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Analysis of "The Hanging" by George Orwell

In: English and Literature

Submitted By skd1020
Words 499
Pages 2
Sylver Baker 2016
Professor Hendrix
ENC 1102
23 May 2016
Formal Assignment 1: Analysis of “A Hanging” by George Orwell

“A Hanging” by George Orwell is a short story based on the author’s experience while working as a police magistrate. In the story he talks about the experience of witnessing an execution. The prisoner is escorted to the gallows by the warders for his hanging. Once there everyone is ready for the execution to be done so that they can all go have a drink. Using descriptive words so that one feels and experiences what he experienced Orwell argues that Capital Punishment is wrong. Orwell focuses on the negative to set the tone of how unpleasant and depressing an execution is. He describes the day “a sodden morning of the rains. A sickly light, like yellow tinfoil” which sets a gloomy tone. He describes the cells, “condemned”, “a row of sheds fronted with double bars, like small animal cages”. In creating such a gloomy setting Orwell proves he is concerned and nervous about the execution. If he was not affected by the hanging, then the mood would not be so melancholy. Orwell can’t simply ignore the capital punishment and nor can anyone else. All people feel some kind of anxiety about the inhumane and cruel punishment. Orwell describes the superintendent and other characters’ emotions before and after the hanging, who is against capital punishment. The prisoner cries out in a rhythmical tone, “Ram! Ram! Ram! Ram!”, not out of fear or for help but as though he has accepted his condemned fate. “Everyone had changed color---each cry another second of life; the same thought was in all of our minds; oh, kill him quickly, get it over, stop that abominable noise!” This shows the state of mind of all involved with the hanging: fearful, anxious, horrified. The warders were the ones that are disturbed by the experience of the hanging. Orwell states,...

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