In the 1930s, the discourse of travel furthered widely divergent and conflicting ideologies--socialist, conservative, male chauvinist, and feminist--and the major travel writers of the time revealed as much in their texts. Evelyn Waugh was a declared conservative and fascist sympathizer; George Orwell was a dedicated socialist; Graham Greene wavered between his bourgeois instincts and his liberal left-wing sympathies; and Rebecca West maintained strong feminist and liberationist convictions.
Bernard Schweizer explores both the intentional political rhetoric and the more oblique, almost unconscious subtexts of Waugh, Orwell, Greene, and West in his groundbreaking study of travel writing's political dimension. Radicals on the Road demonstrates how historically and culturally conditioned forms of anxiety were compounded by the psychological dynamics of the uncanny, and how, in order to dispel such anxieties and to demarcate their ideological terrains, 1930s travelers resorted to dualistic discourses.
Yet any seemingly fixed dualism, particularly the opposition between the political left and the right, the dichotomy between home and abroad, or the rift between utopia and dystopia, was undermined by the rise of totalitarianism and by an increasing sense of global crisis--which was soon followed by political disillusionment. Therefore, argues Schweizer, traveling during the 1930s was more than just a means to engage the burning political questions of the day: traveling, and in turn travel writing, also registered the travelers' growing sense of futility and powerlessness in an especially turbulent world.
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.
Animal Farm is a political allegory of the history of the USSR written in the form of a fable. Its stinging moral warning against the abuse of power is forcefully demonstrated in this casebook through a wide variety of historical, political, and literary documents that are directly applicable to the novel. Included are passages from the Soviet press; excerpts from personal memoirs and correspondence; original translations from Russian and East German sources that show the meaning of Animal Farm for those nations' readers; and historical and political sources on Marxism, the Russian Revolution, the Cold War, and Glasnost. Many of these documents have not been available in print before.
Following a literary analysis of Animal Farm, six chapters examine the historical, political, and literary issues raised by the novel. Chapters include selections relating the novel to basic tenets of Marxism, the Russian Revolution and Josef Stalin, the relation of George Orwell's life to the writing of Animal Farm, the Cold War, book reviews of the novel at the time of its publication, the American intellectual climate, and recent responses to the novel in the light of Glasnost and the collapse of the Soviet Union. Each document is preceded by an explanatory introduction, and each chapter concludes with suggested topics for written and oral exploration. This rich source of materials is ideal for interdisciplinary study of the novel.
Continuing his masterful investigation of the ongoing reception and continual reinvention of George Orwell six decades after his death, Rodden delves into numerous aspects of Orwell's legacy that have been surprisingly neglected.
In this widely acclaimed biographical essay, the masterful polemicist Christopher Hitchens assesses the life, the achievements, and the myth of the great political writer and participant George Orwell. True to his contrarian style, Hitchens is both admiring and aggressive, sympathetic yet critical, taking true measure of his subject as hero and problem. Answering both the detractors and the false claimants, Hitchens tears down the fa e of sainthood erected by the hagiographers and rebuts the critics point by point. He examines Orwell and his perspectives on fascism, empire, feminism, and Englishness, as well as his outlook on America, a country and culture towards which he exhibited much ambivalence. Whether thinking about empires or dictators, race or class, nationalism or popular culture, Orwell's moral outlook remains indispensable in a world that has undergone vast changes in the seven decades since his death. Combining the best of Hitchens' polemical punch and intellectual elegance in a tightly woven and subtle argument, this book addresses not only why Orwell matters today, but how he will continue to matter in a future, uncertain world.