Essay on George Orwell 's Why I Write

1426 Words Oct 5th, 2016 6 Pages
When I first read George Orwell’s “Why I Write,” I wondered why he explained his childhood with great detail. Orwell spends almost an entire page of a four-page essay explaining that he did not simply start writing novels (1). Instead, he recounts that he made up detailed stories in his mind, felt that most of his early writing was a failure, and mostly engaged—in what he refers to as—literary activities before he started to—as he calls it— write seriously (1). I thought that most children used their imagination to describe mundane activities in a creative way, but Orwell uses the description for a creative purpose itself. Orwell uses his own life experiences of how he came to be an author as the lead-up to what he calls the “four great motives for writing,” which are sheer egoism, aesthetic enthusiasm, historical impulse, and political purpose (2). Orwell states that, in most of his early life, before writing “Why I Write,” that that he allowed the three motives, that were not political purpose, to outweigh political purpose in his writing (2). In his discussion of discovering how important political purpose was to him, Orwell includes a nine stanza poem in the middle of a prose essay (2, 3). Having the prose interrupted by a poem was surprising when I read the essay, because I expected the essay to only include Orwell’s prose. Orwell does not describe why he included the poem in his essay, but he does describe why he wrote the poem. Orwell describes the poem as…

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