• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Orwell defended socialism in The Road to Wigan Pier.

Extracts from this document...


Matthew Miller Prof. White History 1123 Final Essay Assignment Question 4 After experiencing the plight of the English working class during the world-wide economic slow down produced by the depression of the 1930s, Orwell concluded that the only solution to the problems faced by these masses of unemployed was a social and political philosophy that stressed co-operation. This philosophy was socialism. Orwell's own brand of socialism was not Marxist, or Leninist, nor was it philosophical or even economic. Socialism, for Orwell, meant decency and social justice. The class system of social distinctions ought not to be destroyed -- rather, all men and women should become even more aware of their class and their relationships with other classes. "All that is needed," wrote Orwell, "is to hammer two facts home into the public consciousness. One, that the interests of all exploited people are the same and the other, that socialism is compatible with common decency." Orwell defended socialism in The Road to Wigan Pier because he believed that the problems of the working class were caused by the greed of capitalism and that if the discontent of the era could not be turned into co-operation England would be enslaved into the tyranny of fascism. ...read more.


Social mobility is one of the givens of our age. Accidents of birth and race are less of a barrier to what an individual can achieve than they used to be. At least, so we are lead to believe. The need to believe this illusion lies in our unease with class divisions. It is easier to pretend that they do not exist. So there is no progress. Orwell's experiences lead him to believe that the unemployed will remain unemployed, and that there is never any hope of them being able to improve their conditions. He observed that the re-education programs of the time had all failed and that they would continue to fail. Capitalism, he believed, had created this problem and would continue to make it worse. Since the competition of capitalism would not be able to re-employ these men, he believed that co-operation through socialism would be able to provide a better way of life for these people. Orwell also saw the world splitting into political factions: fascism and socialism. Fascism, to Orwell, was a danger because it enslaved the workers. ...read more.


I think that democratic socialism is a bit na�ve in it's nature. But Orwell is right about the class separation in the UK as a contributing factor to the non-caring attitude they seem to have to all the people in Wigan and other Wigan-like communities. Lower classes are looked at as filthy animals and dirt seems to be a big preoccupation of the view of the working class. Orwell does try to cut into that with a lengthy discussion on the rigorous process the coal miners have to go through to get clean, trying to help fight certain prejudices and beliefs. Certainly Orwell seemed to care about what happened and present a situation where he thought it could work. Part of that plan was to question many of the beliefs of socialism at the time and to question the direction of the movement in an attempt to bring real debate and reform into the socialist movement. Then socialism would be equipped to help the working class, and the working class would be accepting of it. The only problem I see is that I don't view socialism as a viable, real world remedy to the ills of Wigan. 1 ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our University Degree George Orwell section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related University Degree George Orwell essays

  1. 1984 - George Orwell

    Orwell writes in his essay, "Why I Write" that "Every line of serious work that I have written since 1936 has been written directly or indirectly against totalitarianism and for democratic socialism, as I understand it" (4). Serving as England's "moral conscience," he sought to boldly reveal the truth, even to those who denied its existence (Kollar 2).

  2. Consider the political implications of seeing and being seen in Nineteen Eight-Four and The ...

    Where the protagonist after losing her sight believed that her "inability to see how others saw her... was a dark blessing"24. Her reaction was that she became more liberated and realised that before she was just a conformist , expressed in the extended metaphor " caught in that endless jig"25.

  1. George Orwell is issued a challenge, one that seems near next to impossible to ...

    In conflict, the bourgeoisie are raised in a way that they 'smell' the proletarian, and recognize a distinction between the classes. There is obvious 'snobbishness,' and an atmosphere that the upper people see themselves better then everyone beneath them. The middle class think that the "working classes are dirty; therefore

  2. Write on the corruption of language as a theme and fear in Dystopian fiction

    You are imagining that there is something called human nature which will be outraged by what we do and will turn against us. But we create human nature. Men are infinitely malleable."[6] Naturally, there are a range of social control methods.

  1. Analysis of "Animal Farm" By - George Orwell -

    Pigs who were considered most intelligent took the control. As Old Major passed away, Snowball and Napoleon, the prominent ones took the leadership. In the beginning the system runs smoothly. Eventually, Napoleon, who was thirsty for power expelled Snowball and started his dictatorship.

  2. "Human interaction takes place primarily through language." Discuss the use of dialogue in works ...

    This newly invented slang makes it easier for the reader to contemplate the 'ultra-violence' in the book, as it is a form of alienation. Burgess used extreme violence to shock and distance his audience. The dialogue, along with the disconcerting first person narrative, distances the reader and succeeds in 'making it strange'.

  1. George Orwell: Rebel to Patriot

    as stepping into "an atmosphere that was scarcely less alien and hostile to us and our kind than if this had been Paris or London." While Orwell had been away, the atmosphere of the city had lost the egalitarianism and working-class control it once had.

  2. Consider George Orwells Nineteen Eighty-four from a Marxist perspective.

    as something to constantly strive for was almost paralleled by his suspicion of, and discontent with, communism as a growing force in politics and its potential to lead to totalitarianism. Orwell wrote in his essay Spilling the Spanish Beans that Communism is now a ?counter-revolutionary force?17 and that when he

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work