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 did Orwell learn had happened to Wigan Pier?

2. Why does every miner have a blue scar on his nose and forehead?

3. What were "caravan dwellings?"

4. What was one common characteristic of all of the houses Orwell saw in industrial towns?

5. What did miners tell Orwell about why they ate less than he did at a meal?

Short Essay Questions

1. 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?

2. Describe the typical coal mine Orwell explored while studying the work conditions in the mines.

3. How did Orwell describe his room at the Brookers?

4. 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?

5. What was one major convenience added to the more modern mines in England? What myth often told about miners did this modern convenience dispel?

6. How did a miner clean up upon returning home? Why was cleaning up after work such a difficult task?

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

8. What did Orwell learn about the reality of the seven hour shift worked by the typical miner?

9. Why were the fillers an important part of the coal mining business? What were their jobs?

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Orwell used his childhood and upbringing as an example of social class, class prejudices and class values. Discuss the differences Orwell saw between the bourgeois, the lower-middle class and the working class in England in the 1930's. Why was this distinction between the classes important to Orwell in his discussion of Socialism?

Essay Topic 2

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.

Essay Topic 3

Orwell described in detail the house in which he stayed with the Brookers, and the houses he visited and reported on for his book. Discuss the housing conditions in Wigan, Sheffield and other towns in northern England in the 1930's. Why were things so deplorable? Who did Orwell believe was responsible for the living conditions of the working and unemployed poor?

(see the answer keys)

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