George Orwell: Sociopolitics Of The 1930's

2358 words - 9 pages

Orwell was an accurate analyst of social conditions in the 1930s in communicating issues of unemployment and social perceptions existing after the detrimental international economic halt provoked by the Wall Street market Crash of 1929. Leading into The Great Depression, Orwell gives a first-hand account of the living and working conditions of the working-class in Britain, gaining insight into ideologies different from what he had been taught in his middle-class upbringing. In his account, the economic upheaval in Britain provides a basis for social issues to be addressed through a physical engagement with the working-class.
By providing a description of the realities of existence in the 1930s as well as an account of the ideologies embedded within individuals in an attempt to alleviate the burden of difficult conditions, Orwell provides an acute account of the social and economic spheres of Britain.

As there is much conflict and change existing in the British government in this decade, Orwell provides his concept of Socialism in England arguing that left-wing politics are no longer movements of the working-class. Whilst the more political section of The Road To Wigan Pier is based more upon Orwell’s perceptions and less upon the reality of political circumstances, the author embodies reactionary qualities against radical movements of the 1930s, identifying with the political disillusionment that many faced, making him correct in reflecting attitudes of his time.
Opening with an economic depression and ending with total war, the 1930’s have been characterised by the mass unemployment, the rise of fascism and appeasement threatening to destruct societies. Known as ‘The Hungry Thirties,’ this period faced issues of chronic poverty, poor housing and health crises due to the living and working conditions that families were reduced to during the Great Depression.
Orwell describes in detail, life among the poor and unemployed in relation to the growing social and economic disparity between upper and lower classes through his empirical account of housing shortages, overcrowdedness and other conditions of living that people in depressed areas of Lancashire faced. He describes the “wealthy” among the poor who can only just afford to feed themselves along with providing prices of food and other expenditures facing the poor and unemployed who must rely on the dole for an income.

In contrast to the difficulties faced by the working-class, it is considered that the 1930’s saw a great improvement of living conditions for most Europeans and Americans as health services increased due to government intervention. Being a time of great change, those born in the 1930’s had a higher chance of survival than their ancestors shown by the decline in the general death rate. However, it was factors of poverty that were the cause of premature death, widening the disparity between the rich and poor.
As Orwell describes, the biggest aggravation of poverty was...

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