Brent Jones's Reviews > Down and Out in Paris and London

Down and Out in Paris and London by George Orwell
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Mar 01, 09

Read in January, 2004

Orwell presents this story as an autobiography. He starts the story in Paris where he prepares to go to work in a Hotel but then for a variety of reasons sort of just descends into poverty. Being an English teacher doesn't work and waiting to take a job in a hotel and the problems he has leaves him close to starvation. Even finding the Hotel job just leaves him with long hours of work and he finds himself at the bottom of a hotel's social structure. This is reflective of the society he lives in where there are little opportunities for one to rise above where one starts in life and of course work. He describes drinking on a Saturday night as the "one thing that made life worth living". At one point a murder happens right outside where he is sleeping and he just comments that within three minutes he had gone back to sleep not wanting to waste time over it. In London he lives as a beggar and a tramp and the experience just adds to his understanding of being down and out. Life there is no better for him. One can not help but think of "1984", and much of Orwell's other writings, and see in the story told here some of what later was the core of his message.
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