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 were some of the misconceptions Orwell noted about Socialists in 1930's England?

2. How did Orwell describe a slag heap?

3. What did "The Sleeper Awakes" and "Brave New World" have in common in Orwell's opinion?

4. What did Orwell find was the basis of the diet for families of the unemployed?

5. What did Orwell believe was the deeper implications of Socialism?

Short Essay Questions

1. What story did Orwell relate about the beer bottle? How did this support his dislike of the working class body? How did he say he was able to overcome this dislike?

2. How did Orwell explain the attitude toward the family in a working class society? How did it differ in his opinion from the middle class man and his family?

3. What were some of the benefits available to unemployed workers in Wigan and Sheffield? How long did benefits last? How long could someone remain unemployed before running out of benefits?

4. What was the unemployment situation in England in the 1930's? How did Orwell's figures differ from official government figures?

5. What was a "shabby-genteel" family in Orwell's opinion? What were some of the characteristics of a shabby-genteel family?

6. Orwell described the view from a street in Sheffield. Describe what he saw when he looked around the town.

7. How did Orwell's time in the military police effect his thinking about government and oppression?

8. What was the employment situation in Wigan and Sheffield, the two towns Orwell wrote about?

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

10. What does the statement by Napoleon "an army marches on its stomach" mean in context of life in industrialized England?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Orwell explained that as a child, he was taught that the lower class, the working class, smells. What did this mean to Orwell as a child? As he grew up, how did this concept of a visceral odor become both literal and figurative? How does the concept of the working class smell affect the struggle Socialism faces with class issues in England?

Essay Topic 2

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?

Essay Topic 3

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?

(see the answer keys)

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