domingo diciembre 12th 2010, 23:53
Filed under: Discurso Político

George Orwell’s political views changed over time, but there is not doubt that the was a man of the left throughout his life as a writer. He was a opponent of imperalism, and in favour to socialism. He fought for the Republicans in the Spanish Civil war and worked for several left wing papers. He became anti-Communist and specially anti-Stalin, as I already explained in the political symbolism Orwell used when he wrote Animal Farm (first paper).

This writer used his books also as a medium through he could express his views; whether they concern social injustices, current issues, or in the case we are studying, politics. Orwell unmasked some façades people used to have with the use of rhetorical strategies in most of his books, that later we will pass to explain, in order to show his views and beliefs to the reader. Also through the essays he wrote we was able to express his opinions, his politicals beliefs, most of the times using satiry. A piece of literature that show these skills, is the one which I have already studied and analised in the first paper, Animal Farm, using satire and a lot of political symbols.

Not only satire is used to manipulate the view and beliefs of the reader, he also uses a very accurate language and the subversion of the meaning of words by showing how these powerful words are good for their own benefit.

Politics in Orwell’s works
domingo diciembre 12th 2010, 23:48
Filed under: Discurso Político

To show how Orwell used his books and papers to express his feelings about politics in that era, I am going to explan and analyse the political characteristics in writings such as Nineteen Eight-four, Shooting an Elephant and Politics and the English Language.

– Nineteen Eighty-four
domingo diciembre 12th 2010, 23:45
Filed under: Discurso Político

George Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-four is a novel which contains many political messages to the world, it is an examination of the future under the rule of a totalitarian society. It is one of the greatest stories of an anti-utopian society ever. Orwell represents humanity as divided into two sides, the dominant and the submissive; with the conflicts between them. Human are shown as those who are willing to hurs other for their owngain, even it sounds horrible and insane, that is life, that is the real truth. Another idea the author defends is that a war is naturally bad, pointing out the disadvantages it has and the poor life style it can bring.

Orwell presents a society which is associated with the English socialism which develops collectively. We can differenciate two classes: the members of the governing party, whose highest figure is the Big Brother; and the proletariat, what means the eighty five per cent of the population. Finally we can find the slaves who have been captured in wars. They are not considered part of the society.

This novel contains many political messages to the world. The author thought he had to be the voice of consciess of our society and express the reader all he thought about politics, and overall about the world, trying to express the truth as he saw it. The story was written in a crucial time in history, just after the Second World War and at the beginning of the Cold War, so it could be and influence in the content of the book. And that is why George Orwell focused three main points along the story: the dangers of war and how bad it was, class differences (dominant-submissive) and dictatorship (totalitarism). He wanted to show how certain political systems could affect our society by working for only selected ones interests and suppresing individual freedom. Like that he could warn to people what might happen in a future if certain politics come to the power.

Nineteen Eighty – Four , as we can see, was not only written as an entertain piece of literature or as a probable future and how it could be like; it was written as a warning of what could happen as a result of communism and totalitarianism. Even it was not a total vision by everybody, it was considered a possibility by many people. This novel has been a profoundly meaningful work and it continues to be one of the world’s most widely read and quoted one into the twenty-first century.

– Shooting an elephant
domingo diciembre 12th 2010, 22:38
Filed under: Discurso Político

Shooting an Elephant is an essay written by George Orwell. It is the conflict between what the author believes as a humban being, and what he believes as an imperial police officer; as he is present at the beginni

ng of the story. To do that, the author uses imagery and anecdotes to exemplify his feelings and describe the circumstances, as also the use of metaphors.

As we already explained in the first paper with Animal Farm, Orwell usually made use of political symbolism, in order to represent a political standpoint. The following examples of symbols are used in Shooting an Elephant:

    • The mad elephant: symbol of the British Empire. As it is powerful, the Empire too. When the elephant assaults the bazaar, it symbolizes the British Empire attacking the economy of Burma. When he kills the coolie, he represents the British oppressing the natives.

    • Then we have the dead coolie: it is a symbol of the oppressed Burmese.

    • Mud: it is the symbol of the squalor in which the Burmese must live under British rule.

Another characteristic, that can also be included in the symbolism, used by Orwell is the use of metaphors. He does it to represent his feelings about imperialism, the internal conflicht between his personal morals, and his duty to his country.

There is a clue point along the story and it is the final decision the narrator has to take: to kill the elephant or not. He fins himself in a difficult situation involving an elephant. The fate of the animal lies in Orwell’s hands. Only he can make the final decision, so he kills the elephant which lays dying in a pool of blood. Orwell wins the sympathy of readers by expressing the pressure he feels as an Anglo-Indian in Burma, showing compassion for the dying animal.

Shooting an Elephant is an important text in modern British literature and has generated more criticism than any other comparable short piece. Orwell expressed here his conflicting views regarding imperialism, by proving his power and dignity to the natives presenting imperialism metaphorically through the use of animals (as he already did in Animal Farm). He used the elephant as a symbol of imperialism representing power as an untamed animal that has control over the village.

This story is one of the most widely studied items of the modern Engligh language.

– Politics and the English Language
domingo diciembre 12th 2010, 22:33
Filed under: Discurso Político

Last story I am talking about is the essay called Politics and the English Language. Orwell criticizes in this essay the contemporary English prose for its inaccurate use of language. The main consequence it has brought is that language has become a result of foolish thoughts and vagueness. There is a lack of imagery and the figurative language does not give any connection to images or thoughts.

It is an essay that presents a theory of the use of language which is supported by Orwell’s work and also by the historical use of language, with the aim of manipulating an audience. The author used languge as a tool to combat the spreading of totalitarian ideas around the world; to manipulate his readers agains Totalitarian governments.

After illustrating the decay of language at this time (40s) throughout the essay he offers as an antidote six elementary rules. They are:

1. Never use a metaphor, simile or other figure of speech that you are used to

seeing in print. He talks about not using cliches.

2. Never use a long word where a short one will do.

3. If it is possible to cut a word out, always cut it out.

4. Never use the passive where you can use the active. You either know what means or you do not.

  1. Never use a foreign phrase, a scientific word or a jargon word if you can think of an everyday English equivalent.

6. Break any of these rules sooner than say anything outright barbarous. That’s ironic in the way that Orwell has written this essay because he claims that people couch barbarous things such as war in political language.

So we have observed here how bad is the English Language, which drives also to the decay of the civilisation. This failure in the language has its cause in politics and economics.

domingo diciembre 12th 2010, 22:28
Filed under: Discurso Político

We can see thanks to all the examples given that there is a clear position of the author about politics. In all of them he talks about it, or things related to that.

George Orwell is one of the writers who told us more about politics, joining it to an excellent artistic style.

There is a clear point of view against totalitarianism and British Imperalism in his works. But also other highlighted topics are the social justice, the equal richness and the description of poverty with economics sufferings, specially in the English thirties. These characteristics are a clue to know he is a socialist.

domingo diciembre 12th 2010, 22:27
Filed under: Discurso Político

LÁZARO LAFUENTE, Luis Alberto. Pensamiento y obra de George Orwell: estudio de Animal Farm como síntesis de toda su producción literaria. Universidad de Valladolid, 1987.

domingo diciembre 12th 2010, 22:23
Filed under: Shakespeare


As we read William Shakespeare‘s comedies, they provide us enterteinment, traditions, prejudices, customs, thoughts, as well as the presentation of women on them demonstrates Shakespeare’s feelings about women and their roles in society. In the Medieval and Renaissance Ages women were considered the weaker sex, usually not educated, not only phisically talking, but also of mind; and they were not permitted to be on stage.

Shakepeare’s comedies show us how there was a clear bordeline between men and women. While men were given power and strengh, women had to be submissive and obedient to those men who appear in the play, following their orders and desires.

In this essay I am trying to analyse the female characters in plays such as As you like it, Taming of the Shrew, The Mercahnt of Venice, Much Ado About Nothing… Most of time contrasting them to men. As women were thought to be submissive, well married, obedient to her father or husband and procreating children, withoug receiving any education; men , in contrast, were the well- educated, being able to study arts and scienc, always being elegant.

Certain kinds of woman characters come to the surface through reading Shakespeare’s comedies. Those different types show us the characteristics women had in this era, as we have showed in the paragraph before within the status they used to have, living under men submission.

Different women in Shakespeare’s comedies
domingo diciembre 12th 2010, 22:19
Filed under: Shakespeare

In this point, I am analysing the different women Shakespeare described us in his comedies. One of the main characteristics that we can see is the use of the disguise to accomplish endings. It usually drives most of the action and plays a major roles in the resolution of the play. This use was important in the most ancient used elements in theatre and it is found as means of misunderstanding, intrigue and confusion, but also it is an instrumental in making the plot comical, interesting and fascinating, resulting in humorous cases and misunderstandings that even leads to love. What we find noticeable here is the disguised women, obligued to adopt a masculine role to different issues, such as being more active role in the play’s narrative. As “men” these true women have more freedom, highlighting the lack of social liberty for women in Shakespeare’s time.

Even disguise was seen as provocative and confusing, it became a mechanism that allowed the liberation or the social emancipation for those people who adopted it. The effectiveness of this disguise also implies that women have to adopt an appropriate discourse to their new love, showing a masculine register, so it helped women to be socially equal to men.

– Women disguised as men
domingo diciembre 12th 2010, 22:07
Filed under: Shakespeare

We can find women disguised as men in Shakespeare’s plays such as As You Like it, The Merchant of Venice, Twelth Night and Midsummer Night’s Dream. I am explaining some of those examples.

In the first of them, As You Like It, Rosalind is one of the most powerful of all the women characters we can find in any of Shakepeare’s comedies. The reason why she is able to express herself is that she remains disguised as a male for a long part of the plot, what allows her to experience her emotions and thoughts outside of the more constrained world.

Much of the fun in these comedies come because some sexual tensions between the characters and their confusions as disguised women. Rosalind is Celia’s cousin and daughter of Duke Senior, who has been banished and has gone to the Forest of Arden. Rosalind lives with Celia until the Duke Frederick also banishes her. That’s why she adops a male disguise what gives her a kind of freedom she had never felt before. She adopts the name “Ganymede”, and she is decided to go the garden of Arden, keeping her male disguise. She enters there in search of freedom but we have to remember that the costume she is wearing gives her freedom already. In that way she escapes from the limitations women had in the Renaissance society. Wearing that costume Rosalind learns a lot about herself, but also about Orlando, and with him, about love. Orlando is in love with Rosalind, and he meets her disguised as Ganymede in the forest, but he does not recognize her, so Oralando treats him as a male and tells him about his love Rosalind. The funny part here it is when Ganymede makes Orlando to pretend that she is Rosalind in order he knows many methods to attract Rosalind. Sometimes in that scene, she behaves as a woman, and when she pretends to be Ganymede, she tries to teach him the proper way to treat her, eduacting his heart.

The conventions of sex confusion are related in the play through the main female characters. Decisions as the chose of costumes by Celia or Rosalind (this last one chose the male costume breaking the constraints of her gender, while Celia is the femenine figure and does not want to enter in this game) demonstrate that gender roles are able to be manipulated and understanding through their use.

As second example we can point out the character Viola in the Twelfth Night , who dress up as a man, as she were her brother Sebastian, when her ship sinks. Like that she tries to approach to Orsino, the boy who she is in love with, to get closer to him and try to win his love. The comical part in the plot comes when Orsino tells Viola, desguised as Sebastian, to approach his love Olivia in his benefit, but what he did not know is that the lady will fall in love with Viola thinking that she is a true man. But it was not lost, as the true Sebastian appeared just when they were close to marriage. In this play, clothes do not only reveal or disguise her identity, they also constitute identity,when Shakespeare decides to leave her in men’s clothes and hence to disrupt with a delicate comic touch the return to the normal. What were the conventional rules give way to a different view of perceiving the world.

This disguise was a popular device in Shakespeare’s comedies where a heroine dressed up as a man has to make her way in a world of men, as happens with Viola.

– Disguise and deceit are also noticeable in The Merchant of Venice. In this case we have the character called Portia, who follows the view of women in the Renaissance, as inferior to men. But this concept has been too exagerated through history, and in this play we can see Portia a character with originaliry, sharpness and smartness whose vocabulary reveals a high level of education. So Portia does not fit well into the conception we have explained as a submissive woman. But despite all these things, women continued being inferior when they had for example to choose a husband. With this educated woman, using a rich vocabulary, and metaphors too, we can say that Shakespeare had no doubt about the equality of the intelligence of men and women. That is why Portia can be seen as a superior woman than a wide range of noble men.

Portia is disguised as a men representing a law doctor who saves Antonio from being killed. She has a power in court which would not be possible being as a real woman, but yes being dressed up as a man.