Homage to Catalonia Short Essay - Answer Key

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1. What is Barcelona like when Orwell first arrives in 1936?

George Orwell arrives in Barcelona, Spain, in late December, 1936. He describes the revolutionary spirit in the city as remarkable. Orwell sees pamphlets, posters and flags everywhere. Buses and buildings are painted in red and black, indicating that they have been collectivized.

2. Why does Orwell enlist in the militia?

An Italian militiaman inspires Orwell with his friendly confidence. Consequently, Orwell gets caught up in the revolutionary spirit and enlists in a militia unit. However, he is largely unaware of the political situation at the time and generally uninterested in Spanish politics.

3. How are the militia soldiers organized?

Most militia recruits are sixteen or seventeen-years-old who have no prior military training. The militia units are organized into a Section, containing thirty soldiers, three of which are joined into a Centuria of one hundred soldiers. Several Centuria make one Column.

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