The Inspiration in Orwell

I’ve always liked George Orwell’s works ever since my 8th grade class had to read his books Animal Farm and 1984. Over the years I’ve re-read the two plus some selections of his Shooting an Elephant & other essays and Dickens, Dali & Others: studies in popular culture. In the early wee hours I just finished reading a library book on the life or George Orwell around 4:00–4:30am. The book was George Orwell: Battling Big Brother by Tanya Agathocleous. Most of what I knew about Orwell life till now, suprisingly enough, was from the liner notes from off of the paperback books of Animal Farm and 1984.

It was not until after reading this book I realized how much I really admire Orwell; inspired by his courage. I, myself, have even thought of and wanted to trek off with backpack to China/Thailand/Tibet. See the obscure sites not frequently visited by the tourist public. Except maybe the Great Wall or some of the temples. To go to the Highlands. Sleeping in a cheap little inns or find a safe secluded spot in the streets or in a hay loft only to be awakened in the morning by roosters. Bicycling off to see the Miao/Hmong hilltribe and spend a night or so. Hearing their “night calls” to each other in their language. They don’t have phones so they just yell to each other from out their windows during the nighttime when they’re at home. Yelling to their friends or pitching a little woo from their windows to their lovers. Since I live in an urban neighborhood, the “night calls” wouldn’t mean much. The people around here do that all the time only in street English. I don’t think I’ll get to see the Miao/Hmong tribe though. Somewhere on TV I heard that the way outsiders get to visit their village(s) is to drink some 200% proof vodka or something like that. Like an initiation.

I noticed that the Library of Congress Cataloging–in–Publication Data section in the front of the book contains the info: “Juvenile Literature”. From reading this book, I’m sure that Orwell would have been highly irked at this “juvenile” reference to categorize his books. When Animal Farm was released it received mixed reviews and misunderstanding. He actually went around to bookstores

…to remove it from the children’s shelves where it had been unwittingly placed by storeowners. (pg 84-85)

Despite the frequent use of some of his works being used as required reading in some schools, he never meant for any of his works to be interpreted in any way as juvenile.

A note of hilarity: an account where Orwell asked someone to dye all of his shirts blue… just to make his life just a bit less complicated!