Orwell wrote this essay as a message to other writers to separate their political views from their creative writing. In today’s world (1948) politics dominates everyday life. It determines what people think about on a daily basis which in turn determines what people write about. Not only does it “control” what people write about, it also influences society’s perspective on literature. He claims that we tend to judge a book well if it supports or even references our own political views. In this way, we have become extremely biased towards one point of view. An example is the English Intelligentsia, whom see as tending towards totalitarianism in literary circles, meaning that only one political perspective is acceptable to them. His main point (medium) in this essay is to address the issue of literary criticism and how we all have different perspectives that influence our judgement in analysis or criticism of a text. Similar to the concept of nationalist, a critic will either ‘like’ or ‘dislike’ a text and try to rationalise their decision within a political context or a set of cultural/political values or beliefs. He also discusses the reason that most writings are politically biased. Because if a writer went against the status quo, no one would willingly publish their work. He also blames the downfall of the English economy on socialism, saying that it was a bad idea to invest in foreign markets and made worse by the war.
Am individuals writings should be independent of any political or group influence. If we choose to include our common beliefs in individual writing, we find that our beliefs will shape the product of the “individuals” writing.
“Group loyalties are necessary and yet they are poisonous to literature, so long literature is the product of individuals. As soon as they are allowed to have any influence on creative writing, the result is not only falsification, but often the actual drying up of the inventive faculties.”
Although Orwell argues that politics should be separate of writing, he recognises…