War, as viewed from ground level, is about food, latrines and horror:
“Bullets hurt, corpses stink, men under fire are often so frightened
that they wet their trousers.” As if footnote to that, he (Orwell)
recalls one night at the Front when he and another had crawled
out into No Man’s Land — a 300-yard wide beet field with little cover —
to snipe at the enemy, and been caught by the dawn:
“We were still trying to nerve ourselves to make a dash for it when there was an uproar and a blowing of whistles in the Fascist trench. Some of our aeroplanes were coming over. At this moment, a man presumably carrying a message to an officer, jumped out of the trench and ran along the top of the parapet in full view. He was half-dressed and was holding up his trousers with both hands as he ran…. It is true that I am a poor shot and unlikely to hit a running man at a hundred yards, and also that I was thinking chiefly about getting back to our trench while the Fascists had their attention fixed on the aeroplanes. Still, I did not shoot partly because of that detail about the trousers. I had come here to shoot at ‘Fascists’; but a man who is holding up his trousers isn’t a ‘Fascist’, he is visibly a fellow-creature, similar to yourself, and you don’t feel like shooting at him.”
– Steve King, reviewing George Orwell’s
Homage to Catalonia, his treatise on the Spanish Civil War
George Orwell wrote Animal Farm in 1945, Nineteen Eighty-Four in 1949,
and then he promptly died in January of 1950.
His real name was Eric Arthur Blair. He was British.