Examples Of Connotation In A Hanging By George Orwell

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In “A Hanging”, Orwell uses connotation, contrast, syntax, and other forms of language to emphasize a point on how he believes that capital punishment is wrong. The prison and its contents are introduced right at the beginning. The first thing mentioned is the “sickly light, like yellow tinfoil” which is “slanting over the high walls into the jail yard” (page 1). The light described as sickly gives a bad connotation, setting a very grim mood from the beginning. Tinfoil is also an unnatural substance, adding a more negative connotation to the mood. The jail cells are compared in a simile as “small animal cages”, which shows the harsh and cramped conditions that the prisoners have to live in while waiting for their death (page 1). Describing the…show more content…
Glancing is a quick and often careless action which demonstrates how the superintendent isn’t that affected by the hanging that just occurred. Again, Orwell also dehumanizes the superintendent by continuing to make him seem like he has no sympathy or heart-warming emotions inside of him. The terrible conditions of the prison are described again when a story is told about a prisoner who “clung to the bars of his cage” (page 4). The fact that the prisoner was staying in what was called a cage is inhumane since cages are supposed to be for animals and not humans. The story continues, and it mentions that the officers felt pain and trouble because of the resistance by the prisoner. This, just like before, is very ironic because it was the officers that were complaining about feeling pain although it was the prisoner who was about to die. This shows how the officers seem to only care about their own feelings and comfort, and they don’t care about anyone else’s. Once the story is told, everyone starts laughing towards the story and the prisoner, proving even more how they have no negative emotions or worry inside of them when they should be feeling the
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