The Road To Wigan Pier By George Orwell: A Literary Analysis

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“The Road to Wigan Pier” was first published in England in 1937; the Left Book Club commissioned it. The aim of the club, according to one of its brochures, which reflects the temper of the time, was “to help in the terribly urgent struggle for World Peace & a better social & economic order & against Fascism, by giving (to all who are determined to play their part in this struggle) such knowledge as will immensely increase their efficiency.”(Orwell, Publisher’s Note) This essay will look at the portrayals of the living and working conditions of the British working class during the 1930s found in “The Road to Wigan Pier”. It will examine the comparisons made by Orwell in the fist part of the novel and how these were depicted in the “Saddler …show more content…
She tells us after her family was financially ruined; how from then on she lived through the horror of being a poor child. “I became a working girl. I was eleven years old… I was working thirteen hours… once my thirteen-hour day was over. I did crochet work and often stayed up all night”(Bouvier, 212-213). It is clear that the living condition of the working class, and not only them but also the children in particular was so horrid. Bouvier worked in order to bring food to the household but this is no work or responsibility for a child. What is more astonishing is the fact that her own mother made sure that she worked non-stop without rest. Why was this? The was the side effect of such cruel poverty, these people reached a point of hopelessness to go as far as sending their own children for some loaf of bread on the table. This takes us to another reading; “Report on child labor” by the Sadler Commission, a man named Mr. Matthew Crabtree is giving a testimony of what he endured during this period. He first started working at the age of eight and worked for fourteen hours with just an hour at noon for refreshments and rest. These children were beaten severely because they arrived at work late. As says Mr. Crabtree, this was due to so much fatigue resulting from the long hours of work and early mornings, this was supposedly done to “spur them up” (Sadler Commission, 142-143). Orwell also continues in the second chapter to describe what mine workers went through. At the beginning of this chapter Orwell is describing the bad conditions that these miners are living under; The unbearable heat, the noise that resulted in confusion, the darkness caused by the coal leading to foul air and the cramped space that was due t the fact that they worked underground (Orwell, 21-23). The distances that have to be travelled

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