Review of “A Study of George Orwell: The Man and His Works”

A Study of George Orwell: The Man and His Works

A Study of George Orwell: The Man and His Works by Christopher Hollis

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Hollis combines biographical details with literary criticism to introduce the reader to Orwell and his influences. Given his unique position of having known Orwell from their days in school, the book is filled with unique insights.

Using the framework of Orwell’s work, Hollis works the reader through all the novels to give fresh insights into Orwell’s world view. In an effort for thoroughness, he includes books, such as A CHURCHMAN’S DAUGHTER that Orwell tried to suppress.

After reviewing his positions on many issues, I had to wonder whether Orwell would be seen as a conservative writer today?
1. Orwell was not religious but believed in the necessity of having faith to give purpose to one’s life.
2. He was anti-abortion as seen in the ending of KEEP THE ASPIDISTRA FLYING.
3. He argued that a man had to take responsibility for their actions (which the stoic influence).
4. He was a socialist but saw that totalitarian states are the natural result of these systems.

All in all, I would recommend if you are a fan of Orwell and have read more than just ANIMAL FARM and 1984.

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