by George Orwell
This novel explores the tensions in the British people of Burma as the Empire begins to waver. George Orwell writes beautifully of the people and environment of Burma. If he did not love it himself, he certainly understood how it could be loved. (He served with the Imperial Police in Burma.)
There was a stirring noise high up in the peepul tree, and a bubbling noise like pots boiling. A flock of green pigeons were up there, eating the berries. Flory gazed up into the great green dome of the tree, trying to distinguish the birds; they were invisible, they matched the leaves so perfectly, and yet the whole tree was alive with them, shimmering, as though the ghosts of birds were shaking it.The main character, Flory, exquisitely portrays the struggle to discern and act on what is right in the midst of a ruling class established and supported by a questionable system. His education and experiences as an Englishman in Burma have prepared him only for indolence and dissipation and yet his soul yearns for more, for the love of a woman who will share his appreciation for the beauty of the Burma.
It is not the less bitter because it is perhaps one's own fault, to see oneself drifting, rotting, in dishonour and horrible futility, and all the while knowing that somewhere within one there is the possibility of a decent human being.Flawed characters abound and, in the end, few are truly happy, and yet this is easily my favorite George Orwell novel.
I had, of course, considered including this book on our literature list for high school geography for Asia. I would hesitate, though, to give this to a younger high school student. (We usually cover Asia in 9th grade.) There's just too much depravity and despair.
I have received nothing in exchange for this honest post. I received this book from another member of PaperBackSwap.com. Links to Amazon and PaperBackSwap are affiliate links.