The impact of the Spanish Civil War on George Orwell.

Essay by paussieUniversity, Bachelor'sB, May 2003

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Few would argue that experiencing the harsh realities that one is confronted with in wartime would change one's outlook on life, politics, the future and possibly, even the past. Previously insignificant events gradually come into focus as being of vital importance to our understanding of an issue and perspectives of all sorts on all issues are impacted, either leading to a change in perspective or a solidification of our current views. George Orwell's experience in the Spanish Civil War from 1936, unique as it was, was no different. Orwell's Spanish experience enabled considerable contact with those of varying political persuasions on the left, right and centre, thus Orwell's own political inclinations were slightly modified and disillusionment did arise with his experience with communism.

Another area of considerable change in Orwell's life in which he also experienced disillusionment was in the area of historical inquiry. As will be proven, this disillusionment was compacted by his own struggle with historical methodologies and ethics, thus we can see the reasons behind the voluminous nature of Orwell's writings that concern themselves with this.

In addition to this, Orwell had always been one prone to comment on injustice and other quirks of society he saw in society, and through the Spanish civil war, he was exposed to even more injustice. Orwell's limited exposure to the Great War of 1914- 1918, World War Two and other experiences in his worldly travels also had considerable impact on his life and those around him. However, as we shall see, there was an even greater and more significant change in Orwell that took place in the years immediately surrounding his Spanish experience.

As is evident in many of Orwell's literary works of the late 1930's and the 1940's, Orwell was quite disappointed in ever decreasing role that objectiveness was...