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George Orwell

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Literary Movement


           George Orwell wrote in the modernism time period. This is a literary and art movement which sprung up at the start of the 20th century during WWI and the Russian Revolution. This time period was characterized by growing tension and unease with social disorder and unrest. This refers directly back to WWI, WWII, the Spanish Civil War, and the rise of communism; a period in history which is mired by unspeakable horrors and devastating wars. Authors and painters reflected this social unrest and degradation in their works.

            George Orwell's works fit perfectly within this time period. They represent what happens in the rise of fascist and communist states in regards to social and civil liberties. Orwell tried to characterize the complete destruction of the world as it was known, which reflects modernist thinking. Orwell's books 1984 and Animal Farm both characterize such; social unrest and societal failure with the rise of new governments. In both these books all civil liberties have been taken away, the government controls all faucets of society and eventually tries to control the human thought process.

             The reflection of such a society characterizes Orwell's fears of what would happen if a fascist state such as Nazi Germany conquered Europe or what would happen if a communist regime were to rise in Great Britain. Modernism is a reflection of such.

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Vincent Andrews
World Author Website Project
Coral Gables Senior High School
IB English IV - period 2