This is a review and examination of Orwell's Homage to Catalonia. It concerns the Spanish Civil war, specifically from the side of the POUM.

Essay by QuigyUniversity, Bachelor'sA+, December 2003

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The depiction of the Spanish Civil War by George Orwell in his Homage to Catalonia is remarkable; an extremely well written novel. Orwell, an Englishman by way of India, joined the Workers' Party of Marxist Unity (POUM) to fight against Fascism, and if asked why he was fighting, would have said for "common decency". Orwell went to Spain with the intention of doing some writing for various newspapers and journals, but quickly joined a section of the militia under the control of the POUM. Homage to Catalonia was originally written for the Left Book Club, yet the book is a great depiction of the political and the physical aspects of war, and the Spanish in general. Although the members of the Left Book Club would have had considerable knowledge of the circumstances in Spain, the average reader is ignorant of the conditions of war and the Spanish, thus this first hand account of the Spanish Civil War is extremely enlightening to the populace at large.

Orwell begins by conveying his first impressions of the Spanish and trench warfare. Orwell thoroughly describes his tribulations at the front line, yet amusingly is much more concerned with finding firewood than with the enemy. The reader would think that the Spanish were inept at doing most things, something which Orwell comically attributes to saving his life at times and in fact, this book is quite funny in places as Orwell makes light of the glaring inadequacies of the Spanish at the most perilous times. Orwell compared his time at the front to that of a mock opera, yet he found his time at the front line to be one of the most meaningful experiences of his life. Orwell's beautiful prose and the thoroughness of this account made Homage to Catalonia a joy to...