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. To what did Orwell compare the sound of the conveyor belt in the mine?

2. Who wrote "The Coal Scuttle?"

3. How was the coal miner getter paid?

4. What did many of the old timers believe about miners washing their legs?

5. What was the most understandable cause of accidents in a mine?

Short Essay Questions

1. How did Orwell come to write "The Road to Wigan Pier?" When did he write the book? For whom? What were the three parts of the book when it was originally published?

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

3. Who were the Brookers? How did Orwell describe them? What did they look like? Behave like?

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

5. Why did Orwell believe it was important to understand the working conditions of the miners? What did he see as the larger story?

6. When people moved into the Corporation housing, what were some of the restrictions by which they had to abide?

7. What did the miners look like when they emerged from the coal mines? What were some of the first things they did upon coming above ground?

8. What were some of the reasons Orwell gave for a miner's pay being much lower than his publicized wage?

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

10. 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?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Orwell believed that as economies become more depressed, class distinctions become more pronounced. Do you think this was true in pre-war England? What was the economy like in the 1930's? Based on what we have experienced here in the last four years, do you believe that class distinctions are greater as our economy has become depressed? Discuss.

Essay Topic 2

Orwell spent a good deal of his life promoting Socialism and struggling with the issue of class differences and prejudices. He contended that to abolish class distinction, a person must be willing to abolish part of himself. What did he mean by this?

Essay Topic 3

In Orwell's opinion, Socialism was more than an economic doctrine. Discuss Orwell's definitions of Socialism and why he believed it to be the most logical form of government for England at the end of the 1930's.

(see the answer keys)

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