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George orwell's essay a hanging is a piece of non-fiction that is emotionally provocative.

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George orwell's essay a hanging is a piece of non-fiction that is emotionally provocative. It is set in burma during the 1920s and it deals with a raw eyewitness account of an execution that the author witnessed whilst serving as a police officer. He uses all of his creative genius to universalise his thoughts and in using structure and style effectively, he achieves his main concern by creating a compelling and atmospheric mood throughout his essay. Orwell challenges the reader's views and questions the execution of a human life and the place of authority in it and in this essay i will show how the author swayed my feelings and influenced my thoughts on this subject. Np as the title suggests orwell's concern in his essay is an event. The event the author witnesses is the execution of a man who, for whatever reason, received the death penalty and was sentenced to be hanged. Orwell, who was very much against both imperialism and capital punishment, focuses his essay on the subject of capital punishment and successfully universalises his thoughts about his experience. ...read more.


This deliberate animalistic imagery is furthered because the condemned men sit "silent", stripped of dignity, humanity and individually. This disconsolate atmosphere is very effective because the description of the prisoners and their conditions evokes sympathy from the reader and therefore challenges the reader to consider the author's viewpoint. This panoramic view of the prisoners and their environment obtains sympathy from the reader because the prisoners are housed in pathetic and unnatural conditions. Np this sympathetic tone is evident throughout the essay and in paragraph two all the sympathy for all the prisoners is focused onto one particular prisoner. This brings a heightened level of pathos into the paragraph. He is described as a "puny wisp of a man" with a "shaven head" and "vague liquid eyes". He is the owner of a "sprouting moustache". The man's moustache is then described as "absurdly too big for his body" and we seem to have a picture of a sort of chaplinesque figure. Orwell's use of grim humour here is very effective and it is a very clever technique. It does add humour and it does make us laugh, but in reality, it only adds to our shame, for laughing at such a pathetic creature. ...read more.


Causes him to write about this incident and show how unnatural it is. The phrase "we are" seems to involve the reader. Orwell wants us to appreciate his point of view and become personally involved with the situation. One minute we are alive and functioning, living together in this world and the next... "one of us would be gone - one mind less, one world less". Np the rest of the essay is lighthearted and jovial as the group finds amusement when the head jailer recounts anecdotes, which both shock and appall the reader. Orwell joins in on the joke probably because he is so relieved that the execution is over that he will laugh at anything. But the reader is not allowed to forget or lose sympathy for the dead prisoner, who "pissed on the floor from fright", who was "a hundred yards away". This sentence seems too change the whole mood and pattern of the last paragraph. It contrasts greatly to the joviality and lightheartedness and it reminds the reader of what has just happened and of the seriousness and wrongness of it. This is another example of how adept orwell is at bringing us on to his side and making us feel as he feels. ...read more.

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