Down and out in Paris and London is the work of an elite author by name George Orwell which was published in 1933. It explains in two parts, the subject of poverty about two cities. It gives an account of his survival in Paris and his experience as a casual laborer. In his second part he tells of his life in London. This he uses the viewpoint of a tramp and what accommodation is available. This book so compelling as it is written in a way that it gives a personal touch as Orwell tells of his opinions. George Orwell visualizes how poverty can pull people together as they try to find a solution to their predicaments.
He gives a picture of how people in need and of course the peasant’s takes friendship seriously. Coming together is the only way to get a solution for their almost similar issues. George Orwell in his writings addresses the needs of the poor and their issues but he uses his experience to show that poverty is not permanent. Orwell life in the streets taught him that it’s not everybody in the street that is lazy but it’s just that their hard work is hardly rewarded. One can have beautiful plans but he never knows what lies ahead.
His efforts for the first year only brought him twenty pounds and just as he had plans to save and maybe redeem himself an obstacle in form of a thief shattered his dreams. The poor have a way of sticking together and are easily moved by the experiences of the others. Orwell never became a radical but rather he took an outside position, as he probed into the environment of the workers and the poor. He was skeptical of the working class capacity in politics. Though he emphasized of middle class failure to mingle with the working class, he had a kinship attraction to the working class.
He was in love with their culture and defended them as decent people defied by economic factors. Orwell is criticized for putting more emphases on confidential social characteristics as preferred to the material discrepancies and conflicts among the labor and the owners of capital. He imagined the common people still lived lives of absolute morals and bad from which intellectuals had escaped long ago. Orwell rejects anti-essentialist pattern. This leads him to a suspicion that the intelligentsia never sought to mingle with the working class but rather to overrun them.
Orwell appreciates the low housing values like tactless, stupid, sexist humor, and bawdiness not for what it represents but for what it is. He hails beer and those who take it. He legitimizes the culture of the working class that is the racist and sexist themes. Their loyalty to guns and capital punishment must not be marked as impacts of alienation but can be made regal by the culture. The middle class have had a lot of feedback from Orwell as ties to identify with the working class. The great depression was a serious economic crisis between 1929 and 1933. It led to so many people loosing their jobs and even the farmers were not spared.
Businesses went bankrupt and industries were incapacitated. In his book down and out in Paris and London, George Orwell tells of his experience in while living with the unemployed and the miners. However, the most significant thing between the Great depression and George Orwell, is that this is when he was “born”. Just to give an insight, a child Eric Blair was born to a family of British middle class in 1903 in India. In his child hood, he had experienced the good side of the British empire and had the best education. Blair’s future seemed bright and naturally he was expected to follow in his dad’s footstep.
Thus in 1922, he linked up with the imperial police who were stationed in Burma. However, Blair had gotten his suspicion for the ruling class and their unlawful authority as he was undergoing education in Eton. After working for five years, his conscious could not stand the oppression and exploitation in Burma. Thus he returned back to Britain influenced to be anti- imperialist. Upon his return, he was obviously not taking sides with the rule of the day and thus, to avoid bringing shame to his family, he was reborn through a change of name to George Orwell.
His rebirth was marked by the documentations he wrote outlining the poor and the working class oppression. Among these documentaries was the book Down and Out in Paris and London 1933. The book Down and out in Paris and London has great connections with the history of Europe. First the writer gives a candid experience of the lives of the working class in London and in Paris. These cities are in Europe and thus a rather raw picture of Europe during the depression which has a great mark in European history is painted. The book literally talks more of the European history but in other words.
The casual houses or the spikes are terms synonymous with the European world. It is in this book that George fighting in the Spanish war for the republicans during the Second World War. Some of these experiences are what we learn in the European history but they sound more convincing when they come from a man who really had an upper hand as they happened.
In conclusion This book is a perfect picture of the specific historical details about the political and economic circumstances of Europe in the 1920s and early 1930s. Orwell describes poverty as he saw it and experienced it. It is brutal, debilitating, full of suffering and demeaning to the core of one’s being. It was almost impossible for George to publish his book. It is disputed as to whether the original publication really came to see the light of the day. Many publishers could not agree to publish George’s book as the reality covered in it was really a sore to the authorities.
The authorities could agree to face the reality that some of its people in the lower levels were being mistreated. They would rather stick to their belief that it was out of their own fault that they had to lead so miserable live. George had a tough time trying to convince that the lower class was decent people facing economic obstacles. The empathy exhibited by George was vey touchy. Some pessimistic argue the fact whether George was merely taking journalistic adventure. However, we get to learn the virtue of empathy in its essence.
Courtney from Study Moose
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