George Orwell and How He Used Fiction to Reveal Social and Political Truths

George Orwell is the pen name of Eric Arthur Blair, born in 1903 in Motihari, Bengal, India, during the time of the British colonial rule. When Orwell was young, he was brought to England by his mother and educated in Henley and Sussex at schools. Orwell was not raised in a wealthy family, he and his family struggled financially throughout his youth. Orwell later went on to extensively write about his family’s financial struggles in his personal essays about his childhood. However, despite Orwell’s less than satisfying upbringing, he had a gift for writing which he recognized when he was young. His entire writing career spanned for almost seventeen years. Orwell wrote many essays and was once an editor for the Tribune, and although he did not consider himself a novelist, he wrote “two of the most important literary masterpieces of the 20th century: Animal Farm and 1984.” Those two important novels as well as countless other memoirs, essays, and other novels all contributed to the body of work that makes up important twentieth century literature.

George Orwell constantly sought for truth. Whether that was political, social truth etc. Even in Orwell’s fictional work, there are many elements of the real world that can be found in them. From the notion of regular innocent civilians constantly being watched by the government, as seen in 1984. To how even when a group tries to re-establish or re-build a democracy, there are still a select few that are always given more power than the rest, as seen in Animal Farm. Orwell’s literary works always seem to highlight “the terrible nature of politics, and the terrible toll that totalitarianism takes on the human spirit.” From when he was a child, Orwell always longed to capture the hardships of “real” people. He longed to live among the less fortunate, and to share their stories with others. Orwell believed that he wrote because “there is some kind of lie that he has to expose, some fact to which he wants to draw attention to.” This can be seen in most, if not all, of Orwell’s literary works as he sought to unravel the truth to all of his readers. Here are 10 quotes by George Orwell:


“In a time of universal deceit – telling the truth is a revolutionary act.” – George Orwell


“If you want a vision of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face – forever.” – George Orwell


“Who controls the past controls the future. Who controls the present controls the past.” – George Orwell


“All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others.” – George Orwell


“War is peace. Freedom is slavery. Ignorance is strength.” – George Orwell


“All the war-propaganda, all the screaming and lies and hatred, comes invariably from people who are not fighting.” – George Orwell


“Political language. . . is designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable, and to give an appearance of solidity to pure wind.” – George Orwell


“The nationalist not only does not disapprove of atrocities committed by his own side, but he has a remarkable capacity for not even hearing about them.” – George Orwell


“Every generation imagines itself to be more intelligent than the one that went before it, and wiser than the one that comes after it.” – George Orwell


“Big Brother is watching you.” – George Orwell

Author Bio: Idil Dahir

Idil Dahir is a freelance writer and editor living in Toronto, Ontario. She is a recent graduate of the University of Toronto in which she completed a specialist program in English. Idil enjoys everything from Films, TV Shows, Sports, Novels, and Comic Books. She is currently working on her fantasy novel as well as her freelance work. If you would like to contact Idil you can reach her at: