The Life of George Orwell

Known for classics such as Animal Farm and Nineteen Eighty-Four. George Orwell is still relevant today. Whether you’ve read his works in your free time or you were required to read his novels in school, most of you have probably had some exposure to George Orwell. Today, let’s take a look at his life from beginning till the end.


Photo: Granta

George Orwell was born as Eric Arthur Blair in 1903 in Motihari, Bengal, India. A year after his birth, George moved back to England with his mother while his father spent his time in India as a British civil servant. George was very distant with his father. His father spent most of his childhood stationed in India, and George hardly even saw him until his retirement in 1912.

George Orwell began showing his creative side at a very early age. According to his biography, George composed his first poem at the age of 4. His first literary accomplishment was at age 11 when one of his poems was published in a local newspaper. In 1911, George began attending St. Cyprian’s boarding school in Eastbourne. George attended St. Cyprian’s on scholarship and at a very young age began noticing how the wealthy students were treated differently. He never quite got along with his peers, but instead focused his attention on his education. His dedication won him scholarships to attend Wellington and Eton College. Unfortunately, once George had finished his work at Eton, he could no longer afford to attend. In 1922, George decided to join the India Imperial Police Force. He spent the next five years stationed in Burma before he returned to his home in England.

Determined to become a writer, George began working on his first novel titled Down and Out in Paris and London. The novel was published under a pseudonym in order to avoid his families embarrassment. In 1934, George’s second novel Burmese Days was published. This novel explored his experiences overseas and provided audiences members with a dark look into British colonialism.

A few years later, the newly married George Orwell decided to travel to Spain and join a militia. During this time, George was shot in his arm and his throat. Due to his condition, George was unable to speak to authorities. This forced the country to charge George and his wife with treason. However, these charges were immediately dropped after they left Spain.

When George returned to England, he continued to pursue a writing career. In 1941, he landed a job as a producer for BBC. This job allowed him to provide new commentary for a variety of shows. Once World War II hit, George was forced to become a propagandist in order to advance the British Empire. This did not sit well with George, so he left BBC in 1943.

Two of George Orwell’s most popular books were published towards the end of his life. The first was Animal Farm in 1945, which was an instant success. The second novel, Nineteen Eighty-Four, was published in 1949. This novel was yet another success for George. Unfortunately, George suffered from tuberculosis and wasn’t able to enjoy his success for long. On January 21st, 1950, George Orwell died in a hospital in London.

Although George Orwell wasn’t able to enjoy the success of his novels. His last two novels have helped shape the literary world we know today. His work is still studied in classrooms along with the many audience members who just enjoy reading his work.