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. How was the Socialist world seen when Orwell wrote this book?

2. What was the most obvious sign of malnourishment in the families of the unemployed men?

3. What did Orwell say was the distinguishing mark of the upper-middle class before the war in England?

4. What did Orwell find amazing about the unemployed men he met after returning from Burma?

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

Short Essay Questions

1. 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?

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

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

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

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

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

9. What did Orwell identify as the two methodologies for abolishing the class system in England? Why did he believe neither of these two to be viable?

10. 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?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

How did Orwell go about learning more about the working class poor? Do you think his methods were ethical? Do you believe that by doing what he did he actually saw the real side of the lower classes in northern England? Why or why not?

Essay Topic 2

Orwell spent five years in Burma as a member of the Imperial Police. Discuss how this experience affected his life, his politics and his belief system.

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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