which I tried with full consciousness of what I was doing to fuse political purpose and artistic purpose into one whole During the Second World War Orwell wrote a weekly radio political commentary designed to counter German and Japanese propaganda in India His wartime work for the BBC gave him a solid taste of bureaucratic hypocrisy Many believe that this experience provided the inspiration for his invention of newspeak the truth-denying language of Big Brothers rule in his novel Nineteen Eighty-Four Throughout his lifetime the great English author continually questioned all official or accepted versions of history At the conclusion of the war in Europe Orwell expressed doubt about the Allied account of events and posed the following question in his book Notes on Nationalism If liberty means anything at all it means the right to
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