He became disillusioned with British imperialism and left the service in He returned to Europe and lived in poverty for a number of years in London and Paris. Beginning in , he began to write as a journalist for various magazines and in , published his first book, Down and Out in London and Paris , which dealt with his experiences during those years. He took part in the Spanish Civil War in and witnessed atrocities on both sides, but was especially apalled by the Communists. He became a fervent anti-Communist which would show itself in his later writings.
Born Eric Blair, George Orwell has had a substantial impact on both popular culture and the literary world. A democratic socialist, Orwell never hesitated to express his political beliefs through his writing. Whether he was criticizing totalitarian governments, classism, or poverty, his books pointed out important—but ugly—truths about 20th-century life. And given the state of our modern-day world, these truths are more resonant than ever. Inspired by his days as an imperial police officer in Burma, Orwell wrote this novel over the course of several years. Still, he spends much of his time schmoozing at the European Club—a group of other privileged white men with much more narrow-minded beliefs. Their debate sets the stage for Orwell's criticism of British imperialism, as John waffles between his new friendships and his loyalty to the British empire.
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