An Examination of George Orwells, The Road to Wigan Pier

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Contents

  1. George Orwell’s The Road to Wigan Pier – Kate Macdonald
  2. Review Of George Orwell 's ' The Road '
  3. The road to Wigan Pier - George Orwell

The first finds Orwell in investigative journalist mode, as he embarks on a physical journey amongst industrial workers in the economically depressed north of England, investigating and describing the causes and symptoms of poverty. The second is a journey of the mind, which takes the form of a long essay in which Orwell Orwell was commissioned to write this book by his publisher Victor Gollancz, a campaigner for left-wing causes and the founder of the Left Book Club.

The careful way in which Orwell engaged on the task he set himself in the first half of the work shows him at his analytical best. He details aspects of life amongst the poor, starting with a vivid description of a lodging house before moving on to describe the working and social conditions of coal miners and housing, unemployment, food and the cityscapes of the north.

The second half of the book is more controversial. Struck by the sheer awfulness of what he had seen on his journey, Orwell analysed the reasons for popular resistance to socialism, which he saw as the solution to the poverty and unemployment. However, his analysis of the objections to socialism felt by ordinary people was designed to offend middle class socialists who constituted much of the readership of the Left Book Club. The problems with socialism Orwell identified now appear very dated.

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George Orwell’s The Road to Wigan Pier – Kate Macdonald

View all 13 comments. The best. Profoundly important work. Timeless relevance. Orwell's instilled personal middle class prejudices seemingly unconsciously expressed amid his objective insightful observations on the different class prejudices, as well as politics, work, hygiene, food nutrition, etc. To read again. Fascinating and still relevant. The narration seemed wrong at first, but I think was perfect. This book is a bizarre mix of raw statistics, moving stories, humorous opinions, and clever political strategies. Aug 01, Smiley aka umberto rated it liked it.

I'm rereading this wonderful, bitter narration of the poor in Wigan Pier in England eleven years before I was born first published in briefly today. It's the sad aftermath for me to review this almost dry, damp copy due to the unexpected deluge that leaked into our Language Center on the ground floor after the heavy, steady rainfalls in the evening last Thursday September 8. Therefore, on Friday our staff, officials and students helped us move stacks of books, course sheets, academic dr I'm rereading this wonderful, bitter narration of the poor in Wigan Pier in England eleven years before I was born first published in briefly today.

Therefore, on Friday our staff, officials and students helped us move stacks of books, course sheets, academic drafts, students' reports, etc. So this is my sad review of this book I read some years ago by quoting some underlined parts with my personal views.


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Between pages , there are some 18 black-and-white photos depicting the plight of those who lived and worked then. It's a bit horrible but understandable why the people and the families lived like that. I think you'd love his descriptive elaboration, analysis and reflection. Gollancz can accept a lot in Orwell's description of working-class life; yet, for example, he tut-tuts nervously when Orwell says that working-class people are believed by middle-class people to smell, which indeed, they did. It is happening all over England at this moment, thanks to the Means Test.

George Orwell uses 'in work' not 'at work'. Chapter 4, Part II. Excellent description on teachers' lives concerning understanding and insight on the matter he himself was a teacher for a year or two. He sometime uses the phrase, 'dash it' p. View all 12 comments. Mar 07, Katy rated it really liked it Shelves: non-fiction , jp-literature-philosophy. George Orwell spent a lot of time living amongst the people and observing the standard of living. It was just fascinating and made me realise that some things truly never change.

I found it chilling how Orwell describes the revulsion the middle classes of the time felt towards the working class, and how ironic it was they loathed the very people they claimed to be championing through socialism and were out of touch even then! I mean seriously, nothing has changed.

This is a fascinating read, I would highly recommend. Im sure George Orwell is spinning in his grave at these strange lives we lead in this country now. I read this book based on the recommendation of Larry from the show in order to prepare for a discussion about this book for the show, thus I made it through my fourth book by Orwell and I will say that this was among the more challenging of reads.

This book is a nonfictional account that harps on Orwell's political philosophies regarding his support for Socialism. By Socialism, he means a 3. By Socialism, he means a party that is for the people, for getting them employed, and against tyranny, as opposed to the several stereotypes that people develop on the subject.

Orwell begins by talking about the working conditions of both the employed and the unemployed, after being asked to look at the conditions of unemployment in Great Britain. Looking at the lives of the employed was completely Orwell's choice and he did so by examining the lives of coal miners and their working conditions. What he came across was a work environment and a lifestyle that both he and us the reader could not imagine living and he even points out this sense of disconnect. He spends the remainder of the book talking about his philosophies, examining why people are hesitant to explore and embrace Socialism, and his argument as to why we should all be Socialists.

The subject material that was presented was very intriguing and striking like a piece of Stilton cheese. There is definitely descriptions of the coal mining work conditions and the examples in which Orwell shared that are going to stay with me for an extended period of time. I also felt that I got a great sense of British politics and how the United States is going through a similar period of time where they are examining whether or not Socialism could be beneficial to its people and the nation as a whole.

Where I was caught up was in the density of some of the material and how one can easily get caught up within the dated information. I feel that readers with a sense of the British monetary system will have a great advantage, for there are details that other readers would need to explore outside of the book before they approach it. While this material gave me plenty to think about, I cannot say that it has changed any points of view of mine. I would say that I would benefit from rereading this text and specifically the parts that I feel would develop a greater understanding to what Orwell argues is Socialism in its ideal state.

He does point out the aspects of human nature, but not to the point where it exploits somewhat of a flaw within the system. Feb 03, Ashley rated it liked it Shelves: british-read. Informative and thought-provoking with loads to digest. I read this as a budding social revolutionary! That being said, I like Orwell's journalistic accounts like this one and Burmese Days , I like his writing style as the crisp prose of a journalist shines through and I like his commitment to showing how, even in a fairly well-off society like Britain, there have always been people who are forgotten about.

It's not all about the I read this as a budding social revolutionary! It's not all about the "help! I'm being oppressed" narrative of state repression but about regular people living their lives in situations of dire poverty and unemployment. To end on a Orwellian activist note, it's sad how not much has changed in the 70 years or so since this book was first published.

Definitely not a "Saturday afternoon-on-the-porch" see my review of Excession for explanation read. This is a "Friday evening-plotting the overthrow of society" read. Or, "a kick up the arse for being too complacent" read This was definitely a book of two halves.

Jordan Peterson - George Orwell's Wigan Pier, Marxism and the Working Class

The first section was reminiscent of Down and Out in Paris and London , although not as interesting. The second half was very representative of Orwell's essays, of which I've read most. So, where does that leave me feeling about this book? I didn't like it so much. I felt like I'd read most of it before and so that lessoned my enjoyment. I didn't learn anything knew here, but I still appreciated what Orwell had to say and think it's a worthwhile read if y This was definitely a book of two halves.

I didn't learn anything knew here, but I still appreciated what Orwell had to say and think it's a worthwhile read if you've only tried his fiction. May 02, Stephen rated it liked it.

Review Of George Orwell 's ' The Road '

Jul 19, G. This was an interesting and insightful read and though it was written some eighty years ago it is remarkably current, timeless in many ways. There is much to stop and ponder over; for example: Here you come upon the important fact that every revolutionary opinion draws part of its strength from a secret conviction that nothing can be changed. Orwell pulled some things into all-too-sharp a focus for some tastes back then, which are just as challenging and eye-averting today in our so-called 'inc This was an interesting and insightful read and though it was written some eighty years ago it is remarkably current, timeless in many ways.

Orwell pulled some things into all-too-sharp a focus for some tastes back then, which are just as challenging and eye-averting today in our so-called 'inclusive-all embracing-anything-goes' society. This book is well written and Orwell's descriptions and turns of phrase do not disappoint; one amongst others that amused me was: Generally the crumbs from breakfast were still on the table at supper.

Such observations seemed to add a certain surrealness to the work that I liked and did not detract from the serious nature of the book. Aug 09, LindaH rated it it was amazing Shelves: essays. Reading The Road to Wigan Pier got me roused up about a lot of things. First among them is to read more George Orwell. His writing is analytical, compassionate, clear, witty, honest, everything I love about great nonfiction. His description of coal miners's lives is exemplary journalism by today's standards, and this is commissioned work he did when he was only in his 20s.

At the halfway point in the book, Orwell turns to the subject of socialism. He looks at it from all different perspectives, Reading The Road to Wigan Pier got me roused up about a lot of things. He looks at it from all different perspectives, including why the middle class rejects it and why class prejudice cuts all ways, to the undermining of socialism.

I like that he is moderate in his views; he never endorses extremism, although, of course, he is focused on the need to provide decent living conditions for poor working class families. He is for "freedom and justice", and opposed to the growing fascism of his time So much of what he says rings true today.

Nov 14, Chris Dietzel rated it really liked it. Ever since reading and loving '' and 'Animal Farm' I've been looking for something of Orwell's that can compare. Although 'The Road to Wigan Pier' is nonfiction and tells of coal miners in England, for me it comes the closest to capturing his outrage at the world that I loved so much in his two classics. This book focuses on the hardships of the lower class--the biases they face, the need for liveable wages--and is incredibly relevant to what is going on in much of the world today.

View 2 comments. Jan 18, Anthony Buckley rated it it was amazing Shelves: favourites , anthropology , politics. One of the best pieces of reportage I have encountered. Orwell discovers the English working class and, with kindness but without sentimentality, he describes what he sees. Jan 27, Fiona rated it it was amazing Shelves: politics , history-non-fiction.

I read this in the 80s and it has stayed with me since.

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I'd had no idea about the conditions the miners in particular worked in in the s and it left me feeling very humbled and quite outraged. Oct 16, Olivera rated it it was ok Shelves: book-club , , non-fiction , classics. In my opinion, this was just a middle of the road book - a solid 2.

Since it's non fiction and about a topic I really am not interested in, there wasn't a way for me to enjoy it for more than it was. It excellently handled the topic of the hard conditions under which miners lived in England, but for the life of me, I could not care less.

The road to Wigan Pier - George Orwell

I literally only read it for book club and yes, we do realize now that this was quite a bad book club pick. Riku has pricked my conscience. This is a book that was recommended to me waay back by Mr Watkins, my history teacher in senior school, and I still haven't got to it. You can read it at Project Gutenberg AU Opening: The first sound in the mornings was the clumping of the mill-girls' clogs down the cobbled street.

Earlier than that, I suppose, there were factory whistles which I was never awake to hear. Feb 19, Rachel Louise Atkin rated it did not like it. Wow Orwell's managed to piss me off yet again. What a surprise. The latter is told more like an actual novel with characters, plot and narrative. Wigan Pier was more like a long case study or essay on Orwell's time studying the poor and the working-class like they are rats in a laboratory and not actual human beings.

Pa Wow Orwell's managed to piss me off yet again. Part of me thinks Wigan Pier is the better book because it's told the way I think it should be. It's factual. It doesn't try and draw a curtain over the horrors of poverty in cities like Wigan, Sheffield and Barnsley - describing the horrific conditions of the back-to-back houses and the dangerous working days of the average coal miner. Some of the information was actually so grotesque I was scared that people were actually allowed to live in conditions like that at one point, and it made me so angry.

And this is the response you should have when faced with information like this, because it is horrendous that human beings even now live in such conditions whilst others own multiple million pound houses. Down and Out, as I have previously stated, is told more like a tale - George's 'day in the life' where he decides to live in poverty for a few weeks.

And he does this for a short while in Wigan Pier too, because I think he thinks that by donning a dirty jacket and putting on a pair of socks with holes in makes him more a more valid 'socialist' and means we can overlook that he's actually grown up with middle class privileges all of his life. Down and Out tries to entertain and humour the reader like the whole thing is a game to him.

Of course he can return back to his house and his money whenever he wants but he wants to have the true experience of what it's like to be poor, which he will never have. Orwell needs to listen to Common People by Pulp. Moreover, George goes on to try and give his own answers to the poverty question which the majority of the time just consists of him saying 'treat the poor like human beings'.

Wow, I never thought of doing that. He's trying to be on the working-man's side but all it does is show that he doesn't have a clue what it's like to be a working-class person and never will. His musings sometimes make sense in that he realises much is at the fault of the government, but then goes on to rant about the poor diets of the coal-miners, suggesting that perhaps they'd be better off if they bought oranges and fruit instead of carbs.

His attempts at closing the class-gap are so self-serving that he doesn't even realise it and only shows how embedded he is in it. Our Orwell goes on a nice little socialist rant at the end where he tells us all to watch out for fascism and that socialism is the only solution, which I would be happy to sit and listen to for days if I didn't have the hindsight knowledge of the fact that he's a traitor to the left, which proves everything coming out of his pen is bullshit.

He's the most famous champagne socialist writer there has ever been and his continued propaganda to try and make it look like he's on the side of the working-class is so Orwellian it's ironic. I liked the parts in this about machines, however, and as I said I liked a lot of the writing and found it incredibly addictive and enjoyable. Which is why I'm struggling with my rating because I really did like the book but it's made me so mad. Anyway, Orwell's got good things to say when he doesn't try and write off his own privilege and uses his class knowledge to write things like which shows the actual danger of a totalitarian government.

His documentations of the working-class and the poor during the s in which he acts like a scientist poking around in a petri-dish full of bacteria, however, make me so mad. Readers also enjoyed. About George Orwell. George Orwell. Eric Arthur Blair , better known by his pen name George Orwell , was an English author and journalist. His work is marked by keen intelligence and wit, a profound awareness of social injustice, an intense opposition to totalitarianism, a passion for clarity in language, and a belief in democratic socialism.

In addition to his literary career Orwell served as a police officer with the Indian Imperial Eric Arthur Blair , better known by his pen name George Orwell , was an English author and journalist. In addition to his literary career Orwell served as a police officer with the Indian Imperial Police in Burma from and fought with the Republicans in the Spanish Civil War from Orwell was severely wounded when he was shot through his throat.

Orwell and his wife were accused of "rabid Trotskyism" and tried in absentia in Barcelona, along with other leaders of the POUM, in However by then they had escaped from Spain and returned to England. Between and , Orwell worked on propaganda for the BBC. In , he became literary editor of the Tribune, a weekly left-wing magazine. He was a prolific polemical journalist, article writer, literary critic, reviewer, poet, and writer of fiction, and, considered perhaps the twentieth century's best chronicler of English culture.

Orwell is best known for the dystopian novel Nineteen Eighty-Four published in and the satirical novella Animal Farm — they have together sold more copies than any two books by any other twentieth-century author. His book Homage to Catalonia , an account of his experiences as a volunteer on the Republican side during the Spanish Civil War, together with numerous essays on politics, literature, language, and culture, have been widely acclaimed.

Orwell's influence on contemporary culture, popular and political, continues decades after his death. Several of his neologisms, along with the term "Orwellian" — now a byword for any oppressive or manipulative social phenomenon opposed to a free society — have entered the vernacular. Books by George Orwell. Trivia About The Road to Wigan Quotes from The Road to Wigan A man dies and is buried, and all his words and actions are forgotten, but the food he has eaten lives after him in the sound or rotten bones of his children. I think it could be plausibly argued that changes of diet are more important than changes of dynasty or even of religion Yet it is curious how seldom the all-importance of food is recognized.

You see statues everywhere to politicians, poets, bishops, but none to cooks or bacon-curers or market gardeners. This was March, but the weather had been horribly cold and everywhere there were mounds of blackened snow. As we moved slowly through the outskirts of the town we passed row after row of little grey slum houses running at right angles to the embankment. He touches on his own background as an Eton-educated snob and his life-changing experience as an agent of imperialism in Burma, before moving on to general observations, on topics such as the use of "cleanliness" to reinforce class barriers and the common mismatch between social and economic status.

Orwell also offers practical "marketing tips" for those trying to sell socialism. Unless you can remove that smell, and very rapidly, Fascism may win. Though much less engaging than the first-hand descriptions in part one, however, this does offer a fascinating perspective on the politics of the time. One senses here that the point is not the ultimate triumph of a particular doctrine or party. Cormac McCarthy wrote about how some unknown force has destroyed America and life is becoming worse because of death and crime everywhere. George Orwell wrote about a government with too much power and life is becoming discreetly worse.

His book, The Road to Wigan Pier, revealed industrialism as the fundamental issue within English society and its effects on a depressed England. Industrialism, at the root of his argument, acts as the leading contributor to the harsh working conditions in mining towns and the astronomical poverty levels, but, also, the idea that socialism is the only solution to these problems. Orwell starts his work by describing his stay at a working-class house. The Brookers ran a lodging house that is overrun with black beetles and crumbs.

The house, noticeably in complete decay, is home to a handful of men that pay a substantial amount of their income to the Brookers. For Orwell, the stay is part of his investigation of the working and living conditions in industrial towns. What he learns and learns will not be forgotten. From Mrs. Brooker wiping her plump, oversized face on scraps of torn off newspaper, to Mr.