Egoism: An Essential Motive of Writing

Essay by tommylaiUniversity, Bachelor'sA+, July 2006

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When it comes to the motives for writing, different writers have different ideas. Some essays are written for no better reason than that they are required. However, for writers, it is the big leap of faith and belief in them that leads them to take what is the hardest and the most essential step in becoming good writers. In George Orwell's essay "Why I write", Orwell offers four essential motives for writing; most important of which is the focus on establishing a drive towards sheer egoism, which he defines as "[d]esire to seem clever, to be talked about, to be remembered after death, [...], etc.etc" (65). To write is to claim attention, to ask readers to put down what they're doing, to interact, however briefly, with the readers' point of view. Egoism can arouse an author's enthusiasm of writing and produce fascinating literature.

Since the practical reason to write is to express oneself, sheer egoism is significant in writing.

Writing is a venue where one can express ideas and not have them bottled up inside; some people even write purely for personal pleasure or release. Orwell states that "after the age of about thirty [...], [human] almost abandon the sense of being individuals at all". However, there is also a minority of people who do not abandon; instead of abandoning, "[they] are determined to live their own lives to the end, and writers belong in this class" (65). According to Orwell, writers are ones who are not necessarily conformed by others and they can freely express themselves, at least when they are writing. Similarly, in Joan Didion's article "Why I Write", Didion assumes that "[she] write entirely to find out what [she is] thinking, what [she is] looking at, what [she] see[s] and what it means" (181). She writes not...