The Road To Wigan Pier Analysis

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The Road to Wigan Pier is a journalistic book written by English author George Orwell in 1937. Originally written for Victor Gollancz from the far-left publishing group the Left Book Club, Orwell’s book would later be regarded as one of the blueprints for modern investigative journalism. As a journalistic piece, The Road to Wigan Pier is a book intending to inform its readers. Historically, however, this book functions as a documentary of the British working-class conditions in the mid to late 1930s as the Depression hits northern England. Additionally, it means to serve as a commentary on the state of Socialism, and why those who should be supporting the ideology so vehemently denounce it. Orwell succeeds in presenting an account of the poverty, …show more content…
Initially he tells of a family called the Brookers who always complained of their situation, even though they had a shop and constant lodgers. The lodgers were no better off yet they seldom, if ever, complained of their situation. Once Orwell had enough of the Brooker’s depressing monotony, he opted to travel Chesterton and to the coal mines.
Here he experienced the back-breaking labor of the coal-miners first-hand: cramped and dangerous elevators descending a mountain, walking hunched over for several miles just to get to the actual work site, always breathing in coal dust, and perpetually weary of a potential cave-in. Later Orwell discusses the living conditions of the miners, how the housing shortage forced people to accept substandard living arrangements. Just the monotony of life drove people to spend what little money they had on tasty food, leading to
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To persuade readers of his argument, Orwell takes the role of a devil’s advocate, tackling many of the counter-arguments that opponents of socialism might attempt to use against him. By presenting himself as a credible figure regarding the plights of the working people, Orwell strengthens his arguments and his predilection towards Socialism as Britain’s best option. The second half of the book is written in a very divisive manner. Orwell criticizes many of the readers who identify as Socialist almost as if they were frauds. To Rae however, the book’s “offending attributes … are not inadvertent, but calculated to dramatize flaws of … 1930s Britain” (72). This language and content is what prompted Gollancz to include a preface denouncing the second half in his original publication, as otherwise the first would lose most of its power and

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