With the countdown of the 2012 Olympic and Paralympics Games in London, England will attract the attention of the whole world this summer. In the eyes of a foreigner, England is featured by a cloudy sky, foggy towns, and red phone booths. The British mentality is notorious for its snobbery, hypocrisy, xenophobia and insularity. From the perspective of a perspicacious writer, George Orwell, we see something subtle and intriguing about the British culture. Let me summarize what Orwell highlights as the distinctive British flavor in the article, “England Your England”:

According to Orwell, national characteristics are continuous and persisting, stretching into the future and past. They have entered into the soul of the people. Despite the changing of the world, national characteristics can change only in certain directions because certain alternatives are possible and others are not, like a turnip seed never growing into a parsnip. For the British, their characteristics include the following:

First of all, the lack of artistic ability. The British are not as musical as the Germans or Italians; paintings and sculpture have never flourished in England as they have in France.

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