Eric preparatory boarding school, St. Cyprians in

Eric Arthur Blair, famously known by his pseudonym George Orwell, was born on June 25th, 1903 in Motihari, Bengal, India to Richard Walmsley Blair and Ida Mabel Limouzin. Orwell was the middle child of two sisters. Orwell’s father, Blair, was a minor British official working in the opium department of the Indian Civil Service. After the age of four, Orwell and his family moved to Henley-on-Thames, England a small village located near London. However, his father returned to India soon after. When Orwell was eight years old he was enrolled into preparatory boarding school, St. Cyprians in Sussex Coast where he was distinguished for his intellectual brilliance. Although being considered an intellectual, Orwell was considered to be shy and gloomy throughout his adolescence. In 1952, Orwell published an autobiography essay called “Such, Such were the Joys”, describing the hardships he faced in adolescence such as being away from his family, surrounded by boys wealthier than him. Orwell also stated that his experiences at the preparatory boarding school determined his views on the English class system. After finishing up his schooling at St. Cyprians, he was able to obtain two different scholarships to England’s leading colleges, Wellington and Eton. Orwell spent a semester at Wellington and the rest of his education at Eton college. Orwell wanted to be a writer since childhood and it was at Eton college where he published his first college periodical. However, after finishing up his education, Orwell decided to follow in his father’s footsteps and joined the Indian Imperial Police in 1922. Orwell served as an assistant district superintendent in Burma for five years and “absorbed a hatred of British imperialism” (Rossi 173). Orwell came into view of the little freedom the Burmese had under British rule and began to feel remorse for his role as an Indian Imperial Police officer. When Orwell arrived back home to England due to contracting dengue fever, he decided to pursue a career in writing and abandon his post in Burman. Orwell resigned from the Indian Imperial Police on January 1, 1928. In Orwell’s essay, “Shooting an Elephant”, he narrates the preoccupation of Britain’s imperial rule over the Burmese. The story follows a policeman, possibly alluding to Orwell himself and metaphoring an event he dealt with his time in Burma, was forced to kill an elephant “…even though it no longer posed a threat to anyone.” (Rossi 173).  The policeman, who did not want to shoot the elephant, conformed in doing so due pressure of the villagers’ presence. “I, the white man with his gun… was only an absurd puppet pushed to and fro by the will of those yellow faces behind it” (Orwell). The policeman represents how an imperialism has a “two-edge nature” (Rossi 173), as a government could be victimized by the people whom they rule as they had the masses.For Orwell to establish himself as a writer, within the first few months of his departure from Burma, he went on an expedition to Notting Hill. Orwell lived in a poor neighborhood located in the East End to London, among beggars and labourers to relieve some of his guilt with the Burmese. Orwell had also traveled to Paris, France residing in the Hotel des Trois Moineaux located on rue du Coq d’Or, “that had no history beyond the recent wars…” (Firchow 83), spending time in slums of the working-class district. Orwell worked as a dishwasher at various hotels to make ends meet. It was during this period of time that Orwell began publishing his work under the pseudonym “George Orwell” to avoid bringing any embarrassment to his family.  In 1933, Orwell’s first published work to gain literacy recognition was Down and Out in Paris and London, a memoir of the years he spent in these two poverty stricken locations. In the novel, Orwell sheds light on the impoverished life people in these communities deal with and states that poverty can be a ‘death sentence’.

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