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论文作者:留学生论文论文属性:硕士毕业论文 thesis登出时间:2024-06-26编辑:vicky点击率:130

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1.1 George Orwell and Burmese Days

When freshly graduating from the prestigious Eton College at the age of 19, George Orwell traversed the seas to become an imperial policeman in Burma, then part of the British Raj. He was posted in various regions of Burma from 1922-1927, not exactly a tranquil period for the young writer to verify his readings on the fraternity of the two peoples (Collected Essays, 185-186). Maung Htin Aung, a renowned Burmese scholar who met Orwell in person once, believes that Orwell’s stint as a policeman falls into “the darkest period” since the British first made landfall in Burma (19). According to Aung, the rift between the British and the Burmese nationals became irretrievable since the introduction of the Government of India Act in 1919, which conceded certain political rights to Indians, but left Burma out of the table (ibid.). As it happens, one significant instability throughout the book concerns the grapple between an Indian doctor and a Burmese magistrate to win a slot in the desirable European Club. It is against this background of racial discord that Orwell composed Burmese Days. In a letter to his literary agent, Orwell declares the main appeal of this work is its exotic setting of Burma, offsetting its lack of action (as quoted in Sheldon 172). 

 Burmese Days, published in 1934, is Orwell’s first book and mainly recounts a white man’s ineffectual challenge to the pukka sahib’s code prescribed by the all-powerful force of the British Raj. This conscience-stricken young white man named John Flory, sometimes acting as Orwell’s surrogate or author-thinker by means of free indirect discourse (Saunders 4, 43), is left paralyzed between falling prey to the debauched lifestyle of his own countrymen and assimilating into a foreign culture that he respects but remains a blur to him through to the end. 


1.2 A Brief Review of Relevant Literature

Scholarly discussions on Burmese Days mainly fall into three categories: its historical significance, artistic values and thematic orientation. When Burmese Days was first published, it received lukewarm critical responses (Stansky & Abrahams 56-57). It has gradually re-established itself, however, as an atypical work of colonial literature and a crucial reference point for George Orwell studies (Rai 49). 

 Speaking of the novel’s historical significance, biographers of George Orwell look into the specific elements of time and space in the novel and other critics situate the novel within the broader historical period of the two world wars (Crick 2019; Sheldon 1993; Ingle 2006). According to Bernard Crick, Burmese Days was originally built on Orwell’s manuscript titled “The Tale of John Flory” written “in the first person” (405), and some critics see it as one of his best works for his “sense of time and space,” “rare sociological if not psychological imagination,” and “descriptions of nature” (505). In other words, for these critics, the novel is partly characterized by its sociological significance. Likewise, Stephen Ingle maintains the view that the novel represents Orwell’s “savage indictment of emp论文英语论文网提供整理,提供论文代写英语论文代写代写论文代写英语论文代写留学生论文代写英文论文留学生论文代写相关核心关键词搜索。

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