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 distance between the pit bottom to the coal face?

2. What is a snap can?

3. What author accused miners of gluttony?

4. What physical attributes did the fillers share?

5. What point was Orwell making in his explanation of the coal miner's pay?

Short Essay Questions

1. What were the two largest causes of death to a miner on the job? What were the causes of these hazards?

2. Why did Orwell make the comparison between the miner's wages and the amount of coal and money the coal mines produce? What did he want the reader to understand?

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

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

5. What were the three terms Orwell used to describe the construction of the substandard housing in Wigan and Sheffield? How are they each affected by the lavatories available to them?

6. 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?

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

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

9. What were some of the common conditions in the houses Orwell studied for his book?

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Four political ideologies are presented in Orwell's book: Socialism, Capitalism, Fascism and Communism. Compare and contrast the four ideologies. Which are incompatible with each other? Were Orwell not a Socialist, what would he most likely have been committed to and why?

Essay Topic 2

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.

Essay Topic 3

In the northern, industrialized parts of England, coal was a prime commodity. What role did Orwell see coal playing in the industrialized world? How did this compare with miners' wages? On what did he blame the inequities he witnessed? Explain.

(see the answer keys)

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