• Melville, Orwell, and a Brief Theory of Empire

    Author(s):
    Tom Durwood (see profile)
    Date:
    2011
    Subject(s):
    George Orwell, Literatures of empire, Melville
    Item Type:
    Essay
    Permanent URL:
    http://dx.doi.org/10.17613/1c39-m940
    Abstract:
    A brief comparison of the work of two authors who lived almost a century apart reveals two literatures driven by a common concern with the processes and consequence of empire. A review of their lives shows that both Herman Melville and Eric Blair (George Orwell) were disenfranchised children of empire — writers with a foot in both camps, the colonizer and the colonized. In excerpts from their work, we find shared themes in passages from Melville’s master work Moby Dick, Orwell’s essays, and Animal Farm. Through their depictions of everyday labor in the lower reaches of the American commercial empire and the British Raj, these two very different writers were able to capture universal themes.
    Notes:
    Find more open access, student accessible scholarly resources such as this one at http://empirestudies.com/.
    Metadata:
    Published as:
    Online publication    
    Status:
    Published
    Last Updated:
    1 month ago
    License:
    All Rights Reserved
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