The Road to Wigan Pier Test | Final 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 portion of the population of Wigan was living on unemployment, including family members?

2. How did unemployment affect the life of the married man?

3. What did Socialism mean to the average, ordinary working man in England?

4. Why did Orwell think the upper-middle class were drawn to India, Kenya and Nigeria?

5. Why did Orwell say Socialism had not taken hold in England despite its common-sense doctrine?

Short Essay Questions

1. What were the attributes of the Northern snobbishness Orwell writes about?

2. Describe the slag heaps found in northern England. What did they look like? What were they eventually used for in Wigan?

3. What were the reasons Orwell cited for Socialism being intrinsically tied to machine industrialization?

4. Where did Orwell go to live for five years when he was twenty? What were the difference in class distinctions he observed there?

5. What did Orwell do in order to learn more about the working class conditions he had previously not understood? How did he go about trying to be a part of the working class and see the world through their eyes?

6. How did Orwell argue against the common misconception that the poor and unemployed are simply lazy?

7. Why did Orwell think the working class people were rarely pure Socialists?

8. Why did Orwell consider Socialism a way out of the social and economic conditions plaguing England in the 1930's? How did he present his argument?

9. How did Orwell see the clash between the Socialist idea of the machine state and the working people Socialism wished to bring into the fold?

10. Why did Orwell think Socialism was not on the rise in England? What did he think Socialists were doing to discourage people from participating?

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

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 3

Orwell and many other writers have described the horrible work conditions in coal mines all over the world. Describe the conditions in the coal mines in northern England in the 1930's. What challenges and risks did miners face working in the mines? What was Orwell's reactions to being in the mines with the workers? Why?

(see the answer keys)

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