A Hanging George Orwell Analysis

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George Orwell, who was born in India and was raised in Britain (99), wrote a powerful tale, “A Hanging,” which condemns capital punishment and its barbaric and heartless implementation. The story is based on the real life incident that he encountered while he was serving the British Imperial Police in Colonial Burma (Orwell 99). He witnessed a heartless action where an unnamed prisoner paid with his life for an unmentioned crime. The theme of the story is the wrongfulness of all the execution, and Orwell tries in “A Hanging” to highlight a specific case that exemplifies the reasons for eradication of the death penalty. Orwell works mainly through implication, and Orwell’s abolitionist message in “A Hanging” is conveyed through the prisoner, the dog, the functionaries, and their actions, words, and body language.
Orwell, through his characters and their behaviors shows how capital punishment will eventually lead to the degradation of the humanity and violation of the sanctity of human life. In the story, the prisoner and his behavior plays a vital role to convey the message. He was treated as if he were an animal. “We were waiting outside the condemned cells, a row of the sheds fronted with double bars, like small animal cage” (Orwell 100). Thorough this episode Orwell reveals how the prisoner was treated before he was executed. Both his hand and legs were tethered to a chain as if he were an animal that is likely to slip away (Orwell 100). This incident implies the
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