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Why I Write

Paperback - 02 September 2004
Rp 145,000
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Customer Reviews

1 customer reviews Between 4−5 stars rating, 28 September 2017
Why I Review 'Why I Write'
By: Purwanti Purwanti

Finally, I’ve added one book that has been on my wish list to my bookshelf! :) Maybe, it’d be more suitable if this post is titled Why I Review. Haha… But, do I  mess up the label on my blog if I use that title? I guess not. The most important thing is that I really want to show you how excited I was when reading this book by doing this review.

This short little book (I call it little because the size is small and thin) contains a four of George Orwell’s essays: Why I write (1946), A Hanging (1931), The Lion and the Unicorn (1940), Politics and the English Language (1946).

Why I Write is about Orwell’s memoir of his early days... See More

aspiring to become writer. Just like our lives which has ups and downs, Orwell found his ups and downs in his writing desire. It dropped during the 20s and rise again for the purpose. This essay is very short and brief on why he wrote and maybe why people write.

A Hanging is so short you can basically read it right now in 5 or 10 minutes. I thought it is a short story because it is written in the form of fiction with speech marks like this “…”. This is my most favorite essay in this book. Orwell stated about the prisoner who was going to be hanged. I like how Orwell describes the empathy in the middle of the war where everybody doesn’t seem to care about it. That the prisoner is just like us–wants to be alive.

“This man was not dying, he was alive just as we were alive. All the organs of his body were working - bowels digesting food, skin renewing itself, nails growing, tissues forming - all toiling away in solemn foolery. His nails would still be growing when he stood on the drop, when he was falling through the air with a tenth of a second to live. His eyes saw the yellow gravel and the grey walls, and his brain still remembered, foresaw, reasoned - reasoned even about puddles. He and we were a party of men walking together, seeing, hearing, feeling, understanding the same world; and in two minutes, with a sudden snap, one of us would be gone - one mind less, one world less.”

The Lion and the Unicorn is the longest essay of all. It deals with wartime Britain and how Orwell perceives the British “family,” its politics, its weaknesses, flaws, and what role Britain plays in the war. In general this is an interesting essay, especially for those interested in history, but it also outlines some ideas and thoughts that would be further developed in 1984 and Animal Farm.

“England is not the jewelled isle of Shakespeare’s much-quoted message, nor the inferno depicted by Dr Goebbels. More than either it resembles a family, a rather stuffy victorian family, with not so many black sheep in it but with all its cupboards bursting with skeletons.”

Politics and English Language points out bad writing of literary people and the errors they make. He gives 6 rules that writers can follow. It’s like a handy review of writing dos and don'ts.

I really enjoy reading this book because I can get motivation to write again. However, I cannot relate to the British people since I am Indonesian. Orwell talks a lot about British people and their history. But, this is a good thing because the readers can understand the background of the novels he wrote.

Read more: (Instagram: @mpurchan)

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