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George Orwell - Inside The Whale

George Orwell - Inside The Whale

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Published in 1940 as part of a collection of essays titled "Inside the Whale and Other Essays." In this particular essay, Orwell reflects on the role of literature and writers during the 1930s and explores the concept of political commitment in writing.

Orwell uses the metaphor of a whale to symbolize the vastness and oppressive nature of the totalitarian state. He discusses how writers and artists responded to the political turmoil of the time, focusing on the rise of totalitarianism and the Spanish Civil War. Orwell argues that many writers, particularly those from the leftist intelligentsia, became detached from reality and retreated into their own bubbles of aestheticism and escapism.

The essay delves into the work of several authors, including Henry Miller, T. S. Eliot, and Salvador Dalí, examining their approaches to literature and their responses to the prevailing political climate. Orwell criticizes the tendency of some writers to isolate themselves from political engagement and suggests that literature should reflect the social and political realities of the time.

"Inside the Whale" is an insightful and thought-provoking essay that explores the relationship between literature, politics, and society. It showcases Orwell's keen observations and his belief in the importance of writers being actively engaged in the world around them.
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