Thesis Title

The Ancestral Memory: George Orwell and the Defense of the Individual Conscience

Date of Graduation

Spring 2005

Degree

Master of Science in Education in Secondary Education in English

Department

English

Committee Chair

Katherine Lederer

Keywords

Orwell, individualism, history, objectivity, Nineteen Eighty-Four

Subject Categories

Education

Abstract

A prolific essayist, writer of one of the twentieth century’s most haunting novels, and arguably the staunchest defender of the English language since Samuel Johnson, George Orwell continues to hold his place as one of English literature’s most prominent men of letters. He defended the individual conscience during a time in which the death of individualism looked all but assured. This study focuses on Orwell’s defense of the conscience in the face of totalitarian and sectarian forces, his views on the constitution of the independent mind, and his interpretation of individualism in regard to ideology, principles, and history. Ultimately, Orwell’s reading of the twentieth century stands as one of the most prescient of the time, no small feat during a climate in which, as he once said, the concrete melts into the abstract.

Copyright

© Michael J. Horton

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Dissertation/Thesis

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