"George Orwell" by Gordon Bowker - How the author positions the reader

Essay by miccaHigh School, 11th gradeB, August 2006

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Biographies and autobiographies are shaped on what the author's beliefs and values are. This makes the biographies and autobiographies selected representations because the author only uses particular information to portray the person in a certain way. Since the person is written from the author's point of view, the reader will then be positioned to view that person in the same way the author views them. The reader can challenge the author because the representation is selective.

Eric Arthur Blair (George Orwell) was born in India in1903. His family moved to England in 1907. After he had finished his schooling at Eton, he then joined the Indian Imperial Police in Burma. In 1936 he went to Spain to fight in the Spanish Civil war for the Republicans. He was wounded and returned to England. Orwell had suffered from tuberculosis since his childhood and died from it in 1950. During the last couple of years of his life he wrote Animal Farm and Nineteen Eighty-Four.

Both novels became best sellers and have sold over two million copies each around the world.

How the discourse shapes the text

The author's discourse shapes the text and positions the reader to look at the person in the same way as the author. Gordon Bowker thinks that Orwell was a great writer but doesn't believe that famous people should be plastered saints. In his biography Bowker makes Orwell more human by telling us about Orwell's shortcomings.

How the author selects the information carefully

Bowker believes that certain values are important. To show Orwell in a certain way, Bowker selected only the parts of Orwell's life to show his view. Bowker says Orwell is a great man because he was a literary genius. He also wants to show Orwell's shortcomings so the reader doesn't think that...