MR. GEORGE ORWELL
CRITICISM AND ALLEGORY
Mr. George Orwell, a writer of acute and penetrating temper and of conspicuous honesty of mind, died on Friday in hospital in London at the age of 46.
He had been a sick man for a considerable time.
Though he made his widest appeal in the form of fiction, Orwell had a critical rather than imaginative endowment of mind and he has left a large number of finely executed essays.
In a less troubled, less revolutionary period of history he might perhaps have discovered within himself a richer and more creative power of imagination, a deeper philosophy of acceptance.
As it was he was essentially the analyst, by turns indignant, satirical, and prophetic, of an order of life and society in rapid dissolution.
The analysis is presented, to a large extent, in autobiographical terms; Orwell, it might fairly be said, lived his convictions.
Much of his early work is a direct transcription of personal experience, while the later volumes record, in expository or allegorical form, the progressive phases of his disenchantment with current social and political ideals.
the death of such a searching and sincere a writer is a very real loss.
George Orwell, which was the name adopted by Eric Arthur Blair, was born in India in 1903 of a Scottish family, the son of Mr. R. W. Blair, who served in the
opium department of the Government of Bengal.
He was a King's Scholar at Eton, which he left in 1921, and then at the persuasion of his father, entered the Imperial Police in Burma, where he remained for five years.
After that he was, by turns, dish-washer, schoolmaster, and, bookseller's assistant.
The name he adopted comes from the river of Orwell - his parents were settled at Southwold, in Suffolk, at the time he decided upon it.
Orwell preferred to suppress his earlier novels.
"Down and Out in Paris and London," his first book, published in 1933, is a plain, observant and, for the most part, dispassionate piece of reporting, which achieves without faltering precisely what it sets out to do.
Orwell had starved in a Paris slum and in England had tramped from one casual ward to another, and the lessons of this first-hand acquaintance with poverty and destitution were never afterwards lost on him.
Although in time he grew fearful of a theoretical egalitarianism, he made no bones about the primary need of securing social justice.
In "The Road to Wigan Pier," which appeared in 1937, he described the lives of those on unemployment pay or public assistance and made his own contribution to Socialist propaganda.
Next year he brought out his "Homage to Catalonia," an outspoken and at times impassioned account of his experience and observation as a volunteer on the Republican side of the Spanish civil war.
he had joined not the International Brigade but the militia organized by the small Catalan party - predominantly syndicalist or anarcho-syndicalist in temper - known as P.O.U.M.