Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Essay: "Such, Such Were the Joys..." George Orwell.

Review: Memories of childhood at an English boarding school, Crossgates, in which the author describes the fears, oppression and depression that were part of sensitive  children’s growing up in that environment. From being beaten for bed-wetting to being beaten for translating a Latin sentence inaccurately, the life of the school boy was at the mercy of tyrants. The results? “But I did know that the future was dark. Failure, failure, failure—failure behind me, failure ahead of me—that was by far the deepest conviction that I carried away from Crossgates.”

Orwell [Eric Blair] concludes this chain of childhood memories: “…I think I should only feel what one invariably feels in revisiting any scene of childhood: how small everything has grown,, and how terrible is the deterioration in myself!”

The Art of the Personal Essay: An Anthology from the Classical Era to the Present. Ed. Phillip Lopate. New York: Anchor Books. A Division of Random House, Inc. 1995.

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