Homage to Catalonia


George Orwell

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Themes and Colors
The Possibility of Revolution  Theme Icon
Political Infighting and the Media Theme Icon
Human Decency and The Absurdity of War Theme Icon
Subjectivity and Personal Experience Theme Icon
LitCharts assigns a color and icon to each theme in Homage to Catalonia, which you can use to track the themes throughout the work.

The Possibility of Revolution

Orwell goes to Spain because he believes it is his duty to fight the rise of Fascism in Europe. When he arrives in Barcelona, he is fascinated to discover that a social revolution is underway and he supports the attempt to build a democratic society with neither poverty nor class divisions. While he initially finds the political climate in Spain inspiring and believes that he is living in a society that has made social equality…

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Political Infighting and the Media

National and international newspapers portrayed the Spanish Civil War as a fight between good and evil, or democracy and Fascism, but personal experience of the war ultimately convinced Orwell that this was an overly simplistic—and even misleading—way of reporting on the conflict in Spain. Although Orwell came to Spain to fight Fascism, he quickly realized that the political left (those opposed to Fascism) was a loose coalition of parties with divergent political interests and different…

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Human Decency and The Absurdity of War

Throughout Homage to Catalonia, Orwell seeks to understand the meaning of the war and the value of his own involvement in it. While he initially conceives of the war as a noble struggle for democracy, his experience at the front is characterized by stagnation and absurdity, as soldiers spend more time worrying about everyday survival than fighting the enemy. Similarly, he discovers that the political atmosphere in Spain is a deeply fractured one, characterized…

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Subjectivity and Personal Experience

Homage to Catalonia, Orwell’s first-person account of the Spanish Civil War, is not a detached, scholarly account. Rather, it bears the mark of its author’s experience and personality, as well as his political views. Orwell’s account of the war is interwoven with his analysis of Spanish culture and politics, which evolves as his personal experience confirms or challenges his beliefs. Orwell is aware that his observations might occasionally be naïve, idealistic, or limited…

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