Orwell believed that true prose should be "like a windowpane" and he, himself, strove to write clearly and precisely. His early works, not only those of a journalistic nature, are primarily autobiographical. He outlined what he considered the essence of prose in his essay "Shooting an Elephant" and further developed the ideas in his essay "Politics and the English Language". In this work, Orwell argues that political dishonesty and inaccurate, slovenly language are inextricably linked.
The Spanish civil war significantly influenced Orwell's life. In 1936, Orwell arrived in Spain as a journalist. However, always true to his beliefs, upon his arrival in Barcelona he immediately joined a guerrilla group of Marxist workers (POUM). He fought on the Aragon and Teruel fronts and received a grave wound. The impressions wrought by his time in Spain did not fade throughout Orwell's life. In his final pre-war novel, Coming Up for Air, he denounced the modern erosion of traditional values. Orwell criticized both English socialism and Stalinism.
Orwell understood his duty as a writer to be the promotion of an ideal, liberal, socialism while defending against the totalitarian tendencies that threatened the times. His goals are clearly observed in the 1945 novel Animal Farm. This satire of the Russian Revolution and the crushed hopes that resulted is told as an allegory featuring farm animals who take over the management of the farm from the farmer for their betterment. Orwell published his final book, 1984, in 1949. It features a future dystopia in which Orwell intricately portrays a totalitarian society saturated with anger and fear.
A CLERGYMAN'S DAUGHTER
KEEP THE ASPIDISTRA FLYING
COMING UP FOR AIR
DOWN AND OUT IN PARIS AND LONDON
THE ROAD TO WIGAN PIER
HOMAGE TO CATALONIA
THE POETRY OF GEORGE ORWELL