Eric Arthur Blair, better known by his pen name George Orwell, was an English novelist, essayist and critic, whose work is marked by lucid prose, awareness of social injustice, opposition to totalitarianism, outspoken support of democratic socialism. Orwell wrote literary criticism, poetry and polemical journalism, he is best known for the allegorical novella Animal Farm and the dystopian novel Nineteen Eighty-Four. His non-fiction works, including The Road to Wigan Pier, documenting his experience of working class life in the north of England, Homage to Catalonia, an account of his experiences on the Republican side in the Spanish Civil War, are acclaimed, as are his essays on politics, literature and culture. In 2008, The Times ranked him second on a list of "The 50 greatest British writers since 1945". Orwell's work continues to influence popular and political culture and the term "Orwellian"—descriptive of totalitarian or authoritarian social practices—has entered the language together with many of his neologisms, including "Big Brother", "Thought Police", "Hate week", "Room 101", "memory hole", "newspeak", "doublethink", "proles", "unperson" and "thoughtcrime".
Eric Arthur Blair was born on 25 June 1903 in Motihari, British India. His great-grandfather, Charles Blair, was a wealthy country gentleman in Dorset who married Lady Mary Fane, daughter of the Earl of Westmorland, had income as an absentee landlord of plantations in Jamaica, his grandfather, Thomas Richard Arthur Blair, was a clergyman. Although the gentility passed down the generations, the prosperity did not, his father, Richard Walmesley Blair, worked in the Opium Department of the Indian Civil Service. His mother, Ida Mabel Blair, grew up in Moulmein, where her French father was involved in speculative ventures. Eric had two sisters: Marjorie, five years older; when Eric was one year old, his mother his sisters to England. His birthplace and ancestral house in Motihari has been declared a protected monument of historical importance. In 1904 Ida Blair settled with her children at Henley-on-Thames in Oxfordshire. Eric was brought up in the company of his mother and sisters, apart from a brief visit in mid-1907, the family did not see their husband or father, Richard Blair, until 1912.
His mother's diary from 1905 describes a lively round of artistic interests. Before the First World War, the family moved to Shiplake, Oxfordshire where Eric became friendly with the Buddicom family their daughter Jacintha; when they first met, he was standing on his head in a field. On being asked why, he said, "You are noticed more if you stand on your head than if you are right way up." Jacintha and Eric read and wrote poetry, dreamed of becoming famous writers. He said. During this period, he enjoyed shooting and birdwatching with Jacintha's brother and sister. Aged five, Eric was sent as a day-boy to a convent school in Henley-on-Thames, which Marjorie attended, it was a Roman Catholic convent run by French Ursuline nuns, exiled from France after religious education was banned in 1903. His mother wanted him to have a public school education, but his family could not afford the fees, he needed to earn a scholarship. Ida Blair's brother Charles Limouzin recommended St Cyprian's School, East Sussex.
Limouzin, a proficient golfer, knew of the school and its headmaster through the Royal Eastbourne Golf Club, where he won several competitions in 1903 and 1904. The headmaster undertook to help Blair to win a scholarship, made a private financial arrangement that allowed Blair's parents to pay only half the normal fees. In September 1911, Eric arrived at St Cyprian's, he boarded at the school for the next five years. During this period, while working for the Ministry of Pensions, his mother lived at 23 Cromwell Crescent, Earls Court, he knew nothing of the reduced fees, although he "soon recognised that he was from a poorer home". Blair hated the school and many years wrote an essay "Such, Such Were the Joys", published posthumously, based on his time there. At St Cyprian's, Blair first met Cyril Connolly. Many years as the editor of Horizon, Connolly published several of Orwell's essays. While at St Cyprian's, Blair wrote two poems that were published in the Henley and South Oxfordshire Standard.
He came second to Connolly in the Harrow History Prize, had his work praised by the school's external examiner, earned scholarships to Wellington and Eton. But inclusion on the Eton scholarship roll did not guarantee a place, none was available for Blair, he chose to stay at St Cyprian's until December 1916. In January, Blair took up the place at Wellington. In May 1917 a place became available as a King's Scholar at Eton. At this time the family lived at Notting Hill Gate. Blair remained at Eton until December 1921, when he left midway between his 19th birthday. Wellington was "beastly", Orwell told his childhood friend Jacintha Buddicom, but he said he was "interested and happy" at Eton, his principal tutor was A. S. F. Gow, Fellow of Trinity College, who gave him advice in his career. Blair was taught French by Aldous Huxley. Steven Runciman, at Eton with Blair, noted that he and his contemporaries appreciated Huxley's linguistic flair. Cyril Connolly followed Blair to Eton, but because they were in separate years
African forest elephant
The African forest elephant is a forest-dwelling species of elephant found in the Congo Basin. It is the smallest of the three extant species of elephant, but still one of the largest living terrestrial animals; the African forest elephant and the African bush elephant, L. africana, were considered to be one species until genetic studies indicated that they separated an estimated 2–7 million years ago. From an estimated population size of over 2 million prior to the colonization of Africa, the population in 2015 is estimated to be about 100,000 forest elephants living in the forests of Gabon. Due to a slower birth rate, the forest elephant takes longer to recover from poaching, which caused its population to fall by 65% from 2002 to 2014; the African forest elephant was once considered to be a subspecies, Loxodonta africana cyclotis, of the African elephant, together with the African bush elephant. DNA tests, indicated that the two populations were much more genetically distinct than believed.
In 2010, a genetic study confirmed they are separate species which diverged from each other an estimated two to seven million years ago. Still, many governmental and non-governmental agencies consider the forest elephant to be a subspecies for regulatory and conservation purposes. In 2016, DNA sequence analysis argued that L. cyclotis is more related to the extinct European straight-tusked elephant, Palaeoloxodon antiquus, than it is to L. africana. The disputed pygmy elephants of the Congo Basin considered to be a separate species are forest elephants whose diminutive size or early maturity is due to environmental conditions; these forest-dwelling elephants are smaller and darker than their savanna relatives, the bush elephants. The species has five toenails on the fore foot and four on the hind foot, like the Asian elephant, but unlike the African bush elephant, which has four toenails on the fore foot and three on the hind foot, they protect themselves from the sun by using sand. A male African forest elephant exceeds 2.5 m in height smaller than the bush species,which is over 3 m and sometimes 4 m tall.
L. cyclotis weighs around 2.7 tonnes, with the largest specimens attaining 6 tonnes. Pygmy elephants of the Congo Basin, presumed to be a subgroup of L. cyclotis, have weighed as little as 900 kg as adults. Elephants have sensitive skin which can make them prone to sunburn when young; the wrinkles in the elephants’ skin help keep them cool by giving heat a larger surface area through which it can dissipate. The creases in the hide of the elephant absorb moisture longer than one with smooth skin. Since these elephants live in areas where temperatures can reach up to 120 degrees Fahrenheit in the daytime, the forest elephants skin is more wrinkled than that of Asian elephants. Compared to the bush elephant, the African forest elephant has a longer, more narrow mandible, its tusks are point downward, unlike the savanna elephants that have curved tusks. They are harder and have a more yellow or brownish colour; these strong tusks are used to push through the dense undergrowth of their habitat and bull elephants are sometimes known to have exceptionally long tusks that reach to the ground.
Their tusks can grow to about 1.5 m long and can weigh between 50 and 100 pounds, around the same size as a small adult human. Males use their tusks when fighting with one another and to establish dominance; the top lip and nose are elongated into a trunk, distinctly more hairy than savanna elephants. The trunk, having sensitive tactile perception, serves numerous functions. Elephant trunks are more sensitive than human fingers and are used for signaling, detection and snorkeling through water, sound production and communication, bathing and offense, their trunks have over 100,000 individual muscles, making them strong and useful appendages. The trunk of this species ends in two opposing processes, which contrasts that of the Asian elephant, whose trunk concludes in a single process. Forest elephants have more rounded ears than the bush elephant, their ears serve as a cooling system and by flapping them, they can reduce their body temperature by up to 10 degrees Fahrenheit. Air permeates the thin ears of the elephant, thereby cooling blood as it goes through a web of blood vessels inside the ear before going back to the body.
African forest elephants travel in smaller groups than other elephant species. A typical group size consists of two to eight individuals; the average family unit is three to five members made up of female relatives. Most family groups are a mother and several of her offspring, or several groups of females and their offspring that interact with one another at forest clearings. Female offspring are philopatric, male offspring disperse at maturity. Unlike African savanna elephants, African forest elephants do not interact with other family groups. Male African forest elephants tend to be solitary and only associate with other elephants during the mating season. Males have a dominance hierarchy based on size. Since this species is newly recognized, little to no literature is available on communication and perception. For these mammals and smell are the most important senses they possess because they do not have good eyesight, they can recognize and hear vibrations through the gro
Execution by elephant
Execution by elephant was a common method of capital punishment in South and Southeast Asia in India, where Asian elephants were used to crush, dismember or torture captives in public executions. The animals were trained and versatile, able to kill victims or to torture them over a prolonged period. Most employed by royalty, the elephants were used to signify both the ruler's absolute power and his ability to control wild animals; the sight of elephants executing captives both horrified and attracted the interest of European travellers and was recorded in numerous contemporary journals and accounts of life in Asia. The practice was suppressed by the European empires that colonised the region in the 18th and 19th centuries. While confined to Asia, the practice was adopted by Western powers, such as Ancient Rome and Carthage to deal with mutinous soldiers; the intelligence and versatility of the elephant gave it considerable advantages over other wild animals such as lions and bears used as executioners by the Romans.
Elephants are more tractable than horses: while a horse can be trained to charge into battle, it will not willingly trample an enemy soldier, will instead step over him. Elephants will trample their enemies, hence the popularity of war elephants with generals such as Hannibal. Elephants can be trained to execute prisoners in a variety of ways, can be taught to prolong the agony of the victim by inflicting a slow death by torture or to kill the condemned by stepping on the head; the elephants were under the constant control of a driver or mahout, thus enabling a ruler to grant a last-minute reprieve and display merciful qualities. Several such exercises of mercy are recorded in various Asian kingdoms; the kings of Siam trained their elephants to roll the convicted person "about the ground rather so that he is not badly hurt". The Mughal Emperor Akbar the Great is said to have "used this technique to chastise'rebels' and in the end the prisoners much chastened, were given their lives". On one occasion, Akbar was recorded to have had a man thrown to the elephants to suffer five days of such treatment before pardoning him.
Elephants were used in trial by ordeal in which the condemned prisoner was released if he managed to fend off the elephant. The use of elephants in such fashion went beyond the common royal power to dispense death. Elephants have long been used as symbols of royal authority, their use as instruments of state power sent the message that the ruler was able to preside over powerful creatures who were under total command. The ruler was thus seen as maintaining a moral and spiritual domination over wild beasts, adding to their authority and mystique among subjects. Execution by elephant has been done by both Western and Eastern empires; the earliest records of such executions date back to the classical period. However, the practice was well established by that time and continued well into the 19th century. While African elephants are larger than Asian elephants, African powers were not known to make as much use of the animals in warfare or ceremonial affairs compared to their Asian counterparts. Elephants are reported to have been used to carry out executions in Southeast Asia, were used in Burma and Malaysia from the earliest historical times as well as in the kingdom of Champa on the other side of the Indochinese Peninsula.
In Siam, elephants were trained to throw the condemned into the air before trampling them to death. Alexander Hamilton provides the following account from Siam: For Treason and Murder, the Elephant is the Executioner; the condemned Person is made fast to a Stake driven into the Ground for the Purpose, the Elephant is brought to view him, goes twice or thrice round him, when the Elephant's Keeper speaks to the monstrous Executioner, he twines his Trunk round the Person and Stake, pulling the Stake from the Ground with great Violence, tosses the Man and the Stake into the Air, in coming down, receives him on his Teeth, making him off again, puts one of his fore Feet on the Carcase, squeezes it flat. The journal of John Crawfurd records another method of execution by elephant in the kingdom of Cochinchina, where he served as a British envoy in 1821. Crawfurd recalls an event where "the criminal is tied to a stake, elephant runs down upon him and crushes him to death." Elephants were used as executioners of choice in India for many centuries.
Hindu and Muslim rulers executed tax evaders and enemy soldiers alike "under the feet of elephants". The Hindu Manu Smriti or Laws of Manu, written down around AD 200, prescribed execution by elephants for a number of offences. If property was stolen, for instance, "the king should have any thieves caught in connection with its disappearance executed by an elephant." For example, in 1305, the sultan of Delhi turned the deaths of Mongol prisoners into public entertainment by having them crushed by elephants. During the Mughal era, "it was a common mode of execution in those days to have the offender trampled underfoot by an elephant." Captain Alexander Hamilton, writing in 1727, described how the Mughal ruler Shah Jahan ordered an offending military commander to be carried "to the Elephant Garden, there to be executed by an Elephant, reckoned to be a shameful and terrible Death". The Mughal Emperor Humayun ordered the crushing by elephant of an imam he mistakenly believed to be critical of his reign.
Some monarchs adopted this form of execution for their own entertainment
A Mahamatra was an "officer of morality" established by the Indian Emperor Ashoka. Their full title was Dhaṃma Mahāmātā, the "Inspectors of the Dharma", they were a class of senior officials who were in charge various aspects of administration and justice. The Mahamatras are mentioned in several of the Edicts of Ashoka, inscribed on pillars, they seem to have been an essential part of his government. Some were called "Dharma-Mahamatras", who seem to have been established in the 14th year of Ashoka's reign. There were Amta-mahamatras in charge of foreigners, Stri-adhyaksha- mahamatras, in charge of women. "Devanampriya Priyadarsin speaks thus. Having in view this I have set up pillars of morality, appointed Mahamatras of morality, issued on morality." "In the past there were no dhamma Mahamatras but such officers were appointed by me thirteen years after my coronation. Now they work among all religions for the establishment of dhamma, for the promotion of Dhamma, for the welfare and happiness of all who are devoted to dhamma.
They work among the Greeks, the Kambojas, the Gandharas, the Rastrikas, the Pitinikas and other peoples on the western borders. Those who are content with their own religion should be told this: the beloved of the gods, King Piyadasi, does not value gifts and honors as much as he values that there should be growth in the essentials of all religions, and to this end many are working - Dhamma Mahamatras, Mahamatras in charge of the women's quarters, officers in charge of outlying areas, other such officers. And the fruit of this is that the dhamma is illuminated also. "Those my Mahamatras of morality too are occupied with affairs of many kinds which are beneficial to ascetics as well as to householders, they are occupied with all sects. Some were ordered by me to busy themselves with the affairs of the Sangha, but my Mahamatras of morality are occupied with these as well as with all other sects
African bush elephant
The African bush elephant known as the African savanna elephant, is the larger of the two species of African elephants, the largest living terrestrial animal. These elephants were regarded as the same species, but the African forest elephant has been reclassified as L. cyclotis. The bush elephant is much larger in height and weight than the forest elephant, while the forest elephant has rounder ears and a trunk that tends to be more hairy; the adult bush elephant has no predators other than humans. While the most numerous of the three extant elephant species, its population continues to decline due to poaching for ivory and destruction of habitat. Elephants are social animals, traveling in herds of females and adolescents, while adult males live alone; the desert elephant or desert-adapted elephant is not a distinct species of elephant, but there are African bush elephants that live in the Namib and Sahara deserts. The African bush elephant and the African forest elephant were once considered to be a single species, but recent genetic studies have revealed that they are separate species and split 2 to 7 million years ago.
A detailed genetic study in 2010 confirmed that the African bush elephant and the African forest elephant are distinct species. By sequencing DNA of 375 nuclear genes, scientists determined that the two species diverged around the same time as the Asian elephant and the woolly mammoth, are as distinct from one another as those two species are from each other; as of December 2010, conservation organisations, such as the United Nations Environment Programme's World Conservation Monitoring Centre and the International Union for Conservation of Nature, had not distinguished between the two species of African elephants for purposes of assessing their conservation status. As of March 2010, the IUCN Red List classified African elephants as a whole as vulnerable species and the Central African elephant population as endangered. Another possible species or subspecies existed; the North African elephant known as the Carthaginian elephant or Atlas elephant, was the animal famously used as a war elephant by Carthage in its many wars with Rome.
The African bush elephant has several distinct features which sets them apart from other similar species. They are larger than the African forest elephant, which has rounder ears and straighter tusks; the bush elephant is known to have a concave back with stocky legs and a thickset body, compared to the Asian elephant who has a convex back. The African bush elephant's trunk has more than 40,000 muscles and tendons that allows them to lift heavy objects, they tend to have dull brownish-grey skin, wrinkly with black bristly hairs, large ears, a long and flattened tail. The skull of the African elephant is large, making up twenty-five percent of its total body weight; the estimated population size is near 300,000, they live up to 70 years in age when in the wild. However, in captivity, they tend to only live up to 65 years. African elephants utilize their long trunks and four large molars to break down and consume a large bulk of plants, shrubs and branches. In particular, they use their trunks to strip leaves, break branches, dismantle tree bark, unearth roots, drink water, bathe.
Without their trunks, these elephants would find their everyday routine of bathing and eating more difficult. Their molars, aiding in the consumption and digestion process, measures nearly 10 cm wide and 30 cm long withering away until the age of 15. Towards the age of 30, their baby teeth known as their milk teeth, are replaced by a new set which are larger and stronger; as these elephants age, their teeth undergo two more stages of growth, ages 40 and 65-70, until the animal dies from an inability to appropriately feed. The African bush elephant is the largest and heaviest land animal on Earth, being up to 3.96 metres tall at the shoulder and 10.4 tonnes in weight. On average, males are about 3.2 metres tall at the shoulder and 6 tonnes in weight, while females are much smaller at about 2.6 metres tall at the shoulder and 3 tonnes in weight. Elephants attain their maximum stature when they complete the fusion of long-bone epiphyses, occurring in males around the age of 40 and females around the age of 25.
Their large size means that they must consume around 50 gallons of water every day in order to stay hydrated. Birthing of the African bush elephant hits its highest point just before the rainy season of each year. Females carry their young in the womb for about 22 months, known as the gestation period, they give birth every five years; when born, calves can immediately walk to maximize their chances of survival. Newborns tend to weigh around 90 -- 120 kg. Females tend to reach sexual maturity at age 10, but they are most fertile from ages 25 to 45; the mating system of the African bush elephant includes females and males both pairing with several others at a time known as polygamy. The African bush elephant can first reproduce at the age of 9.5 years. Generation length of the African bush elephant is 25 years. Mating happens; when she is ready, she starts emitting infrasounds to attract the males, sometimes from kilometers away. The adult males start arriving at the herd during the
The Borneo elephant called the Borneo pygmy elephant, is a subspecies of Asian elephant that inhabits northeastern Borneo, in Indonesia and Malaysia. Its origin remains the subject of debate. A definitive subspecific classification as Elephas maximus borneensis awaits a detailed range-wide morphometric and genetic study. Since 1986, Elephas maximus has been listed as Endangered on the IUCN Red List as the population has declined by at least 50% over the last three generations, estimated to be 60–75 years; the species is pre-eminently threatened by habitat loss and fragmentation. The Sultan of Sulu introduced captive elephants to Borneo in the 18th century, which were released into the jungle. Comparison of the Borneo elephant population to putative source populations in DNA analysis indicates that the Borneo elephants are derived from Sundaic stock and indigenous to Borneo; the genetic divergence of Borneo elephants warrants their recognition as a separate evolutionarily significant unit. In general, Asian elephants are smaller than African elephants and have the highest body point on the head.
The tip of their trunk has one finger-like process. Their back is level, it has become commonplace to refer to the Borneo elephant as a ‘pygmy’ subspecies, although adult elephants of Sabah of both genders are similar in height to their counterparts in Peninsular Malaysia. Five measurements of the skull of a adult female elephant from Gomantong Forest Reserve were smaller than comparable dimensions averaged for two Sumatran skulls. Few available measurements show that they are of similar size to other populations of the Sunda subregion. Morphological measurements of fifteen captive elephants from Peninsular Malaysia and of six elephants from Sabah were taken between April 2005 and January 2006, repeated three times for each elephant and averaged. There was no significant difference in any of the characters between the two captive populations, they are remarkably tame and passive, another reason some scientists think they descended from a domestic collection. Elephants are confined to the northeastern parts of Borneo.
In the 1980s, there were two distinct populations in Sabah ranging over the Tabin Wildlife Reserve and adjacent logged dipterocarp forest on steep terrain. In Kalimantan, their range is restricted to a small contiguous area of the upper Sembakung River in the east; the range of wild elephants in Sabah and Kalimantan seems to have expanded little in the past 100 years despite access to suitable habitat elsewhere on Borneo. Borneo's soil tends to be young and infertile, there is speculation that the distribution of wild elephants on the island may be limited by the occurrence of natural mineral sources. In 1992, the estimated elephant population size in Sabah ranged from 500-2,000 individuals, based on survey work conducted in the Tabin Wildlife Reserve, in Lower Kinabatangan District and in the Deramakot Forest Reserve. An elephant population census was conducted in Sabah between July 2007 and December 2008, counting dung piles along 216 line transects in five main elephant managed ranges, covering a total distance of 186.12 km.
Results of this survey suggest an elephant population of 1,184–3,652 individuals inhabiting the ranges of Tabin, Lower Kinabatangan, North Kinabatangan, Ulu Kalumpang Forest Reserve and the central forest of Sabah. The elephant density and population size varied throughout the five key ranges affected by conversion of lowland forest; the upper catchment of Ulu Segama Forest Reserve had the highest density of elephants with 3.69 elephants per 1 km2. Only the unprotected central forest area supported an elephant population of more than 1,000 individuals. In 2005, five female elephants were fitted with tracking devices to study their home range and movement patterns in Sabah. Results suggest that elephant herds occupied a minimum home range from 250 to 400 km2 in non-fragmented forest, while in fragmented forest habitat, the annual home range for elephants is estimated to be around 600 km2; the pre-eminent threats to the Asian elephant today are habitat loss and fragmentation, which are driven by an expanding human population, lead in turn to increasing conflicts between humans and elephants when elephants eat or trample crops.
Hundreds of people and elephants are killed annually as a result of such conflicts. Expanding human development disrupts their migration routes, depletes their food sources, destroys their habitat; the population of elephants in Kalimantan continues to dwindle as a result of damage to protected forests. As of April 2012, 20 to 80 elephants are estimated to range around 22 villages in the Sebuku subdistrict of Nunukan district in North Kalimantan. Elephas maximus is listed on CITES Appendix I; the genetic distinctiveness of Borneo elephants makes them one of the highest priority populations for Asian elephant conservation. In Malaysia, the Borneo elephants are protected under schedule II of the Wildlife Conservation Enactment. Any person found guilty of hunting elephants is liable on conviction to a fine of $RM 50,000 or five years imprisonment or both; the Oregon Zoo in Portland has the only Borneo elephant in the United States, a rescued female by the name of Chendra, found orphaned, alone and injured in the wild after her herd was crop-raided in a palm oil plantation.
It has not been resolved whether Borneo elephants are indigenous or have descended from captive elephants presented to the Sult