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 was a favorite refuge for the unemployed man in Wigan?

2. To what did Orwell compare a "shabby-genteel family" in England?

3. What four words did Orwell discuss in detail as the reason for class distinctions?

4. When asked who the top ten greatest men living in 1920, who was most often named in Orwell's school class?

5. What did Orwell believe every unemployed man should be given if he wanted it?

Short Essay Questions

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

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

4. What was the Means Test? Why did people dislike the Means Test?

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

6. 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?

7. What were some of the negative affects of unemployment on any town despite unemployment benefits?

8. 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?

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

10. What was "scrambling for the coal?"

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

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 2

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?

Essay Topic 3

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?

(see the answer keys)

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