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issue 23: March -April 2001 

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G. OrwellGeorge Orwell Quiz


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Our tenth literary quiz was dedicated to George Orwell and nobody came close to winning a book.



1.  Eric Blair cast around for a pseudonym and finally landed on George Orwell, the surname being taken from an English

            a. village
            b. river
            c. moor
            d. pub

2.  When Orwell was a student at Eton, one of his teachers was

            a. Aldous Huxley
            b. H.G. Wells
            c. E.M. Forster
            d. Bertrand Russell

3.  Orwell’s first professional job was that of a

            a. civil servant in India
            b. agricultural manager in Rhodesia  
            c. journalist in Spain
            d. policeman in Burma

4.  One of Orwell’s earlier essays, “Inside the Whale,” focuses on the political detachment of 

            a. Henry Miller
            b. Albert Camus
            c. D.H. Lawrence
            c. T.S. Eliot

5.  Down and Out in Paris and London, following Orwell’s experiences of “tramping” with the poor and homeless, includes the memorable section where he describes his time in Paris working as a

            a. dockhand down_out.gif (4237 bytes)
            b. hospital orderly
            c. dishwasher
            d. lavatory attendant

6.  Orwell’s first novel, Burmese Days, was strongly influenced by

            a. Malraux’s The Conquerors
            b. Forster’s A Passage to India
            c. Kipling’s Kim

7. His second novel, A Clergyman’s Daughter, describes the adventures of Dorothy, who through loss of memory briefly escapes her spinster’s life to join a group of

            a.  tramps and hop-pickers
            b.  prostitutes and cock-fight gamblers
            c.  coal-miners and rebel rousers
            d. communist pamphleteers

8.  In which famous essay does Orwell write about his experience of killing an elephant? Shooting an Elephant
aspid.jpg (10174 bytes)
9.  Orwell wrote Keep the Aspidistra Flying while

            a. working in a bookstore
            b. broadcasting for the BBC
            c. running a general store
            d. teaching English

10.  Aspidistra is a satirical self-portrait recounting the author’s

            a. literary aspirations and financial humiliations
            b.  coming of age at Eton
            c. political awakening and early thoughts on colonialism
            d. birth in India and childhood in Henley-on-Thames

11.  In his novel The Road to Wigan Pier, Orwell once described this writer as “a sort of gutless Kipling.”

            a. A.E. Houseman
            b. Stephen Spender
            c. W.H. Auden

12.  Orwell fought in the Spanish Civil War with the

            a. International Brigades
            b. Unified Marxist Workers’ Party
            c. Independent Labour Party

13.  After being shot through the neck on the Aragón front, Orwell recovered in a hospital near Barcelona only to be persecuted shortly thereafter (forcing him to flee the country for his life) by the

            a. Nationalists
            b. Anarchists 
            c. Communists

14.  The classic Homage to Catalonia was not well received by the English Left (and in fact sold only 600 copies in the first twelve years after publication), principally because they

            a.  were generally sympathetic to Soviet Russia
            b.  had been offended by Orwell’s reference to the “pansy Left”
            c.   felt he was paranoid and perversely pessimistic

15.  The transitional work Coming Up for Air can be considered a political

            a. indictment of the Labour Party
            b. state-of-England novel
            c.  assessment of continental Europe

16.  The ironically titled essay “Such, Such Were the Joys” reflects on Orwell’s time at

            a. boarding school
            b. the Spanish front
            c. the BBC
            d. the remote Scottish island of Jura

17. In which classic essay does Orwell offer advice about writing, recommending fresh and direct language? Politics and the English Language

18.  Of whom is Orwell speaking:  “[His] basic aims were anti-human and reactionary: but regarded simply as a politician, and compared with the other leading political figures of our time, how clean a smell he has managed to leave behind!” Gandhi

19. Animal Farm was rejected by every major publishing house in the U.K. - including T.S. Eliot at Faber & Faber - until it found acceptance at the (then) small firm of Secker & Warburg.  It also had difficulty in America.  Dial Press in New York responded that

            a.  it was too savage an attack on Russia and could not be justified while the Allies were fighting side by side with that country
            b. it would be less offensive if the predominant caste in the fable were not pigs.
            c. it was impossible to sell animal stories in the U.S.

1984 & Animal Farm20.  In France, Animal Farm’s publisher quietly changed the name of the pig Napoleon to

            a. César
            b. Augustine
            c. Alexandre
            d. Anatole

21.  Complete the famous phrase:  “All Animals Are Equal, but ......Some Animals Are More Equal Than Others

22. In Nineteen Eighty-Four Orwell invented many new words and phrases which have become a part of our English language.  What is the word that describes the ability to hold simultaneously two contradictory opinions which cancel each other out? doublethink

23.  The world in Nineteen Eighty-Four is divided into three power zones.  England resides within Oceania and is known by what name?
Airstrip One
24.  Which actor portrayed Winston Smith in the first of the two films to be made of Nineteen Eighty-Four ? Michael Redgrave

25. Orwell had a notorious quarrel with an author who, he claimed, drastically underestimated the power of Hitler.  The author confronted him after Orwell published an essay on the subject and the “God-awful row” continued for some time thereafter.  Who was the author under attack?  H.G. Wells

26.  Orwell once wrote a review of an American author, describing his characters as “people with supremely hideous names  . . . [who] sit about on the steps of village stores, chewing tobacco, swindling one another in small business deals, and from time to time committing a rape or murder.”  Who was the author? William Faulkner

27.  Orwell and his wife Eileen O’Shaughnessy lived for a while in Morocco.  The marriage was strained when Orwell insisted that he have

            a.  a celibate existence
            b.  sexual relations with a young Arab girl
            c.  a young Arab boy to share in bed with Eileen

28.  On his deathbed in a London hospital Orwell married his second wife, the beautiful Sonia Brownell, whom many of his friends considered to be a gold-digger and collector of literary “stars.”  She became extremely wealthy with the royalties of Orwell’s works and went on to

            a. marry an Italian poet
            b. edit a stylish literary journal
            c. die a penniless drunk in Paris
            d. be swindled of all her money by an English lord

© 2001 The Barcelona Review

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navigation:    barcelona review 23           March - April 2001

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Robert Antoni: How Iguana Got Her Wrinkles

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Answers to last issue's George Orwell Quiz

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