Coming Up for Air by George Orwell
Updated: Feb 24
"Coming Up for Air" is a novel by George Orwell that tells the story of George Bowling, a middle-aged insurance salesman who becomes disillusioned with his mundane life and the changes that have occurred in his hometown since his childhood. The book is set in the years leading up to the Second World War and follows George as he takes a break from his job and family and returns to his hometown to reconnect with his past.
As he revisits the places and people of his youth, George reflects on the changes that have occurred in his hometown and the ways in which the world has changed since his childhood. He becomes increasingly disenchanted with the materialism, consumerism, and conformity of the society in which he lives, and begins to question the choices he has made in his life.
The novel explores themes of nostalgia, memory, and the search for meaning and purpose in life. It also critiques the societal attitudes towards consumerism, conformity and the impact that it has on individual lives. The book also touches on the theme of the changing of time and how it shapes one's understanding of self, the past, and the world around them.
"Coming Up for Air" is considered a classic of social and political commentary. It offers a powerful and thought-provoking critique of the values and culture of capitalist society, and the ways in which it shapes the lives of individuals. It also serves as a reminder of the importance of living a meaningful and authentic life and the need to resist societal pressure to conform to the norm.