The latest book I’ve read is the painted bird, a novel written by Jerzy Kosinksi (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jerzy_Kosinski). About a six year old, black haired and black eyed boy lived with an old woman called Marta. The boy was abandoned by his parents, but he was told that his parents were killed by a bomb. Because it’s the second world war and he looks like a jewish boy, his parents wanted him to go to the east. When he came there Marta took care of him. Martha thought that he had demonic forces because of his jewish look so the boy doesn’t felt very welcome. After a fire and the death of Marta he lived by Olga, a weird medicine woman. After he is kidnapped by a man and thrown in the river, which he survived, he is looking for an accommodation again. He met the strangest people you’ve ever seen. He only found rest at the church near the village and he decided to become a Christian and started praying very much. On the Christian feast Corpus Christi the boy is selected to be an altar boy, but he dropped the Holy Book and the villagers threw him in a manure pit. But the boy managed to climb out of the pit and ran away from the village. One strange thing happened during the disaster on Corpus Christi: the boy lost his ability to speak. He is able to go in the Red Army, and when he gets this chanche he gets it with both hands. He made new friend there, he got a lot of respect for the communists and began to believe in this philosophy. And than, something magic happened.
In the book there’s one of the most beautiful metaphors I’ve ever read. It’s about a bird which is killed by his own species, only because he looks different. The birds don’t look trough the varied colors to see the painted bird’s inner, which is the same as the other birds. Exactly the same happened to the main character because he looks like a Gypsy or a Jew, but isn’t a Gypsy nor a Jew.
Sice I was ten years old, my intrest for history started. Especially the second world war, which I think is very interesting. So if you’ve, just like me, interest for the second world war, communism and discrimination you should have to give it a try. Because we’re now in the communism spheres, maybe big brother is watching you, so read the book!
We had to read 1984 and we had to write an essay.
My essay is about essay topic #5: How current events shaped the themes in the novel
First some information about George Orwell, the writer of ‘1984.
George Orwell was born in 1903, in India. In his childhood his teachers said that he was a hard student, they said that Orwell had disrespect for their authority.
In December 1936 he moved to Spain in the Spanish Civil War to fight against fascism.
In World War II he was a member of the Independent Labour. Orwell resisted at first against the rearmament of Britain in anticipation of war with Nazi Germany. Shortly after the outbreak of World War II he left that political party because of their extreme pacifism. As a Marxist patriot he hoped that the war would lead to a revolutionary movement among the British people.
His political opinions: Orwell was always on the political left. At the beginning of his political engagement he manifested himself as a revolutionary Marxist. From 1943, he changed his thinking. He began to defend the democratic socialism and distanced himself from the Soviet Russian totalitarianism.
In 1949 he gave to a friend, who worked for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, a list of 37 journalists and artists that he suspected that they had hidden Communist sympathies. He wanted to warn her. So she didn’t gave a function in the Ministry to them.
As you can see George Orwell was against a totalitarian state. This subject is also reflected in the book ‘1984’. The book is written in 1949, during the Cold War. The book is written very gloomy. Hitler’s try for total world domination just failed and now Stalin takes a shot. Orwell shows that the threats to freedom are real and that the democracy could be destroyed.
He also trying to show how a single individual goes down due to a system, and there is no way to prevent that from happening.
The theme of the book was topical: the regimes of Hitler and Mussolini had just ended. In the USSR Stalin was still in power. He wrote this book just before his death, in 1950. So he really wanted to warn us and he just wanted to say: “Do not let it get so far!”
There is some symbolism in the book:
– Winston: name of the main character, refers to Winston Churchill. Churchill saw the world in a democratic way to save Nazism.
this is Winston Churchill, for more information go to: http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/PRchurchill.htm
– The 3-year plans refer to a Big Brother aspect of Stalin’s regime: its five-year plans with the intent to expand the industry. For more information go to: http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/RUSfive.htm
– Emanuel Goldstein, the scapegoat in the book. Goldstein is a Jewish name and it refers to the hate against the Jews from the Nazis.
As you can see the historical context is of the utmost importance in this book.
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