Student Companion to George Orwell

Overview

Animal Farm and 1984, in their shocking portrayals of society gone wrong, are among the rare works of fiction that will forever change the way we think. Written with students and general readers in mind, this volume examines George Orwell's powerful fictional writing, as well as his provocative documentaries and essays. Students will gain an appreciation for the many levels of meaning in the allegorical Animal Farm and the startlingly prescient 1984. Brunsdale does a masterful job of showing how personal and ...

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Overview

Animal Farm and 1984, in their shocking portrayals of society gone wrong, are among the rare works of fiction that will forever change the way we think. Written with students and general readers in mind, this volume examines George Orwell's powerful fictional writing, as well as his provocative documentaries and essays. Students will gain an appreciation for the many levels of meaning in the allegorical Animal Farm and the startlingly prescient 1984. Brunsdale does a masterful job of showing how personal and world events came together in Orwell's writing. A carefully drawn biographical chapter examines the development of Orwell's worldview from his impressionable student days to his later years as he struggled with his health, his political identity, and his literary career. The literary heritage chapter traces Orwell's influence as a truth-teller and reviews the literary influences that inspired Orwell to experiment and continually refine his writing style. Individual chapters provide in-depth but accessible analysis of each major work of fiction and nonfiction including the often-anthologized essay Shooting an Elephant and Orwell's first full-length publication Down and Out in Paris and in London. In addition to plot and character development, considerable attention is given to the historical contexts and the thematic concerns of social injustice that drove Orwell to devote his life to his writing.

This critical study analyzes each of Orwell's major writings in chronological order, analyzing the literary components of each as well as the historical context that informed each work. Each chapter also offers an insightful alternate interpretation of Orwell's works. As a student research tool, this volume is tremendously valuable, particularly with its extensive bibliography of materials from many different fields that illuminate the life and work of this highly important British author.

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Product Details

Meet the Author

MITZI M. BRUNSDALE is professor of English at Mayville State University in North Dakota and Chair of the Division of Communication Arts.

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Table of Contents

Series Foreword ix
Preface xi
1 Becoming Orwell 1
2 His Only Real Education 19
3 Getting Ready to Write: Down and Out in Paris and London 37
4 Settling Down and Writing Books: Burmese Days, A Clergyman's Daughter, Keep the Aspidistra Flying 53
5 From Mandalay to Wigan Pier: "Shooting an Elephant" and The Road to Wigan Pier 71
6 Spilling Spanish Beans: Homage to Catalonia 87
7 Orwell's War: Coming Up for Air and The Lion and the Unicorn 105
8 All Animals Are Equal, but...: Animal Farm 121
9 In Front of Our Noses: Nineteen Eighty-Four 137
10 Halfway to 2050: It Depends on You 155
Selected Bibliography 159
Index 167
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