george Orwellquotes

1903 - 1950

Photograph of George OrwellAt times called the consciousness of his generation, George Orwell (1903-1950) is best known for his satirical novels, which addressed the major political movements of the day. From awkward and withdrawn youth, to literary and political rebel, Orwell was always known for his deep intelligence and creative mind.

After college, and a brief career as a colonial police officer in Burma, Orwell lived in poverty for many years working odd jobs. However, those experiences gave him the substance for his novel, Down and Out in Paris and London. Many of Orwell’s writings were strongly autobiographical, including the time he spent in the militia in Spain (Homage to Catalonia), working as a colonial officer (Burmese Days), and his days living with the destitute miners of northern England (The Road to Wigan Pier).

With poignant wit and insight, Orwell built a reputation as a literary critic and became a prolific journalist with the publication of numerous essays, reviews and newspaper articles. It was, however, with the publication of Animal Farm, that Orwell enjoyed real success and prosperity for the first time. Considered one of his finest novels, it is a fantastical account of Stalin and Trotsky, and the failure of communism.

His most renowned novel, 1984, was published just before he died from a long struggle with tuberculosis. The dark, anti-utopian novel exposed how deeply the dangers of totalitarianism run, and it coined phrases still used today to describe political abuses. It established Orwell with a lasting legacy as a brilliant and insightful writer.