The Road to Wigan Pier Test | Mid-Book Test - Hard

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This test consists of 5 short answer questions, 10 short essay questions, and 1 (of 3) essay topics.

Short Answer Questions

1. What was the average size of one of the dwellings?

2. What was done with the unusable shale inside of the mines?

3. What did Orwell urge the reader to realize about the coal miner?

4. What creature did Orwell see a surprising abundance of in the coal mine?

5. What were "caravan dwellings?"

Short Essay Questions

1. Orwell stated that the Brookers were typical of most people in the modern world. What characteristics did he point out as typical?

2. How did Orwell describe the housing in the industrial towns of England? When were most of the houses built?

3. Who were some of the boarders at the Brooker's rooming house? How were thought of by the Brookers?

4. Describe the meals Orwell was offered while living at the Brookers. Who cooked the meals? What were the boarders given to eat for dinner?

5. What were the caravan dwellings Orwell speaks about in his book? How many were there in Wigan? What were the living conditions in these caravan dwelling?

6. What difference did Orwell see in the lives of the working class and the bourgeois that had to do with the humiliation suffered by many miners?

7. Who were the newspaper canvassers, and what were their jobs?

8. There were three shift in the mines Orwell discussed. What happened in each of the three shifts?

9. What is nystagmus? How is it contracted? How is it cured? What happened to a miner in Orwell's time who contracted nystagmus?

10. What were the coal mines like for Orwell? How did he see the men who mined the coal?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

There is an inherent conflict on Socialism between the advancement of the machine state and industrialization and the working man's job. How did Orwell address this conflict? How did he believe Socialism should address the conflict? Do you believe the two--the machine state and the working man--are by nature at odds with each other? Why or why not?

Essay Topic 2

Orwell described a daily event in many of the coal mining towns that was both astounding and appalling. What was "scrambling for coal?" Who participated in this event? Why? How was this symbolic of the rest of the unemployed worker's life?

Essay Topic 3

How did Orwell go about learning more about the working class poor? Do you think his methods were ethical? Do you believe that by doing what he did he actually saw the real side of the lower classes in northern England? Why or why not?

(see the answer keys)

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