2. Animal Farm
3. Homage to Catalonia
4. The Road to Wigan Pier
5. Down and Out in London and Paris
Arguably the 20th-century's most famous novel, 1984 is a dystopian study of political tyranny, mind control, paranoia, and secret mass surveillance.
Set in Oceania, the ultimate totalitarian state, it describes a society tyrannized by a ruling party led by Big Brother. In the furtherance of eradicating all expressions of individuality, people's lives are constantly monitored. Telescreens are everywhere, helicopters hover around buildings, spying through windows, and the Thought Police are constantly on alert.
Despite the threat of severe punishment, Outer Party Member Winston Smith takes a break from his job rewriting history. At home, in the one corner of his apartment that is hidden from the telescreen, he sits down to write a diary.
The cultural impact of George Orwell's masterpiece continues to resonate to this day.
All animals are equal but some animals are more equal than others.
Revolution is in the air at Manor Farm after old Major, a prize boar, tells the other animals about his dream of freedom and teaches them to sing 'Beasts of England'. Mr Jones, the drunken farmer, is deposed and a committee of pigs takes over the running of the farm. The animals are taught to read and write, but the dream turns sour, the purges begin and those in charge come more and more to resemble their oppressors.
Orwell's allegory of the Soviet revolution remains as lucid and compelling as ever. In beautifully clear prose, he gives us a vivid gallery of characters and a fable that conveys the truth about how we are manipulated through language and the impossibility of finding heaven on earth.
Homage to Catalonia
Above all, there was a belief in the revolution and the future, a feeling of having suddenly emerged into an era of equality and freedom.
In late 1936, the idealistic young George Orwell set out for Spain to join the Republican Army in its battle against the fascists. There he encountered a country in chaos. From the heady promises of revolutionary Barcelona to the betrayals, logistical nightmares, and petty factional conflicts, Orwell describes the war in all its gruesome detail with
his characteristic flair for language.
A fascinating, deeply personal account of how a movement gave up its ideals in pursuit of a victory that never came, Homage to Catalonia is a remarkable chronicle of the Spanish Civil War.
The Road to Wigan Pier
We are living in a world in which nobody is free, in which hardly anybody is secure, in which it is almost impossible to be honest and to remain alive.
In 1936, at the behest of his publisher, George Orwell set out for Wigan to observe what life was really like in some of the most deprived areas of Britain's industrial heartlands. The result was a revealing and unflinching portrait of the working class of northern England.
Brilliantly written, strongly opinionated, and uniquely affecting, The Road to Wigan Pier provides insights into the poverty caused by the Great Depression, from the horrendous working conditions in the mines to the daily struggle of working people to provide enough food for the family. It is followed by a personal and often humorous consideration of the state of socialism in the country.
Part polemic, part social reportage, Orwell's classic work is a harrowing and intimate account of inequality filled with observations that remain relevant today.
Down and Out in London and Paris
The mass of the rich and the poor are differentiated by their incomes and nothing else, and the average millionaire is only the average dishwasher dressed in a new suit.
In 1928 the young George Orwell arrived in Paris, a city known as a thriving art scene and home to some of literature's most esteemed figures. It was not long before the money ran out, and Orwell, now destitute, was forced to take on the menial work of a dishwasher to survive.
Drawing on Orwell's own experiences, Down and Out in Paris and London lays bare the realities of life among the poorest members of society and reveals a hidden world of drudgery, squalor, and anxiety.
This insightful memoir brings home the evils of poverty and reminds us that before we
judge those less fortunate than ourselves we first should live as they do.