George Orwell – Personal Response

Reading George Orwell’s essays has given me a completely new insight as to why literature endures. Personally, I have never seen an author write in such an ‘unbiased’ way, always conveying issues and stories with the utmost neutral background, while still strongly portraying his perspective and making sure the reader knows his thoughts exactly on a certain topic. It comes to show that the correct use of language skills and diction make an incredible difference, as to whether or not the author is actually emotionally invested in his own words. A great example for this would have to be his essay ‘The Hanging’, giving details about the decapitation of a young man in Burma, respectfully told from Orwell’s point of view on site. There is not one word which indicates towards any direct emotion but his tone and inner voice within the passage, create sympathy amongst the audience. I believe that with this, Orwell was trying to make sure the readers had enough freedom to form their own thoughts, while at the same time still making absolutely sure they would lean towards the same sense of commiseration creating a balanced form of harmony.

These thoughts and learning outcomes were naturally achieved along with the ‘Daily Reading Journals’. They allowed me to pause and reflect every couple of sentences and think about what purpose or meaning was being revealed behind the text. We were warned in advance that when looking at sound imagery and sound effects, confusion could occur as to what words or phrases would belong in which category. Even though I definitely believe that after the received feedback I still have some progress to make, Orwell has easily made the difference more clear with a good set of examples. Without his fairly playful and bold style of writing, including several uses of sound imagery as well as sound effects, I believe it would be questionable whether or not Orwell would have achieved this memorable affect on the reader without them. It is almost as if he wanted us to solely focus on this linguistic aspect.

Whilst thinking that I had gotten a pretty good understanding of George Orwell’s personality through his own words, Geoffrey Wheatcroft finally sheds light upon Orwell’s character outside of literature. Even though he does mentions that “no other can have so enriched the language” he brings forward something I would have not expected. By saying “there were dark sides to his personality” about his friend of many years, it makes one question the reason behind his yet mysterious style of writing. Throughout all essays and short-stories I have not once recognized anything ‘dark’, as Wheatcroft mentions. Even the essays with the heaviest meaning seem to be told in the easiest and most lighthearted way, awakening a sort of urge for the reader to continue.

One thought on “George Orwell – Personal Response”

  1. Nice job Annika, catchy wording at the front was funny. Instead of why Orwell endures, why literature endures. I somehow disagree slightly with what you were saying in your 1st paragraph, as I found Orwells writing to be quite opinionated, and that was what one way his writing became interesting. I totally agree with your last paragraph, and how Geoffrey Wheatcroft sheds light on Orwells personality and character.

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