Overall I did not exactly like reading the selected Orwell essays but completing the assignment was doable. Some of the essays were more enjoyable than others like How the Poor Die. Orwell seemed more invested in this part of his life and the writing reflected it. These essays were a chance to understand what the world was like for people back when Orwell was alive. I learned more about writing techniques like similes and metaphors, as well as expanding my vocabulary.
Reading these excerpts allowed me to see how different tones could be constructed using different vocabulary. An example that caught my eye was in Such such were the joys “a wretched drivelling little creature”. This is an example of a more harsh tone and diction. It improved my vocabulary as well as I did not know what drivelling meant at first.
When doing the DRJs I found that I was analyzing the excerpts more deeply and understanding how Orwell was conveying a certain tone, like in the example above, rather than just how the writing was making me feel.
Although this was a step in the right direction Mr. MacKnight found ways to make me think deeper in his feedback. He asked questions about my observations that would help to further analyze the text. He also pointed out parts that I missed in my DRJs and asked how those made me feel. This made me think deeper about the essay extracts, and from different perspectives.
Why Orwell Endures by Geoffrey Wheatcroft raises an interesting point about why Orwell suffered. Although I had to read through the essay multiple times due to confusion, one parts still made sense to me. The writer states that Orwell was never great at anything but good at many things. This allowed him to be known and stay relevant throughout his writing career. For the most part, reading this essay was unsatisfying as the writer never seemed to make a point. He kept going without hitting the nail on the head, and continued to talk about the history surrounding Orwell’s life. This made it hard for me to take in what the writer was trying to say as I had trouble following along.