By B. Clarke
This daring new interpreting of Orwell's paintings focuses upon his illustration of groups and the myths that form them. It analyzes his interpretations of sophistication, gender and nationality in the context of the interval. The e-book makes use of a number of texts to argue that Orwell tried to combine 'traditional' communal identities with socialist politics.
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Extra info for Orwell in Context: Communities, Myths, Values
Orwell insists that his ‘lower-upper-middle class’106 background did not significantly effect the way others behaved towards him whilst he was tramping. Indeed, the only occasion he records on which it led to better treatment was when he gave his trade as ‘journalist’ during registration at a spike, and was asked by the ‘Tramp Major’ whether he was therefore ‘a gentleman’. 107 However, he concedes that his integration was possible due to the Class 29 particular sections of the poor he mixed with in both England and France.
A ‘new suit’ can transform a dishwasher, just as one ingrained with ‘antique filth’ can, temporarily, transform an old Etonian. This transformation enacted by a change of clothes is, of course, only effective if nothing else reveals the deception. Orwell insists that whilst he anticipated he would experience problems when tramping, few actually materialised. 100 In The Road to Wigan Pier, r he argues this is because a tramp is used to hearing all kinds of accents among his mates, some of them so strange to him that he can hardly understand them, and a man from, say, Cardiff or Durham or Dublin does not necessarily know which of the south English accents is an ‘educated one’.
129 These are largely independent of one another, a series of interrelated studies of particular, frequently unusual, examples of deprivation. ’130 It does not outline a coherent model of poverty, and those described in the text do not form communities, bound by cultural, political or religious ties, but instead are connected Class 31 only by work or poverty. Their experiences are particular, rather than indicative of broader patterns. Bozo, for example, who is ‘half starved throughout the winter’, but nevertheless insists that if ‘you set yourself to it, you can live the same life, rich or poor’,131 is too idiosyncratic to be representative of a class.
Orwell in Context: Communities, Myths, Values by B. Clarke