George Orwell: Inside the Whale

(2121 words)

Published in 1940, Inside the Whale and Other Essays coincided with Britain’s early and strategically disastrous entry into World War II and includes the eponymous essay “Inside the Whale”. This erudite and perceptive centre-piece is a largely affirmative review of Henry Miller’s novel Tropic of Cancer and provides a polymath’s overview of early twentieth century literary movements and the countervailing artistic limitations imposed by totalitarian governments. Orwell’s analysis begins with the empathetic assertion that one could emulate Henry Miller by assuming a Jonah-like stance of willful indifference to one’s social and political milieu; one could seek ultimate refuge in religion or perhaps the …

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Williams, Nigel. "Inside the Whale". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 29 August 2013
[, accessed 24 September 2016.]