What is the life story of George Orwell?

Born Eric Arthur Blair on June 25, 1903 in Bihar, Orwell spent a part of his childhood in India. Later, he moved to England for schooling but he hated school. He was often pulled up for playing pranks. He was expelled from grammar school for sending a birthday message attached to a dead rat to the town surveyor, according to Sir Bemars Crick’s “George Orwell: A Life. And while studying at Eton College Orwell made up a song about John Crace, his school’s housemaster, in which he made fun of Crace’s appearance and his liking for Italian art

Orwell or P.S. Burton?

Orwell was disillusioned with the British Raj, He realised that the British government was oppressing people in the colonies and also in England. So he began exploring the backward areas of London on foot sometimes even dressing up like a beggar and adopting the name P.S. Burton to hide his identity. He recorded his experience as a low-life in his book “Down and Out in Paris and London” published in 1933.

A teacher and a journalist

Orwell moved to Paris to focus on writing. He became a successful journalist writing for Le Monde, a political and literary journal. Later he worked as a teacher, His stint As a teacher didn’t stop him from pursuing more adventures. On one occasion, as part of research for a novel, he tried to get arrested so as to be able to interact with the prisoners But he could not succeed in his attempt as he was released 48 hours after being taken into custody. A few years later, he gave up teaching to become a full-time writer.


  • Doublespeak: It is a language that deliberately distorts facts and confuses the readers. The term “doublespeak” derives from two concepts in Orwell’s novel “Nineteen Eighty-Four, “doublethink” and “Newspeak”, though the term does not figure in the book. Doublespeak is often used in politics, media and advertising to misrepresent the truth. The word downsizing (used instead of “lay-offs”) is an example of doublespeak. Doublespeak is so commonly used by politicians and the media that the National Council of Teachers of English in the U.S. in 1971 founded the Doublespeak Award as an “ironic tribute to public speakers who have perpetuated language that is grossly deceptive, evasive, euphemistic, confusing, or self centered.” Its recipients are usually politicians, government officials, or departments.


  • Cold War. Orwell used the term ‘Cold War in his 1945 essay, “You and the Atom Bomb”, written two months after atomic bombs were dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. While the term ‘cold war referred to some of Hitler’s policies, Orwell was the first to apply the word to conditions that arose in the aftermath of World War II. With much of Orwell’s speculation about the geopolitical effects of a nuclear bomb coming true, the term Cold War began be used to describe the prolonged state of hostility between the U.S. and the Soviet.


  • Orwell’s book “Animal Farm” was the underlying source of inspiration for Pink Floyd’s 1977 album “Animals Roger Waters used Orwell’s animal imagery to criticise capitalism through his songs.
  • Orwell considered using his old pseudonym. P.S. Burton to write novels, but decided against it and settled on George Orwell instead He chose the name as he thought it would make people take him seriously.

Orange marmalade

The British Council rejected his food essay, which contained a recipe for orange marmalade. In 1946, Blair was commissioned to write an essay on British cuisine. Days after submitting the essay, he received a letter stating that his recipe for the marmalade was bad. “Too much sugar and water” it read. More than 70 years after the incident, the Council in February, 2019 sent a letter to the author apologising for rejecting the essay, but not the recipe.

Soldier, spy!

In 1949, he compiled a list of artists he suspected to be communists and passed it on to the government. This list included names of Charlie Chaplin, Katherine Hepburn, John Steinbeck and Orson Welles.


Picture Credit : Google

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *