George Orwell's The Road To Wigan Pier (1937) On Class & Power
Orwell explains in 1937 the disposition of the typical “socialist” living in England, and why it is so many people become averse to socialism because of these people alone, comprised of bourgeois intellectuals who have no actual affinity for the working classes, and working-class scribblers who work their way into the intellectual literati but are so hostile to everything that it seems they just want to burn it all down. Orwell questions, what is it these people, these “Socialists”, really want? When they seem to have no love for their fellow man. He suggests that, for many of them, socialism is a way to institute control on society, to implement order amongst those who do not share their cultural values. Orwell begins with descriptions of working conditions for miners in Industrial England, whom he went to live among and observe; it sounds like very difficult and back-breaking work, indeed, and their living conditions do not sound so great; many went without luxuries such as sheets, taken for granted across the world today for many years now. In the second part of the book, he gets to the meat on class and the reigning economic order of things; though I believe his beliefs that central planning and “socialism” are not the answer, he thoroughly explains issues of class, and why it is that socialism so quickly morphs into Fascism. He explains how the average socialist does not see what socialism would actually be as truly revolutionary – which, it is, in theory. The socialist, whether he is of proletarian origin or middle-class, imagines a World much like the existing one, except one maybe with less poverty, but still having the pub down the street, and the corner store selling all the wares you would want. In England, the bourgeois classes would disdain someone more “conservative”, who spoke of the superiority of England to other nations; but those same people would speak of the superiority of their own region in England to the other regions as if it were nothing. He outlines how little actual commitment to the idea of brotherhood and love for one another there is amongst the ranks of socialists, hateful men such as George Bernard Shaw who disdain the non-intellectual classes, and whose “radical” ideas “change to their opposite” at the first sight of “reality.” He explains the typical middle-class socialist as a 1937-era stereotypical Ultimate frisbee-playing type hippie, a “Sandal-wearer” who wants to go around doing yoga and ordering others about. As Dostoevsky points out, the normal human response to such a person is to give them the middle finger and to tell them to pound sand. If you look beyond the fact that Owell was not an economist, his argument is really that we ought to love our fellow man, which is in essence his argument for socialism. His illustration of class difference points out the inherent fact that humans have values. These value judgments are made from the conservative religious classes to the woke vegan-cheese eating, Prius driving classes. Orwell really argues for the need for mutual toleration, at the very least. “A thousand influences constantly press a working man down into a passive role. He does not act, he is acted upon. He feels himself the slave of mysterious authority and has a firm conviction that “they” will never allow him to do this, that and the other. Once when I was hop-picking I asked the sweated pickers (they earn something under sixpence an hour) why they did not form a union. I was told immediately that “they” would never allow it. Who were “they” ? I asked. Nobody seemed to know; but evidently “they” were omnipotent.” “A person of bourgeois origin goes through life with some expectation of getting what he wants... “educated” people tend to come to the front... their “education” is generally quite useless in itself, but they are accustomed to a certain amount of deference and consequently have the cheek necessary to a commander. That they will come to the front seems to be taken for granted...” Thus, expectations of what ones role in society is inevitably has a role on how someone acts in it. Whether or not one is willing to try and buck authority has less to do with being educated, and more to do with ones mindset. This parallels some of the points made by Malcolm Gladwell in Outliars about children who learn to “come to the front” and insert themselves in situations that will further their interests. "Talking once with a miner I asked him when the housing shortage first became acute in his district; he answered, ‘When we were told about it,’ meaning that till recently people’s standards were so low that they took almost any degree of overcrowding for granted. He added that when he was a child his family had slept eleven in a room and thought nothing of it, and that later, when he was grown-up, he and his wife had lived in one of the old-style back to back houses in which you not only had to walk a couple of hundred yards to the lavatory but often had to wait in a queue when you got there, the lavatory being shared by thirty-six people...” On efforts to try to alleviate these conditions, there are premonitions of Arnade’s Dignity. “...are definitely fine buildings. But there is something ruthless and soulless about the whole business. Take, for instance, the restrictions with which you are burdened in a Corporation house. You are not allowed to keep your house and garden as you want them—in some estates there is even a regulation that every garden must have the same kind of hedge. you are not allowed to keep poultry or pigeon. The Yorkshire miners are fond of keeping homer pigeons...” Thus, you can take the help, but it is a bargain with the devil where you can no longer determine how your own life is lived. Of his time spent with the miners, who were of a different class and culture than him, “I cannot end this chapter without remarking on the extraordinary courtesy and good nature with which I was received everywhere. I did not go alone—I always had some local friend among the unemployed to show me round—but even so, it is an impertinence to go poking into strangers’ houses and asking to see the cracks in the bedroom wall. Yet everyone was astonishingly patient and seemed to understand almost without explanation why I was questioning them and what I wanted to see. If any unauthorized person walked into my house and began asking me whether the roof leaked and whether I was much troubled by bugs and what I thought of my landlord, I should probably tell him to go to hell.” I think this mirrors experiences of traveling in the Midwest, of people who are extremely nice and generally welcoming, despite what is depicted in the media about their politics and thoughts. On anonymity and the city, “Until you break the law nobody will take any notice of you, and you can go to pieces as you could not possibly do in a place where you had neighbours who knew you.” “...you can’t command the spirit of hope in which anything has got to be created, with that dull evil cloud of unemployment hanging over you...” “It is a deadly thing to see a skilled man running to seed, year after year, in utter, hopeless idleness. It ought not to be impossible to give him the chance of using his hands and making furniture and so forth for his own home...” “But no human being finds it easy to regard himself as a statistical unit. So long as Bert Jones across the street is still at work, Alf Smith is bound to feel himself dishonoured and a failure. Hence that frightful feeling of impotence and despair which is almost the worst evil of unemployment—far worse than any hardship, worst than the demoralisation of enforced idleness...” “A human being is primarily a bag for putting food into; the other functions and faculties may be more godlike, but in point of time they come afterwards. 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. The Great War, for instance, could never have happened if tinned food had not been invented. And the history of the past four hundred years in England would have been immensely different if it had not been for the introduction of root-crops and various other vegetables... and... non-alcoholic drinks... and... distilled liquors.” “The ordinary human being would sooner starve than live on brown bread and raw carrots. And the peculiar evil is this, that the less money you have, the less inclined you feel to spend it on wholesome food... when you are unemployed, which is to say, when you are... bored and miserable, you don’t want to eat dull wholesome food. You want something a little bit “tasty.”” When you have nothing else, you can at least have food that you enjoy. “There exists in England a curious cult of Northernness, a sort of Northern snobbishness. A yorkshireman in the South will always take care to let you know that he regards you as an inferior... the North... is ‘real’ life...”“Here you have an interesting example of the Northern cult. Not only are you and I and everyone else in the South of England written off as "fat and sluggish," but even water, when it gets north of a certain latitude, ceases to be H2O and becomes something mystically superior. But the interest of this passage is that its writer is an extremely intelligent man of " advanced " opinions who would have nothing but contempt for nationalism in its ordinary form. Put to him some such proposition as "One Britisher is worth three foreigners," and he would repudiate it with horror. But when it is a question of North versus South, he is quite ready to generalise” You have Americans who denounce people who are Patriotic, who denounce those who think that there are too many immigrants coming and taking the jobs, or whatever it is. But those same Americans, those "citizens of the World", are just as prejudiced against non-"multiculturalists." You don't see woke hipsters looking to saddle up with a can of Bud to watch some NASCAR and praise Jesus. They think that they are better, that their values are better, that everyone should go get an education and stop living in Indiana. So, each class of society has prejudice, it takes different forms. There is an inherently antagonistic relationship between the classes because each thinks its way of living is the right way. In a Democracy, in theory, we say that you are free to determine how to live for yourself. “To be working class, the notion of staying at school till you are nearly grown-up seems merely contemptible and unmanly... there is much in the middle-class life that looks sickly and debilitating when you see it from a working-class angle.” Thus, the two different approaches to life and living. “This scene is still reduplicated in a majority of English homes... Its happiness depends mainly upon one question—whether Father is in work. But notice that the picture I have called up, of a working-class family sitting round the coal fire... belongs only to our own moment... and could not belong either to the future or the past. Skip forward two hundred years into the Utopian future... In that age when there is no manual labour and everyone is ‘educated,’... The furniture will be made of rubber, glass and steel. If there are still such things as evening papers there will certainly be no racing news in them, for gambling will be meaningless in a world where there is no poverty and the horse will have vanished from the face of the earth. Dogs, too, will have been suppressed on grounds of hygiene. And there won’t be so many children, either, if the birth-controllers have their way... Curiously enough it is not the triumphs of modern engineering, nor the radio... but the memory of working-class interiors... that reminds me that our age has not been altogether a bad one to live in.” Thus, everything that defines happiness and the meaning of life for the working classes is what the classes of progress want to kill. Progress says, your life is meaningless. “To me in my early boyhood, to nearly all children of families like mind, “common” people seemed almost sub-human. They had coarse faces, hideous accents and gross manners, they hated everyone who was not like themselves, and if they got half a chance they would insult you in brutal ways. That was our view of them, and though it was false it was understandable. For one must remember that before the war there was much more overt class-hatred in England... in those days you were likely to be insulted simply for looking like a member of the upper classes... the time when it was impossible for a well-dressed person to walk through a slum street without being hooted at...” This, the inherent antagonism between the classes. “If you treat people as the English working class have been treated during the past two centuries, you must expect them to resent it. On the other hand the children of shaby-genteel families could not be blamed if they grew up with a hatred of the working class, typified for them by prowling gangs...” “I have dwelt on these subjects because they are vitally important. To get rid of class-distinctions you have got to start by understanding how one class appears when seen through the eyes of another... snobbishness is bound up with a species of idealism...” “Suggest to the average unthinking person of gentle birth who is struggling to keep up appearances on four or five hundred a year that he is a member of an exploiting parasite class, and he will think you are mad...In his eyes the workers are not a submerged race of slaves, they are a sinister flood creeping upwards to engulf himself and his friends and his family and to sweep all culture and all decency out of existence. Hence that queer watchful anxiety lest the working class shall grow too prosperous... for miners to buy a motor-car, even one car between four or five of them, is a monstrosity, a sort of crime against nature.” The poor man of middle-class origin fears for the middle class who wants to sweep away everything that is dear to him, his meaningless learning and culture. “Look at any bourgeois Socialist... he idealises the proletariat, but it is remarkable how little his habits resemble theirs. Perhaps once, out of sheer bravado, he has... [sat] indoors with his cap on, or even [drank] his tea out of the saucer... I have listened by the hour to [bourgeois Socialist] tirades against their own class, and yet never, not even once, have I met one who had picked up proletarian table-manners... Why should a man who thinks all virtue resides in the proletariat still take such pains to drink his soup silently? It can only be because in his heart he feels that proletarian manners are disgusting. So you see he is still responding to the training of his childhood, when he was taught to hate, fear, and despise the working class.” The working class “smells” indeed. “In the war the young had been sacrificed and the old had behaved in a way which, even at this distance of time, is horrible to contemplate; they had been sternly patriotic in safe places while their sons went down like swathes of hay before the German machine guns. Moreover, the war had been conducted mainly by old men... by 1918 everyone under forty was in a bad temper with his elders... a general revolt against orthodoxy and authority... The dominance of ‘old men’ was held to be responsible for every evil known to humanity, and every accepted institution... was derided merely because ‘old men’ were in favour of it. For several years it was all the fashion to be a ‘Bolshie’... England was full of half-baked antinomian opinions. Pacifism, internationalism, humanitarianism of all kinds, feminism, free love, divorce-reform, atheism, birth-control—things like these were getting a better hearing than they would get in normal times... At that time we all thought of ourselves as enlightened creatures of a new age, casting off the orthodoxy that had been forced upon us by those detested ‘old men’. We retained, basically, the snobbish outlook of our class, we took it for granted that we could continue to draw our dividends or tumble into soft jobs, but also it seemed natural to us to be ‘agin the Government’.” Thus, the ebb and flow of left to right, and the lack of actual, genuine revolutionary spirit amongst the so-thought progressive classes. Of his own insolence and class-bias as the protector of the 1% but disdainer of the 90%, “So to the shock-absorbers of the bourgeoisie, such as myself, ‘common people’ still appeared brutal and repulsive. Looking back upon that period, I seem to have spent half the time in denouncing the capitalist system and the other half in raging over the insolence of bus-conductors" Of smelling the sweat of other soldiers, “All I knew was that it was lower-class sweat that I was smelling, and the thought of it made me sick.” On the wrongness of foreign occupation, “...no modem man, in his heart of hearts, believes that it is right to invade a foreign country and hold the population down by force. Foreign oppression is a much more obvious, understandable evil than economic oppression... people who live on unearned dividends without a single qualm of conscience, see clearly enough that it is wrong to go and lord it in a foreign country where you are not wanted. The result is that every Anglo-Indian is haunted by a sense of guilt... All over India there are Englishmen who secretly loathe the system of which they are part..” On the inhumanity of prisons and capital punishment, “I had begun to have an indescribable loathing of the whole machinery of so-called justice... It needs very insensitive people to administer it. The wretched prisoners squatting in the reeking cages of the lock-ups... the women and children howling when their menfolk were led away under arrest—things like these are beyond bearing when you are in any way directly responsible for them. I watched a man hanged once; it seemed to me worse than a thousand murders... the worst criminal who ever walked is morally superior to a hanging judge.” "… I worked out an anarchistic theory that all government is evil, that the punishment always does more harm than the crime and that people can be trusted to behave decently if only you will let them alone. This of course was sentimental nonsense. I see now as I did not see then, that it is always necessary to protect peaceful people from violence. In any state of society where crime can be profitable you have got to have a harsh criminal law and administer it ruthlessly; the alternative is Al Capone. But the feeling that punishment is evil arises inescapably in those who have to administer it.” “I had reduced everything to the simple theory that the oppressed are always right and the oppressors are always wrong: a mistaken theory, but the natural result of being one of the oppressors yourself” regarding his feelings in Colonial Burma “I had carried my hatred of oppression to extraordinary lengths. At that time failure seemed to me to be the only virtue. Every suspicion of self-advancement, even to ‘succeed’ in life to the extent of making a few hundreds a year, seemed to me spiritually ugly, a species of bullying.” On the inescapable nature of class difference, echoes Dostoevsky in Dead House. “I washed at the kitchen sink, I shared bedrooms with miners, drank beer with them, played darts with them, talked to them by the hour together. But though I was among them, and I hope and trust they did not find me a nuisance, I was not one of them, and they knew it even better than I did. However much you like them, however interesting you find their conversation, there is always that accursed itch of class-difference... It is not a question of dislike or distaste, only of difference, but it is enough to make real intimacy impossible... I found that it needed tactful manoeuvrings to prevent them from calling me ‘sir’; and all of them... softened their northern accents for my benefit. I liked them and hoped they liked me; but I went among them as a foreigner, and both of us were aware of it.” Of the sentimentalist (John Galsworthy) vs. Reality... “But is it so certain that he really wants it overthrown? On the contrary, in his fight against an immovable tyranny he is upheld by the consciousness that it is immovable. When things happen unexpectedly and the world-order which he has known begins to crumble, he feels somewhat differently about it... This is the inevitable fate of the sentimentalist. All his opinions change into their opposites at the first brush of reality.” Another version of this same quote, “...the opinions of the sentimentalist change into their opposites at the first touch of reality.” “For in the last resort, the only important question is. Do you want the British Empire to hold together or do you want it to disintegrate?” The answer for man, maybe most, is no; the status quo is just fine. “The alternative is to throw the Empire overboard and reduce England to a cold and unimportant little island where we should all have to work very hard and live mainly on herrings and potatoes. That is the very last thing that any left-winger wants. Yet the left-winger continues to feel that he has no moral responsibility for imperialism. He is perfectly ready to accept the products of Empire and to save his soul by sneering at the people who hold the Empire together.”Of the propensity for words to attempt as a substitute for action, “Hence the temptation to believe that it [class difference] can be shouted out of existence with a few scoutmasterish bellows of goodwill... Let’s pal up and get our shoulders to the wheel and remember that we’re all equal...” “For me to get outside the class bracket I have got to suppress not merely my private snobbishness, but most of my other tastes and prejudices as well. I have got to alter myself so completely that at the end I should hardly be recognisable...” People have standards, and this is to be human. “For it is not easy to crash your way into the literary intelligentsia if you happen to be a decent human being... being the life and soul of cocktail parties and kissing the bums of verminous little lions” “I have pointed out that the left-wing opinions of the average ‘intellectual’ are mainly spurious. From pure imitativeness he jeers at things which in fact he believes in... It is only when you meet someone of a different culture from yourself that you begin to realise what your own beliefs really are... This at any rate is what he says,... the bourgeoisie are ‘dead’ (a favourite word of abuse nowadays and very effective because meaningless), bourgeois culture is bankrupt, bourgeois “values” are despicable, and so on...” On trying to break down class barriers, “If you secretly think of yourself as a gentleman and as such the superior of the greengrocer’s errand boy, it is far better to say so than to tell lies about it. Ultimately you have got to drop your snobbishness, but it is fatal to pretend to drop it before you are really ready to do so.” “Any Socialist, he probably felt, could be counted on to have something eccentric about him... I have here a prospectus from another summer school which states its terms per week and then asks me to say ‘whether my diet is ordinary or vegetarian’. They take it for granted, you see, that it is necessary to ask this question. This kind of thing is by itself sufficient to alienate plenty of decent people. And their instinct is perfectly sound, for the food-crank is by definition a person willing to cut himself off from human society in hopes of adding five years on to the life of his carcase; that is, a person but of touch with common humanity.” On how “socialist” literature is incomprehensible to normal people, “You can see the same tendency in Socialist literature, which, even when it is not openly written de haut en bos, is always completely removed from the working class in idiom and manner of thought... As for the technical jargon of the Communists, it is as far removed from the common speech as the language of a mathematical textbook.” “…no genuine working man grasps the deeper implications of Socialism. Often, in my opinion, he is a truer Socialist than the orthodox Marxist, because he does remember, what the other so often forgets, that Socialism means justice and common decency... His vision of the Socialist future is a vision of present society with the worst abuses left out, and with interest centering round the same things as at present—family life, the pub, football, and local politics.” Of Orthodoxy, “One of the analogies between Communism and Roman Catholicism is that only the ‘educated’ are completely orthodox. The most immediately striking thing about the English Roman Catholics—I don’t mean the real Catholics, I mean the converts… is their intense self-consciousness. Apparently they never think, certainly they never write, about anything but the fact that they are Roman Catholics; this single fact and the self-praise resulting from it form the entire stock-in-trade of the Catholic literary man. But the really interesting thing about these people is the way in which they have worked out the supposed implications of orthodoxy until the tiniest details of life are involved. Even the liquids you drink, apparently, can be orthodox or heretical; hence the campaigns… against tea and in favour of beer... tea-drinking’ is ‘pagan’, while beer-drinking is ‘Christian’, and coffee is ‘the puritan’s opium’... [W]hat I am interested in here is the attitude of mind that can make even food and drink an occasion for religious intolerance. A working-class Catholic would never be so absurdly consistent as that. He does not spend his time in brooding on the fact that he is a Roman Catholic, and he is not particularly conscious of being different from his non-Catholic neighbours. Tell an Irish dock-labourer in the slums of Liverpool that his cup of tea is ‘pagan’, and he will call you a fool... It is only the ‘educated’ man, especially the literary man, who knows how to be a bigot.” “The underlying motive of many Socialists, I believe, is simply a hypertrophied sense of order. The present state of affairs offends them not because it causes misery, still less because it makes freedom impossible, but because it is untidy; what they desire, basically, is to reduce the world to something resembling a chessboard… Take the plays of a lifelong Socialist like Shaw. How much understanding or even awareness of working class life do they display? Shaw himself declares that you can only bring a working man on the stage ‘as an object of compassion… At best his attitude to the working class is the sniggering Punch attitude... he finds them merely contemptible and disgusting. Poverty and, what is more, the habits of mind created by poverty, are something to be abolished from above, by violence if necessary; perhaps even preferably by violence. Hence his worship of “Great” men and appetite for dictatorships...” “The truth is that, to many people calling themselves Socialists, revolution does not mean a movement of the masses with which they hope to associate themselves; it means a set of reforms which ‘we’, the clever ones, are going to impose upon ‘them’, the Lower Orders.” “The ordinary man may not flinch from a dictatorship of the proletariat, if you offer it tactfully; offer him a dictatorship of the prigs, and he gets ready to fight.” “This, then, is the superficial aspect of the ordinary man’s recoil from Socialism... The whole thing amounts to a kind of malaise produced by dislike of individual Socialists... Is it childish to be influenced by that kind of thing? Is it silly? Is it even contemptible? It is all that, but the point is that it happens, and therefore it is important to keep it in mind.”“Work, you see, is done ‘to provide us with leisure’. Leisure for what? Leisure to become more like Mr Beevers, presumably.” Regarding the disdain for work of progressives, and the love of the machine. (John Beevers, World Without Faith). “The truth is that many of the qualities we admire in human beings can only function in opposition to some kind of disaster, pain or difficulty...” “The truth is that when a human being is not eating, drinking, sleeping, making love, talking, playing games, or merely lounging about—and these things will not fill up a lifetime—he needs work and usually looks for it, though he may not call it work. Above the level of a third- or fourth-grade moron, life has got to be lived largely in terms of effort. For man is not, as the vulgarer hedonists seem to suppose, a kind of walking stomach; he has also got a hand, an eye, and a brain. Cease to use your hands, and you have lopped off a huge chunk of your consciousness...” “The nomad who walks or rides, with his baggage stowed on a camel or an ox-cart, may suffer every kind of discomfort, but at least he is living while he is traveling; whereas for the passenger in an express train or a luxury liner his journey is an interregnum, a kind of temporary death.” A good analogy for cycling vs. Cars. “They [Socialists] have never made it sufficiently clear that the essential aims of Socialism are justice and liberty. With their eyes glued to economic facts, they have proceeded on the assumption that man has no soul, and explicitly or implicitly they have set up the goal of a materialistic Utopia. As a result Fascism has been able to play upon every instinct that revolts against hedonism and a cheap conception of ‘progress’. It has been able to pose as the upholder of the European tradition, and to appeal to Christian belief, to patriotism, and to the military virtue...” The Socialist and Communist seek to dismiss all those things which normal men hold dear, and tell them they are not men, and that what they desire in their soul is wrong or false. On Fascism, a good analysis that could be applied to modern China, “...it is quite easy to imagine a world-society, economically collectivist—that is, with the profit principle eliminated—but with all political, military, and educational power in the hands of a small caste of rulers and their bravos. That or something like it is the objective of Fascism. And that, of course, is the slave-state, or rather the slave-world; it would probably be a stable form of society, and the chances are, considering the enormous wealth of the world if scientifically exploited, that the slaves would be well-fed and contented. It is usual to speak of the Fascist objective as the ‘beehive state’, which does a grave injustice to bees. A world of rabbits ruled by stoats would be nearer the mark. It is against this beastly possibility that we have got to combine.” On accepting the blessings of your Orthodox leaders vs. Actually evaluating something on its merits, “an incensed reader wrote to say, ‘Dear Comrade, we don’t want to hear about these bourgeois writers like Shakespeare. Can’t you give us something a bit more proletarian?’ etc., etc. The editor’s reply was simple. ‘If you will turn to the index of Marx’s Capital,’ he wrote, ‘you will find that Shakespeare is mentioned several times.’ And please notice that this was enough to silence the objector. Once Shakespeare had received the benediction of Marx, he became respectable. That is the mentality that drives ordinary sensible people away from the Socialist movement.” Orwell wonders of his status in society as a relatively poor writer, “Economically I belong to the working class, but it is almost impossible for me to think of myself as anything but a member of the bourgeoisie. And supposing I had to take sides, whom should I side with, the upper class which is trying to squeeze me out of existence, or the working class whose manners are not my manners” “But if you are constantly bullying me about my ‘bourgeois ideology’, if you give me to understand that in some subtle way I. am an inferior person because I have never worked with my hands, you will only succeed in antagonizing me. For you are telling me either that I am inherently useless or that I ought to alter myself in some way that is beyond my power.” Echoing Dostoevsky and how progressives antagonize the people whom they should be trying to persuade. 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I am starting a new segment called Weerd Reviews, where I will review books--generally in the field of humanities. This one was on a fantastic book by George Orwell called 'The Road to Wigan Pier'. I hope you all enjoy!!! Email me with any questions or comments at Deweerdo@mail.com Cheers, Jeff
14. The Question of Poverty Tourism in The Road to Wigan Pier
Is The Road to Wigan Pier (1937) socio-economically voyeuristic? This episode discusses some of the issues surrounding this and related questions, giving an overview of why and how Orwell wrote this enduringly relevant account of poverty and hardship in the industrial north of England.
At long last, a league win to light up our lives. However, we're not just talking about our 3-2 triumph at Wigan this week, as there is the news of a successful appeal against the implementation of a set salary cap for Leagues One and Two to chew over, and an increasingly tight relegation battle to weigh up. We're also chatting about formation changes, set-pieces, and the keys to Plough Lane.
1937 veröffentliche George Orwell ein Buch, das für großen Aufruhr sorgte. Es hieß „Der Weg nach Wigan Pier“, in ihm beschrieb Orwell die Armut im Norden Englands, die er zuvor in Armenhäusern und bei Bergmännern und ihren Familien erlebt hatte. Als das Buch erschien, sorgte es vor allem in der Mittel- und Oberklasse Londons für Entsetzen: Sie hatten sich schlicht nicht vorstellen können, unter welchen Bedingungen ihre Mitbürger im Norden lebten. Wie sieht es heute aus, gut 80 Jahre nach dem Erscheinen des Buches? Dieser Frage gingen die beiden Autoren nach. Sie folgten den Spuren Orwells und reisten nach Sheffield, Barnsley und Wigan. Und sie stellen fest: An der von Orwell beschriebenen Lage hat sich manches geändert, doch während die City of London die mit riesigem Abstand reichste Region Europas ist, liegen neun der zehn ärmsten Regionen Nordwest-Europas immer noch im Norden Englands. Die Armut sieht nun anders aus, aber noch immer gibt es Obdachlosigkeit, prekäre Arbeitsverhältnisse und Hoffnungslosigkeit. Ein hochaktuelles Feature über die Auswirkungen von Sozialabbau, Coronapandemie und Brexit vor der Folie von „Der Weg nach Wigan Pier“.
In this episode I talk about Road to Wigan Pier which is a George Orwell book. I focus less on the actual content of the book and more on some of the strategies he uses in his writing that I find pretty interesting.
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