I won’t lie, when I read George Orwell in high school, it left a mark on me. I ate up both 1984 and Animal Farm. The critique he had on society was so interesting and dark. So I was interested in reading more from him. I requested this book off of book mooch ages ago and then it got put on my shelf and forgotten about until I moved. This seemed like one of the perfect books to read to get something a little bit more serious on my reading list this year.
One of the things that really surprised me was how interested Orwell was in both propaganda and the use of new words. I wasn’t anticipating him speaking so favorably of propaganda and in a way wanted more done by the British in the WWII. In a way it shouldn’t be so unusual. In 1984, propaganda was essential to the running of their world and the support of the military. I’m just not as convinced that propaganda is so essential and can do in essence mind control. After growing up with ads and skewed news stories everywhere, I’m skeptical by most propaganda. But I do know that the more often we characterize something as being evil, the more likely it can leave an impact.
This book also allowed me to see Orwell’s personality. He just came to life. He seemed like such a character. Someone who was so passionate about life and wanted to serve his country.
Several of the essays didn’t always impact me in the same way as I would have hoped. He would talk about political leaders and I didn’t know them. It doesn’t take long for party leaders to be forgotten in history if they weren’t fully in charge. I knew Churchill, but some of the other names, I didn’t know.
My favorite part of this book was his war diaries. Those were great. More meaningful then his letters reporting about the war. In a way it was interesting and not surprising to see how the air raids weren’t always taken seriously. Such is human nature. The talk about life and events were interesting. It showed me different views of the world which I love.