[[caption-width-right:300: George Orwell reporting for the Ministry of Tru... I mean Creator/TheBBC.]]

->''"If Saint Thomas More was the first Englishman, as one historian called him, then Orwell was perhaps the last."''
-->-- '''Paul Potts'''

Real name Eric Blair, George Orwell (June 25, 1903 -- January 21, 1950) was one of the most influential authors in the English language.

A democratic socialist all his life, but his views changed somewhat over time and his dislike of Soviet communism was ''very'' clear. Orwell, a journalist, participated in the UsefulNotes/SpanishCivilWar on the side of the Republicans, serving in the party militia of the P.O.U.M. or Party of Marxist Worker's Unification[[note]]Note that he didn't care for the POUM's ideology very much - he only ended up in its militia because he had come to Spain via the British ILP, which was affiliated with the POUM. And also because the POUM was '''against''' the Soviets, which Orwell already mistrusted.[[/note]], and even got ''shot in the throat'' ([[OnlyAFleshWound an experience that he would go on to describe as "interesting"]]). [[DeadpanSnarker His works]] [[CrapsackWorld tend to be]] [[BlackAndGrayMorality considered cynical.]] The term "Orwellian" is named after his famous works of [[CrapsackWorld dystopian]] fiction, particularly ''Literature/NineteenEightyFour''.[[note]]Which is more than a tad ironic, given that this went against what Orwell himself believed.[[/note]]

!! His most famous works are:

* ''Literature/AnimalFarm''
* ''Literature/BurmeseDays''
* ''Literature/NineteenEightyFour''
* ''Literature/HomageToCatalonia'' - an autobiographical account of his experiences in Spain.
* ''Literature/DownAndOutInParisAndLondon'' - account of his experiences of poverty in the titular cities.
* ''[[http://orwell.ru/library/essays/politics/english/e_polit Politics and the English Language]]'' - A hugely influential non-fiction essay.

!! Orwell [[TropeMaker created]] the following tropes:

* {{Newspeak}} (he took inspiration from several real-life sources)
* WeWillUseWikiWordsInTheFuture

!! Several additional tropes were inspired by {{Newspeak}}, including:

* AirstripOne
* LanguageEqualsThought
* PeoplesRepublicOfTyranny

!! George Orwell is [[TropeNamer the source of several trope names]]:

* TwoPlusTortureMakesFive
* AllIssuesArePoliticalIssues
* BigBrotherIsWatching
* UsefulNotes/ColdWar: It is debated whether he actually coined it, but he was certainly one of the first to use the phrase, in his essay "You and the Atomic Bomb".
* FourLegsGoodTwoLegsBetter
* OrwellianEditor
* OrwellianRetcon
* {{Room 101}}
* {{Thoughtcrime}}
* {{Unperson}}
* WrittenByTheWinners

He is also the current mascot for the "SugarWiki/HaveANiceCupOfTeaAndSitDown" page. He considered tea to be SeriousBusiness. SpotOfTea, indeed.
!! Orwell's work provides examples of:

* BadassBiker: Orwell acquired a four-cylinder motorcycle of American manufacture just after his arrival in Burma[[note]]A highly expensive possession for a relatively poor police officer, as most 4-cylinders in the 1920s were more expensive than a Model T Ford[[/note]] and [[http://www.orwelltoday.com/orwellmotorbike.shtml went through several funny adventures while riding it in the Burman countryside]]. While in Britain he owned a 500cc Rudge-Whitworth motorcycle, which he rode in all weather on the worst roads and abandoned on the Isle of Jura shortly before death. [[http://www.orwelltoday.com/orwellmotorbike.shtml The bike had been rediscovered in 2006]].
* BeigeProse: Wrote like this himself and advised others to do the same in his essay "Politics and the English Language." Advice included "never use a long word where a short one will do" and "if it is possible to cut a word out, always cut it out." Later writers such as Julian Barnes and Will Self have criticized Orwell, or rather his supporters, for repeating the same advice. They point out that most of the greatest writers of English, such as Shakespeare, Dickens or Lewis Carroll, leave alone James Joyce (who Orwell liked), tended to use all the resources of the English language.
** Orwell's advice about prose writing was based on his conviction that most writers, including himself, ''weren't good enough'' at convincingly using all the resources of the English language, and he thought that if writers who weren't geniuses were going to write at all, then they should aim to write as clearly as possible, and avoid pretentious Latinate words such as "fallacious" when they already had the perfectly useful word "wrong". He wasn't in favour of purging all foreign words from the English language; in the above-mentioned essay, he uses Latinate words such as "consequently", "incompetence", "formation" and "impartiality". What he disliked was the practice of not using a simple and clear but boring word, when you could use a vague and unclear but glamorously foreign neologism.
* BlackAndGreyMorality: This is not to say there are no genuinely good people in his stories. However, all his stories seem to go this direction between the protagonists and antagonists.
* BoardingSchoolOfHorrors: Orwell claimed that he attended one, noting how the school structure clamped down on individuality. Later writers stated that Orwell's ideas of totalitarianism was inspired by his time in Eton. His biographer Bernard Crick however stated that Orwell's portrayal of his boarding school life was considerably exaggerated and indeed, Orwell himself often ratted out suspected and actual homosexuals to the prefects, he remained a lifelong homophobe.
* CrapsackWorld: Orwell paints a very depressing view of mankind, colonialism, dictatorships, bureaucratism and corruption of revolutions.
* DatedHistory: [[http://www.albavolunteer.org/2013/09/differing-views-on-orwell-at-len-crome-memorial-event/ Historian Paul Preston, a specialist]] on the UsefulNotes/SpanishCivilWar sees his ''Homage to Catalonia'' as this. He notes that Orwell's highly polemical and personal involvement with POUM gave people the idea that the Civil War was mainly about intra-left squabbles, and likewise greatly elevated and romanticized the POUM and the anarchists while not giving proper credit to the Communists. Preston notes that the anarchist collective Orwell celebrated was militarily and politically unworkable, and completely against the overall strategic goal of the Republicans (which the Communists under Comintern and Stalin supported) to defeat Franco, and Orwell greatly exagerrated it for his own partisan grudges against fellow leftists.
* DeadArtistsAreBetter: Orwell died after finishing ''1984''. He would become more famous after death and especially as the year 1984 approached.
* DeterminedDefeatist: This man was convinced that Stalinism was both infinitely seductive and infinitely mendacious and so ''the whole world'' would fall to totalitarianism within his lifetime or shortly after. He also simultaneously believed that mankind is ''not'' completely evil and that we should fight for human rights and social justice anyway.
* DownerEnding: Pretty much all his stories have these. ''[[Literature/NineteenEightyFour 1984]]'' is a truly disheartening example.
** Ironically enough, as editor of short stories sent into the ''Tribune'', he openly complained about the tendency in (then) modern writing towards the DownerEnding and the belief that TrueArtIsAngsty.
-->'''Orwell:''' Many readers have told me, in writing and by word of mouth, how tired they are of the kind of story that begins "Marjorie's husband was to be hanged on Tuesday, and the children were starving", or "For seven years no ray of sunlight had penetrated the dusty room where William Grocock, a retired insurance agent, lay dying of cancer"; but I don't fancy they are more tired of them than I am myself, who have to work my way through round about twenty such stories every week.
* {{Eponym}}: ''Orwellian'' has become a byword for dystopian futures and totalitarian societies, and use of propaganda.
* EscapedAnimalRampage: He wrote a short story, ''Shooting An Elephant'' about a time when an elephant escaped from a circus and rampaged through a town in Burma. They called him out to kill it. By the time he found it, its rampage was over and it was eating quietly in a field. However, the whole town was gathered round, so he shot it. It didn't die, so he shot it again. Still didn't die. Third shot did it. Well, it took another half hour to die, but it collapsed.
-->'''Orwell:''' I often wondered whether any of the others grasped that I had done it solely to avoid looking a fool.
** However, it turns out according to his biographer Bernard Crick that this was largely made up by Orwell. According to a Burmese local, there was no escaped animal rampage and Orwell shot that Elephant either for sport or by accident. There was an official government complaint since the Elephant was regarded as valuable government property and Orwell was promptly ReassignedToAntarctica with Colonel Welbourne calling him a "[[TheReasonYouSuckSpeech a disgrace to Eton College]]." His biographer, noted that the essay first appeared in an anthology that encouraged writers to blend fact-and-fiction, though he noted that Orwell never tried to correct the record.[[note]]Although Orwell never actually claimed that he was the protagonist of the story either.[[/note]]
* TheGeneralissimo: Orwell wrote a lot about totalitarianism and the dangers of such regimes. It's a recurring theme in his entire work.
* GeniusCripple[=/=]HandicappedBadass: He suffered from chest infections all his life, but this never stopped him from writing or serving in the British Imperial Police, the Spanish Civil War (during which he survived a shot in the neck), and the English Home Guard. It led to his early death, however.
* HitlerAteSugar: This trope was pointed out as early as 1944, when George Orwell wrote in ''What is Fascism?'' that ''"It will be seen that, as used, the word 'Fascism' is almost entirely meaningless. In conversation, it is used even more wildly than in print."'' Orwell names a LongList of often opposing groups accused of fascism. It would seem that, according to Orwell, almost any group at the time had been accused of fascism by linking it to some policy in Fascist Italy or National Socialist Germany. So even at a time when fascism was still a going concern, it already had devolved into being used this way.
* TheHorseshoeEffect: A recurrent theme in both ''Animal Farm'' and ''Nineteen Eighty-Four''. Given the increased criticism of the accuracy of his writing, and how Orwell himself took his partisan grudges against leftists to the extent of creating a list of government subversives for the government, one might see his own work as self-demonstrating this effect.
* HumansAreBastards: Except in the case of ''Animal Farm'', where the animals too can be bastards.
* LiesDamnedLiesAndStatistics: Orwell was very concerned over the way language could be manipulated by people to justify their means. This was a constant theme in his entire work.
* NightmareFuelStationAttendant: His books are pretty bleak and frightening. Especially ''Literature/NineteenEightyFour''.
* NotSoAboveItAll:
** In 1949, shortly before his death, Orwell [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Orwell%27s_list#Reactions_to_the_IRD_List prepared a list]] of writers he suspected of being communist and leftist "fellow travelers" to the British government. He was under the impression that many of the people on the list were Stalinists, yet the list itself includes tiny remarks next to names noting some as "Jewish", others such as Paul Robeson as "anti-white"[[note]]Robeson in fact campaigned for Welsh miners and for most of the 30s and 40s, was a fellow traveler rather than an official member of CPUSA. The "anti-white" bit apparently comes from his [[UnfortunateImplications support of African-American civil rights]].[[/note]] and also naming Creator/CharlieChaplin. In the end, Orwell too loved Big Brother.
** His main thesis was this trope, arguing that ''everybody'', to some extent or other, used totalitarian tactics and "logic" when defending their viewpoints, meaning that [[ParanoiaFuel even the UK or US could fall to dictatorship one day, and nobody would care]].
* OnlySaneMan: Postured himself as the only leftist in all the world to see Stalin for who he truly was. [[UnreliableNarrator This is probably an exaggeration.]]
* RealLifeWritesThePlot: All of Orwell's books were inspired by the politics of his lifetime and his fears how society would develop further.
** ''Homage to Catalonia'' was about his firsthand experiences during the UsefulNotes/SpanishCivilWar, ''Animal Farm'' was a satire on the [[UsefulNotes/RedOctober Russian Revolution]], and ''1984'' summarized all his fears about Nazism, Fascism and Communism. Of course Orwell could exaggerate "real life" as in the "Shooting the Elephant" essay.
** Much of ''1984'' was inspired by his time working as a propagandist for the BBC, and the particular focus on language directed to propaganda use was informed by his time working in the bureau.
** ''Literature/AnimalFarm'' was inspired by Russian communism and the rise of the Stalin era. Its also based on the vainness of the upper class and the real harsh treatment of the working class.
** ''Shooting An Elephant'', as already regarded above, was not a faithful rendition of a rogue elephant shooting, but an allegory of the iron fisted politics of [[{{UsefulNotes/TheBritishRaj}} the British Empire]] during the Indian independence movement. Key is the dominant theme, the colonial policeman killing the harmless great beast to save face. This was just the motivation given by Brigadier-General Dyer after the [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jallianwala_Bagh_massacre Amritsar Massacre of 1919]]: ''"I considered it my duty to fire on them and to fire well. I think it quite possible that I could have dispersed the crowd without firing but they would have come back again and laughed, and I would have made, what I consider, a fool of myself. (...) They had come out to fight if they defied me, and I was going to give them a lesson."'' [[FridgeBrilliance The narrator in Orwell's story uses almost the same phrases]].
* ScrewThisImOuttaHere: He fled from Republican Spain after the Communists began to suppress opposition.
** Getting shot in the throat was a definite contributing factor. He wouldn't have been much use in the trenches after such an injury, having almost no voice.
* SlidingScaleOfIdealismVsCynicism: Just about all of his works are heavily cynical.
* SlidingScaleOfLibertarianismAndAuthoritarianism: Orwell himself was firmly down the libertarian end of the scale. At one point in life he apparently considered himself an [[UsefulNotes/{{Anarchism}} anarchist]], and remained a committed [[UsefulNotes/{{Socialism}} libertarian socialist]] for the entirety of his life. His ''settings'', on the other hand, are often some of the most nightmarish authoritarian dystopias ever imagined.
* UnreliableNarrator: [[http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2012/08/19/orwell-s-big-fat-lies-his-diaries-reveal-problems-with-the-truth.html Some of Orwell's essays and writings]] have been regarded as this by later writers. Most notably, Orwell's criticism of his childhood at boarding school has been regarded as unfairly mean and disrespectful to the school headmaster. Julian Barnes has also pointed out that Orwell made several errors in the "Shooting an Elephant" essay, where he sweetened his own role in [[http://www.nybooks.com/articles/archives/2009/mar/12/such-such-was-eric-blair/ the stated incident]]. It is also a fact that the non-Stalinist left existed independently of him, in contrast to what is said at OnlySaneMan above.