YMMV / Homage to Catalonia

  • Minion with an F in Evil: Near the end of the book, Orwell is in a hotel room with his wife when Nationalist soldiers enter the room and start searching through his belongings. His notes are saved because the men are too polite to search a woman. They also cut the shake-down short to take a nap.
    • Orwell comments that the Nationalists weren't all that great at Fascism because the Spanish people were too friendly and easygoing to do it convincingly. He then ominously comments that the results might be very different if the ideology was tried elsewhere.
  • Some Anvils Need to Be Dropped: Like most of Orwell's work, Homage is not the least bit subtle about what he thinks; as a result, the book received mixed reviews when it was published and sold poorly. In particular, his critique of the press often reads like it was written yesterday and his depiction of Stalinism was something that most of his contemporaries had no desire to hear. The events depicted in this book reinforced the anti-totalitarian views that would come to be Orwell's central focus for the remainder of his life (and also his commitments to democratic socialism). For anarchists the "Need to Be Dropped" trope is doubly in effect, since the book is also regarded as a definitive account of a functional example of anarchy. The book's reputation began to build in The '50s when it was republished with an introduction by Lionel Trilling, and these days it's common to hear this cited in the same breath as Animal Farm and Nineteen Eighty-Four as Orwell's three greatest works.
  • Write Who You Know: Orwell's commander in the POUM, Georges Kopp, possibly inspired the character of O'Brien in Nineteen Eighty-Four; see this biography excerpt.

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