Down And Out In Paris And London

Paperback | March 1, 1972

byGeorge Orwell

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This unusual fictional account, in good part autobiographical, narrates without self-pity and often with humor the adventures of a penniless British writer among the down-and-out of two great cities. In the tales of both cities we learn some sobering Orwellian truths about poverty and society.

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This unusual fictional account, in good part autobiographical, narrates without self-pity and often with humor the adventures of a penniless British writer among the down-and-out of two great cities. In the tales of both cities we learn some sobering Orwellian truths about poverty and society.

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:228 pages, 8.01 × 5.34 × 0.6 inPublished:March 1, 1972Publisher:Harvest/HBJ Book

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:015626224X

ISBN - 13:9780156262248

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Reviews

Rated out of 5 by from A tale of poverty Down and Out in Paris and London by George Orwell is an incredible story about poverty. Orwell describes the experiences of being out of work, then of working as a plongeur (a dish washer – one of the lowest jobs imaginable) in Paris, and of becoming a tramp in London. Orwell writes beautifully with humour and describes each of the experiences with great details while maintaining the reader’s interest. This novel is about poverty, but if you are looking for a story with a proper plot, then this in not the book for you. The novel is written in first person, yet the protagonist is never named. This story is thought to include many events from Orwell’s life. Orwell’s stories are magnificent and are those that I always recall because they can be related to the real world. The protagonist is an Englishman whose money is one day stolen, and as an English teacher, he is left without work because he no longer has any students. The little money he has left is getting spent too quickly, and each day he has less and less. He contacts the only man he seems to know in Paris, and finds that he is, unfortunately, in the same situation – almost penniless and without work. Work is terribly difficult to find. The lodging houses are uncomfortable to sleep in for the night. How does the Englishman deal with poverty? It is a sad tale that makes you feel grateful that you have a roof above your head; are not forced to eat bread, margarine, and tea as your only meals; and never have to starve yourself for days at a time if you are ever left penniless. It is shocking to see how far vagabonds traveled just for free tea or food. May contain spoilers: I believe one of the main points of this work was to emphasise that poverty is a cycle that likely will not come to an end unless the government steps in and does something productive with the tramps. The last paragraph states all that the protagonist learned throughout the tale: “I shall never again think that all tramps are drunken scoundrels, nor expect a beggar to be grateful when I give him a penny, nor be surprised if men out of work lack energy, nor subscribe to the Salvation Army, nor pawn my clothes, nor refuse a handbill, nor enjoy a meal at a smart restaurant.” (213) Even after his tale, the protagonist concludes that he feels he has merely seen the fringes of poverty. 5/5
Date published: 2009-06-03
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Timeless While this is not an autobiography, Orwell drew deeply on his personal experience with poverty and the fringes of urban society. While it is firmly routed in its interwar context, it reveals truths about the opressive nature of poverty and homelessness that remain valid today.
Date published: 2008-02-08