Following his return to Britain, Blair/Orwell was "tortured" to the very end of his short life by a profound sense of guilt, corrosive self-disgust - accompanied and balanced thankfully by a visceral contempt for power, authority, elitism...
Here's an eye-opening extract from:
"How the British Empire Created and Killed George Orwell"
(Martin Sieff, Strategic Culture Foundation, May 2020 - link below) :
"The great secret of George Orwell’s life has been hiding in plain sight for 70 years since he died. Orwell became a sadistic torturer in the service of the British Empire during his years in Burma, modern Myanmar. And as a fundamentally decent man, he was so disgusted by what he had done that he spent the rest of his life not just atoning but slowly and willfully committing suicide before his heartbreakingly premature death while still in his 40s". (...)
"The second revelation to throw light on what Orwell had to do in those years comes from one of the most famous and horrifying scenes in “1984.” Indeed, almost nothing even in the memoirs of Nazi death camp survivors has anything like it: That is the scene where “O’Brien”, the secret police officer, tortures the “hero” (if he can be called that) Winston Smith by locking his face to a cage in which a starving rat is ready to pounce and devour him if it is opened. I remember thinking, when I was first exposed to the power of “1984” at my outstanding Northern Irish school, “What kind of mind could invent something as horrific as that?”, The answer was so obvious that I, like everyone else, missed it entirely. Orwell did not “invent” or “come up” with the idea as a fictional plot device: It was just a routine interrogation technique used by the British colonial police in Burma, modern Myanmar. Orwell never “brilliantly” invented such a diabolical technique of torture as a literary device. He did not have to imagine it. It was routinely employed by himself and his colleagues. That was how and why the British Empire worked so well for so long. They knew what they were doing."