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George Orwell Why I Write Summary

George Orwell was a renowned writer in the early 1900s. His work mainly focused on political and social commentary, as seen in his most famous works Animal Farm and Nineteen Eighty-Four. In his essay Why I Write, Orwell delves into the psychology behind his writing. He explains that he first started writing for practical reasons, such as to make money or gain fame.

However, he soon realized that there was more to it than that. For him, writing was a way to express his thoughts and feelings about the world around him. It was also a way to connect with other people who shared his views.

Orwell goes on to say that writing is a form of therapy for him. It helps him deal with the problems and stresses of everyday life. He finds that it allows him to step back and see the world from a different perspective. In many ways, writing is like a form of meditation for Orwell. It helps him to clear his mind and focus on what is important.

Overall, Why I Write is a fascinating look into the mind of one of the most influential writers of the last century. Orwell’s insights into his own psychology are both enlightening and relatable. This essay is essential reading for anyone interested in better understanding why we write.

In “Why I Write,” both George Orwell and Joan Didion highlight how writing has led them to face their personal failures. They continue by trying to explain how each author hoped to explore the more creative aspects of writing but learned that they were only average, not great writers. The point of the essay is to show the reader different reasons behind why people write and help teach them that in order for a piece to be truly moving, it must come from a place of deep reflection.

Orwell’s piece starts with lightheartedness. He claims that every writer has certain motives for writing, whether it be “sheer egoism,” “aesthetic enthusiasm,” “historical impulse,” or “political purposes” (Orwell). However, he goes on to say that there are two more reasons that hold more weight and sincerity: “sheer utility” and “aesthetic pleasure.”

The first, “sheer utility,” seems straightforward enough—we write to communicate and record our thoughts for others, to share information and stories. The second motive, however, is where things start to get interesting. Orwell defines “aesthetic pleasure” as the enjoyment we get from reading a well-crafted piece of writing, “the feeling of having one’s perceptions clarified,

one’s judgments enlightened” (Orwell). In other words, good writing is its own reward.

But why does Orwell say that these are the two most important reasons for writing?

For Orwell, the answer lies in his own struggles as a writer.

He admits that he has never been a “natural” writer—someone who can sit down and produce fluent, polished prose without any effort. Instead, he says, his style has always been “perverse” and “unconventional” (Orwell). He has had to work hard to find his voice, and even now he still has to struggle to get his ideas down on paper.

This is where the sincerity comes in. Orwell says that because he has had to work so hard at writing, he has come to value it more than anything else. For him, the act of writing is not simply a means to an end (communicating his thoughts) but an end in itself. He takes pleasure in the act of crafting a sentence, in finding just the right word or phrase to convey his meaning.

In other words, Orwell has learned to appreciate the aesthetic pleasure that can be found in good writing.

And this is why he believes that these two motives—utility and aesthetic pleasure—are the most important reasons for writing.

In his essay, “Why I Write,” George Orwell uses the rhetorical strategy of explanation to communicate his message to young aspiring writers in America. He begins by introducing a statement about his childhood and what he wanted to be when he grew up. Depressed and alone during his teenage years, Orwell often wrote somber pieces of literature that reflected upon how unhappy he was with his life at the time.

In his essay, Orwell reflects on four main reasons why he continues to write despite the challenges he faces as a writer.

The first reason Orwell provides is that writing allows him to document and remember certain events or people that have impacted his life significantly. For example, when Orwell was fighting in the Spanish Civil War, he witnessed many of his friends die. In order to keep their memories alive, he wrote about them in one of his most famous novels, Homage to Catalonia.

Orwell also believes that by writing, he is able to better understand the world and people around him. He often uses literature as a way to process his feelings and make sense of confusing situations. For instance, after spending time in a French police station and seeing the way the officers interacted with prisoners, Orwell was so disturbed that he wrote Down and Out in Paris and London as a way to try and wrap his head around what he had seen.

Orwell also believes that writing is a form of political engagement. He uses his work to discuss his views on controversial topics such as colonialism, capitalism, and socialism. For example, in his essay “Shooting an Elephant,” Orwell Critiques British imperialism by telling the story of a time when he was forced to kill an elephant against his will.

Lastly, Orwell claims that writing is a form of entertainment. Although it can be challenging at times, he ultimately enjoys the creative outlet that it provides. He often turns to writing when he is feeling bored or wants to escape from the hustle and bustle of everyday life.

In conclusion, Orwell provides a detailed explanation of why he continues to write despite the difficulties he faces. He discusses how writing allows him to remember important events, understand the world around him, engage in political discourse, and entertain himself. Ultimately, these reasons show that writing is an essential part of who Orwell is as a person.

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