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Margaret Lawrence Why I Write Analysis

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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,…show more content…
Orwell feels a sense of inevitability in writing, but he does not accept it. He states that he knew that he should be a writer when he grew up, but “tried to abandon this idea” (Orwell 263). While Orwell knew that “sooner or later [he] should have to settle down and write books,” it is almost as if he begrudges his fate (263). Orwell knows that at some point he must write, it is completely inevitable, but he does not see this the way Laurence does. While Laurence knows that she must write and accepts this, Orwell begrudges the inevitability of his literary…show more content…
George Orwell lived during a very tumultuous time, serving in the Indian Imperial Police, and seeing both World Wars and the Spanish Civil War. While surrounded by this near-constant state of strife, Orwell used writing as a way to comment on political situations and to pass on an understanding to his readers. In his novella, Animal Farm, Orwell uses the allegory of a farm to comment on the failures of Stalinism in the Soviet Union. As a man whose strong political convictions were shaped by his surroundings, it is no surprise that Orwell finds his purpose for writing in political commentary. Orwell’s purpose for writing is so severely political that he states that every novel he wrote after 1936 was written “directly or indirectly against totalitarianism and for democratic socialism” (268). Orwell’s reasons for writing are outside of himself, focusing on the world around him. This is a noticeable contrast to the motivations of Laurence, whose reasons for writing were largely personal. In conclusion, the essays “A Place to Stand On” by Margaret Laurence, and “Why I Write” by George Orwell are two vastly different pieces of writing. Orwell and Laurence were brought up in different situations, they have differing feelings towards their career, and they have different motivations for writing. These differences result in
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