The Road to Wigan Pier

Topics: Socialism, Marxism, Working class Pages: 4 (1347 words) Published: November 29, 2010
George Orwell’s criticisms of socialism in his book, The Road to Wigan Pier, present the compelling argument that socialism is almost an impossible concept to acknowledge, at least in the context of England. When first reading this book, we find that Orwell is, at one point, living with a miner in the working class and witnessing the poor conditions in which the coal miners endured. Although a middle class man, Orwell observes the many “influences press[ing] [working men] down into passive role[s],” causing him to eventually build on his criticisms of socialism (Orwell p. 49). Although he did not quite fully understand the idea of socialism, he claimed himself to be one and uses his self-acclamation as one of his criticisms of how others do not even understand the gratitude of the class in which they are claiming. Through his observations in Wigan and his own self reflections, Orwell’s criticisms come to shape his propositions for what should be done next, in regards to the working people of Britain.

Socialism, in Orwell’s eyes, is no longer a movement of the working class, yet something that the middle class is steering on. He says, "We are living in a world in which nobody is free, in which hardly anybody is secure, in which it is almost impossible to be honest and to remain alive. For enormous blocks of the working class the conditions of life are such as I have described in the opening chapters of this book, and there is no chance of those conditions showing any fundamental improvement" (p. 149). It is also worth mentioning how Orwell mentions how that if anyone really thought about the problems in England that they would realize that socialism was the answer. However, instead, the idea of socialism is on the back-burner and Orwell finds himself trying to come to a consensus of why it is not being implemented. He realizes that there are those people who cannot bear socialism and even adds some of his own personal feelings in the book as well. At one point,...
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