"Road To Wigan Pier" by Orwell

Essay by Anonymous UserCollege, UndergraduateA+, November 1996

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The Road to Wigan Pier is one of George Orwell¹s lesser known books. It was created not as a novel but as a book to inform people of the harsh conditions of an industrial society. Orwell was sent by a socialist book club to investigate unemployment in northern England. He managed to not only do this but also to report on many other aspects of industrialism, including socialism, poverty, and poor living conditions.

The book begins with a very detailed description of the living conditions of northern England during the industrial revolution. The living and working conditions are mainly portrayed through Orwell¹s direct accounts. Orwell finds lodging with four others about his age. They share one room of the Brookers¹ house. Two old aged pensioners live in the attic, giving every cent of their pension to the Brookers in trade for food and lodging. Orwell discuses how disgusting the house is and that most other lodging houses are very similar.

He eventually get¹s fed up with the living conditions and leaves for the town of Wigan.

When he reaches Wigan, he sees very similar conditions to the previous town. Orwell decides to investigate the coal mines. He finds a way to get a tour of the coal mine and he sees the conditions the miners have to deal with daily. The coal miners have to pick and shovel the coal on their knees, which requires more energy than doing this standing up. Then, Orwell is taken to the deepest parts of the mine. He and some others go down an elevator about 100 yards. Then he had to walk about two miles underground with a height clearance of about four feet. Once the extensive hike was made, Orwell saw how the mining process worked. Once the pieces...