Similes In A Hanging By George Orwell

1113 Words5 Pages
If sending people off to get hanged was your job how do you think you would feel about it? In George Orwell’s personal essay “A Hanging,” Orwell designates the true impact hanging a person could have on someone’s soul. He ingeniously expresses how his view on taking someone’s life, while they are perfectly healthy is truly wrong. Orwell skillfully does this by using similes, describing scenes or people, and by his way of expressing the tone he wants to give. When reading this personal essay you notice a variety of similes. One simile in particular is used when he is describing a group of men watching over a prisoner that they are preparing to send to get hanged. Orwell thinks to himself, “It was like men handling a fish which is still alive…show more content…
For instance in the very start of his essay he begins by describing the day. He begins by saying, “a sodden morning of the rains. A sickly light, like yellow tinfoil, I was slanting over the high walls into the jail yard.” When you read that passage you get a depressed tone out of it, and what tops it off is that when the weather is like this coincidently someone is going to get hanged. He also shows us again what the tone of his essay is when he sees the prisoner step out of the way of a puddle while he is being led to where he is going to get hanged. George Orwell says, “but till that moment I had never realized what it means to destroy a healthy, conscious man. When I saw the prisoner step aside to avoid the puddle, I saw the mystery, the unspeakable wrongness, of cutting a life short when it is in full tide.” It is obvious that the tone he is trying to set here is anger because he is beginning to get upset about taking a perfectly healthy man’s life away. Furthermore, Orwell continues to express his tone when the prisoner begins to cry for his god just as he is about to get hanged. The superintendent takes a long time to give the order to hang the prisoner. Orwell states, “the same thought was in all our minds: oh, kill him quickly, get it over, stop that abominable noise!” Orwell is showing that he is beginning to pity the prisoner again giving a sorrowful tone and
Open Document