Re Mark Jenkins’ review article “The Mother Trap” (9/18): My point is tangential to Jenkins’ movie review, but it is key to understanding one of the outgoing century’s great moral prophets. While it may be true of the character in his novel Keep the Aspidistra Flying, especially as portrayed in a current film, George Orwell himself was not “suspicious of socialism.” On the contrary, Orwell was wounded in combat in Spain fighting for socialism and was an independent socialist activist until his untimely death. It is certainly true that he was “suspicious” of socialists, as can be seen in Animal Farm and 1984, and most hilariously in his nonfiction The Road to Wigan Pier. George Orwell was a man of high standards, and most socialist parties and activists that he saw did not meet those standards. But he never wavered in his conviction that, as substantial as socialism’s flaws were or might become, it was a far superior alternative to capitalism.
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