Orwell om John Galsworthy

A Kind of Compulsion, The Complete Works, vol. X, artikel 85, s. 138-142.

Text publicerad i Monde, 23 mars 1929.

It is at once his strength and his weakness that he concerned himself less with art than with the cruelty, injustice and folly of his time and his country. Author of some twenty-five plays and twenty-five novels and collections of short stories, he is primarily a moralist and social philosopher. Born into the upper middle class (the class of the rich bourgeois which gives England most of her legislators, lawyers, army and naval officers, as well as her dilettantes and minor poets), he made this class the particular butt of his attacks. Here indeed lies the theme of everything he wrote – the conflict between the comfortably-off English philistines and something indefinably softer in texture, more sensitive and less virile.


In all of [his novels] we see the insensitive, brave, domineering, grasping side of the English character struggling with something weaker and more sensitive. We can see these middle-class Englishmen – men of property, judges, policemen and soldiers – with their strong, powerful characters; opposed to them are artists, thinkers, ‘fallen’ women, criminals, weak men. Everywhere there is the oppression of the weak by the strong.


In Fraternity we can see a group of upper-middle-class people who are at pains to appear cultured and civilised, and beside them, the ill-treated sons of the working class who are necessary to keep up their level of refinement.

Projekt: The Complete Works of George Orwell


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