In essay after essay -- skip most of the fiction; he's no master -- Orwell writes clean, satisfying prose, what he liked to think of as "prose like a windowpane." These essays mattered then. If you can connect some dots, you'll see they matter now.
Although attempts to ban books are very disappointing, the reasons behind why people have tried to do so are worth exploring and create an excellent starting point for discussion and debate among readers.
Every year, I get rebellious while teaching Animal Farm; I can't help it. I see the similarities between the corruption of power and our present educational system, and I feel the intense desire to shout "Rebellion!" from the roof tops.
For most of my life, all of my life, in fact, I have had an intense desire to be extraordinary -- not just to stand out from the crowd. But is in the very ordinariness of farming that I have found contentment.
America is at a crossroads. We are experiencing tensions, familiar to historians, between the haves and have-nots, and their respective allies. In his essay, Orwell described the age in which he lived as "tumultuous, revolutionary" -- just like ours.
Make sure the book is thick by using a reasonably large typeface, ending chapters at the top of the page and including lots of unnecessary punctuation. Is Animal Farm a best-seller? No. Why? Not enough pages.
Republican presidential debates, and even "liberal" magazines' online comment threads, are drawing hundreds eager to rail at clueless dissenters, especially if they can catch them bickering with one another.
You do not have to have read George Orwell to know that one of the most abused words in the English language is "reform." It is almost as bad as our penchant for reviving old labels with the word "neo."