The Road to Wigan Pier Setting & Symbolism

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Wigan

A town in northern England, some 17 miles northwest of Manchester and 17 miles northeast of Liverpool. Wigan is situated on the River Douglas and is within Lancashire. Wigan experienced expansion during the Industrial Revolution and has long been known as a coal mining center—though coal mining ceased during the latter-1900s. Much of Orwell's experience in Wigan focused on coal mining and coal miners. Orwell's book illuminates the poor working and living conditions in Wigan and similar towns during the 1930s. At the time of the book, Wigan's population was about 85,000.

Wigan Pier

The actual Wigan Pier was probably a wooden wharf on the Leeds and Liverpool Canal which was historically used to tipple coal onto barges during Wigan's early coal mining period. The pier originally was the terminus for a narrow-gauge railway extending to colliery loading areas. Ironically, the pier itself—memorialized in the...

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This section contains 1,254 words
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