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myles_sg
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I don't think Orwell was acting from the jealousy of exclusion, but rather a sense of loss at the debilitating changes in the post-1918 world. As I noted before, one of the most memorable and beautiful descriptive images from Orwell for me, was in fact his description of the pre-war working class household: "I have often been struck by the peculiar easy completeness, the perfect symmetry as it were, of a working- class interior at its best. Especially on winter evenings after tea, when the fire glows in the open range and dances mirrored in the steel fender, when Father, in shirt-sleeves, sits in the rocking chair at one side of the fire reading the racing finals, and Mother sits on the other with her sewing, and the children are happy with a pennorth of mint humbugs, and the dog lolls roasting himself on the rag mat" And then he follows: "This scene is still reduplicated in a majority of English homes, though not in so many as before the war." The key phrase one is looking for is "not in so many as before the war." That's the key aesthetic feeling that motivated him: that there once was a better, more decent, more idyllic England before the war, both the lower and upper classes, and that there could be again. Socialism, he thought, would bring such an idyll back. Evelyn Waugh resented modern England and thought there was no escape, while Orwell thought Socialism would return all the goodness of Edwardian England with none of the faults and shortcomings. That's what makes him an Edwardian; not some desperate aspiration to be upper-class, but a longing for the days of golden summers lounging in the garden, reading Alice in Wonderland. The Edwardian was an upper-middle-class age more than an upper-class once, and Orwell was of that very class.
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