George Orwell's "A Hanging"

             George Orwell's "A Hanging":
             In George Orwell's "A Hanging", Orwell tells the story of what it was like to witness a man being hung. In this narrative there is a progression of emotions that can be seen in Orwell. In the beginning, Orwell sees the prisoner as an animal and his killing just a job that must be done. Then, Orwell experiences a realization about life when there is an incidence with a dog. This is the turning point in which Orwell realizes that it is not acceptable to kill a healthy human being. When the "job" is done and the man is dead, Orwell and his colleagues proceed to laugh and drink. At this point, Orwell is psychologically disconnecting himself from the harsh reality of what just happened. In this distance, Orwell finds solace. Orwell creates an effective argument against capital punishment by connecting the reader to the hanging, just as Orwell unintentionally became connected when the dog ran into the scene.
             The essay starts out by describing the day as being "a sodden morning of the rains," (19). Orwell describes the prison cells "like small animal cages" (19). Orwell continues with gloomy descriptions of the atmosphere. This creates a sad tone for the rest of the story. He proceeds by explaining that a job must be done and that the superintendent was getting irritable because it was not over with yet. Orwell is clearly disconnected from the awful killing that is about to occur. He does not think twice about it; it is just a duty that must be done before the other prisoners can eat breakfast. All of this changed when a dog ran to the men from the other side of the yard.
             Just as the prison workers began to escort the prisoner to his death, a happy and spirited dog ran up to them. Then the dog jumped up and tried to lick the prisoner's face. This was the turning point in Orwell's views on capital punishment. When the d...

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George Orwell's "A Hanging" . (1969, December 31). In Retrieved 03:29, April 05, 2020, from