A Comparison Of 'A Place To Stand On' By Margaret Laurence And Why I Write

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The essays “A Place to Stand On” by Margaret Laurence and “Why I Write” by George Orwell have several distinct differences including the circumstances of the author’s upbringing, the author’s feelings towards their career as a writer, and the reasons for why they write. The upbringing that Laurence describes is vastly different to the one Orwell discusses. Margaret Laurence grew up in the small Manitoba town of Neepawa. Her upbringing was confined almost entirely to one small town, and this is had an influence on her writing. Laurence states that she felt “the loneliness and isolation of the land” (219), but also the protectiveness. Her upbringing had a significant impact on her writing, and led her to create the fictional town of Manawaka, based on her own hometown. If Laurence had grown up in a different environment, her writing would be different. It would not be filled with the opinions and feelings that life on the prairies inspired. Orwell’s upbringing was almost the complete opposite of Laurence’s. Orwell was born and raised in India at the beginning of the twentieth century. His upbringing and youth were littered with conflict and political turmoil, and this was reflected in his writing. Orwell was born in India while it was still under the control of the British. This exposed him to social, political, and economic imbalance early on in his life. He was eleven when World War I broke out, and at this point “wrote a patriotic poem which was printed in the local

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