Exeter, Devon UK • Feb 27, 2024 • VOL XII

Exeter, Devon UK • [date-today] • VOL XII
Home Arts & Lit Male talent in the arts: Author spotlight

Male talent in the arts: Author spotlight

Gracie Moore, Arts and Lit Editor, puts the spotlight on George Orwell when celebrating men's contribution to the arts.
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Image: vfutscher, via Flickr

Undoubtedly, the literary field has been shaped by both male and female authors over the last few centuries, both of which should be recognised. However, with movements such as Movember and International Men’s Day on the 19th of November, it is important that we pay homage to male talent in a field that is typically dominated by women: the arts. 

Particularly, there have been numerous male authors that have broken onto the scene, creating literary masterpieces which stick with us for many, many years. A notable example of this, in my opinion, is George Orwell.

Despite writing in the twentieth century, Orwell had a fantastic knack for hooking readers from all walks of life, past and present. 1984 was a wonderful example of social commentary, neatly scrutinising Authoritarianism and dredging up a tangled web of controversy. In the Soviet Union, the novel was banned for being supposedly “anti-Communist” and in the United states, it was banned for being supposedly “anti-Capitalist”. Both of which, frankly, are grossly incorrect. 

Despite writing in the twentieth century, Orwell had a fantastic knack for hooking readers from all walks of life, past and present

This is the interesting ability that George Orwell possesses, his texts take some digging into to really see the narratives for what they are. Despite fabricated story lines and characters, 1984 and his other infamous text, Animal Farm, are far from fiction. 

I remember hearing about the existence of Animal Farm and assumed, because of its name, that is was a children’s book. We’ve all been there. However, the allegory of farmyard animals as the Stalin and Trotsky period of history was ingenious and it’s truly fascinating how Orwell is so subtle with portraying the downfall of the farm. The novella is short but intense, it feels like nothing has really changed and then you’ve finished the book, wondering how you went from cute pigs playing in muck to a story of deceit, rebellion and downright gaslighting. It’s creepy but it’s realistic- and that’s what makes it so hard hitting. 

Orwell’s literature is far from old-fashioned. In fact, the stories he tells are only becoming MORE comparable to today’s global socio-economics. He’s a genius because he says it how it is with no exaggeration or romanticising required. The kind of books you can read again and again, discovering new outlooks every single time. I could never get enough.

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