During the summer; reading Orwells selected essays, I was intrigued by his unique language and metaphors which were almost always original. This use of imagery created an environment in which I could picture myself standing in his shoes, either at age 7 in private school, or standing atop a hill holding a rifle; looking down on the dying elephant. Orwell used imagery in such a way, that he would vividly depict what was most important, and suggest the surroundings in such a way that your mind would fill in the rest. Orwell’s strong opinion was carried within his writing in sometimes subtle and sometimes eminent ways. Through his writing, Orwell illuminated how he thought critically of those around him. He would use descriptions of a person’s looks to produce the personality that they carried.
Doing the drjs, however monotonous at times, helped me build the skills to not only read but analyze what I was reading in different ways. One of the ways was by taking a closer look at the tone the writer was trying to convey. Orwell normally framed his writing in such a way that you could decipher the tone without too much difficulty. This being said, I still need to greatly improve this skill of analysis as it still takes great concentration, and my assertions are not always on the right track. I had more trouble finding and deciphering sound effects and diction.
Through the feedback I have received on my drjs I have been able to better understand the criteria for each way of writing. When first learning about structure, I first thought of it as the way in which paragraphs were formatted, and how many lines were in a stanza, and so on. After receiving the comments on my drjs, I have realized that it is more so about time and order, and the structure in which the author formed their writing. I have learned that tone is not so much what the writing reads, but what the author intended from their writing.
Geoffrey Wheatcroft writes about Orwell as a friend. Wheatcroft discusses both Orwell’s strengths as well as his weaknesses, and he describes how Orwell was able to gain fame in the days near and after death. Orwell is depicted as a timeless gem of literature, and Wheatcroft seems to portray how Orwell’s mystical and clever image was not sullied, despite his radical ideals and theologies. The essay starts by creating a setting where a friend would visit another friend’s grave, and he goes on to build Orwell up by calling him a “secular martyrdom” (Wheatcroft pp. 1) and calling his aura “heroic.” Wheatcroft mentioned the unique language which Orwell uses in his writing and more particularly 1984. By the fourth paragraph, Wheatcroft starts a shift from building Orwell to describing his elusiveness as a person as well as a writer. He goes further to say that Orwell was not a great novelist or journalist, instead his fame and skill are best placed in his postcards, politics, and language; only then “he enters the realm of deathless literature.” (Wheatcroft pp. 2) Wheatcroft discusses the importance of Orwell not falling into one select group of politics, and instead placing himself in the cracks between different ideologies despite his labels. His politics cannot be placed into any 1 group as they change from place to place. These points that Wheatcroft highlights in his essay, I have not thought of in the same way. It also allowed me to better understand Orwell’s personality, as well as his reasons for writing. Wheatcroft writes of Orwell in a personable way, but also creates this facade for Orwell as a mysterious and elusive person simultaneously.
One thought on “Orwell PR”
Great job on your personal response towards George Orwell’s essays. I really liked how you elaborated on how Orwell made you feel personally whilst reading with his large use of imagery. I wonder however, how the feedback emotionally affected you as a reader, though, whether there was some kind of advice for the future that wasn’t necessarily about the style of writing but possibly including controversial questions that had appeared through his linguistic choices.