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GEORGE ORWELL A comparative study of Burmese Days, Animal Farm and Nineteen Eighty- Four

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GEORGE ORWELL A comparative study of "Burmese Days", "Animal Farm" and "Nineteen Eighty- Four" Biography Eric Arthur Blair (later George Orwell) was born in 1903 in the Village Motihari, which lies near the border of Nepal. At the time India was part of the British Empire. His father, Richard Blair, was an agent in the Opium Department of the Indian Civil Service. Eric's mother, Ida Mabel Blair was about eighteen years younger than her husband. Eric had an elder sister called Marjorie. The Blair's had a relatively priveleged and fairly pleasant existence. Orwell later describes them as "lower-upper-middle class". They owend no property and had no extensive investments. They were like many middle-class English families of the time. In 1907 moved with his mother and his sister to England. Richard Blair stayed in India. With some difficulty, Blair's parents sent their son to a private prepartory school in Sussex at the age of eight. At the age of thirteen he won a scholarship to Wellington, and soon another to Eton, the very famous public school. Since the age of five or six, he had known that he would be a writer. He neglected to win a university scholarship, and in 1922 Eric Blair joined the Indian Imperal Police and was trained in Burma. He served there for nearly five years but he resigned in 1928. There have been at least two reasons for this: firstly, his life as a policeman was a distraction from the life he really wanted, which was to be a writer; and secondly, he thought that as a policeman in Burma, he was supporting a political system in which he could not longer believe. Even as early as this his ideas about writing and his political ideas were closely linked. It was not simply that he wished to break away from British Imperalism in India, he wished to "escape from every form of man's domination over others"- not just over the Burmese, but over the English working class. ...read more.


Nineteen Eighty- Four Summary The story starts, as the title tells us, in the year 1984, and it takes place in England or how it is called at that time, Airstrip One. Airstrip One itself is the mainland of a huge country, called Oceania, which consists of North America, South Africa and Australia. The world is divided up into three super states of Oceania, Eurasia and Eastasia, each in a permanent state of war with the other. Airstrip is governed by the Party through the Ministry of Peace (which runs the war), the Ministry of Love (headquarters of the secrete police), the Ministry of Plenty (which deals in scarcities), and the Ministry of Truth (which handles propaganda). The leader, who is never seen in person, is Big Brother and his face looks down from every wall. The enemy of the people is Emmanuel Goldstein, who directs the activities of the Brotherhood, Oceania's enemies in the other super- states. The population of Oceania is divided into three parts: 1. The Inner Party (1% of the population) 2. The Outer Party (18% of the population) 3. The Proles The book is written in third person. The protagonist is Winston Smith, a member of the Outer Party, working in the Record Department of the Ministry of Truth. The action starts when Winston develops critic thoughts against the ruling dictatorship of the Party, for the first time. Doing so he buys himself a book, a very rare thing these days, to use it as diary. Individual expression was forbidden by the Party, so having a diary was a crime, which could even be punished with death. There were so- called telescreens in each room, showing propaganda and can see what people are doing in their private lives. Therefore keeping a secret book was not only forbidden, but also very dangerous. When Winston makes the first entry in the diary, he thinks about an experience he has made during the Two Minutes Hate, a propaganda film, that was repeated each day. ...read more.


Generally Doublethink makes people accept contradictions, and it makes them also believe, that, the party is the only institution that can see the difference between right and wrong. This manipulation is mainly done by the Minitrue (Ministry of Truth), where Winston Smith works. When a person that is well grounded in Doublethink recognizes a contradiction or a lie of the Party, then the person thinks that he is remembering a false fact. The use of the word Doublethink involves doublethink. With the help of the Minitrue it is not only possible to change written facts, but also facts that are remembered by the people. So complete control of the country and it's citizens is provided. The fact of faking the history had already been used by the Nazis, who told the people that already German Knights believed in the principles of National Socialism. Symbolism In "Nineteen Eighty-Four" Orwell draws a picture of a totalitarian future. Although the action deals in the future, there are a couple of elements and symbols, taken from the present and past. So for example Emanuel Goldstein, the main enemy of Oceania, is, as one can see in the name, a Jew. Orwell draws a link to other totalitarian systems of our century, like the Nazis and the Communists, who had anti-Semitic ideas, and who used Jews as so-called scapegoats, who were responsible for all bad and evil things in the country. Emanuel Goldstein somehow also stands for Trotsky, a leader of the Revolution, who was later declared as an enemy. Another symbol that can be found in Nineteen Eighty-Four is the fact that Orwell divides the fictional superstates in the book according to the division that can be found in the Cold War. So Oceania stands for the United States of America , Eurasia for Russia and Eastasia for China. The "Golden Country" is another symbol. It stands for the old European pastoral landscape. The place where Winston and Julia meet for the first time to make love to each other, is exactly like the "Golden Country" of Winstons dreams. ...read more.

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