In "A Hanging," by George Orwell, he writes about the accounts of one prisoner's hanging at the gallows and the emotions and feelings towards the death of that prisoner. The essay takes place mostly around the gallows and jail. The jail alone is described to be a place of “brown” prisoners wrapped in blankets among their empty metal barred cells. The superintendent was moody and in a hurry to get the job done as he wanted the death to happen as soon as possible so the other prisoners might get their breakfast soon. A dog, who had came and interrupted the process, was rather happy because so many humans were together at one place. Orwell, the author himself, had a realization of how evil it is to kill a man who is just as much as a conscious and real person as everyone else and did not deserve to die. This realization came from the action of the prisoner stepping around a puddle as he was being walked to the gallows. The whole process of the hanging is tense and quiet as the prisoner cries out, “Ram!” repeatedly. Finally, he is hung and dies. After this hanging there is a sigh of relief from the superintendent and several other man, including the author. The men all began to laugh and converse over the facts of the hangings. Joking, casually, about pulling some prisoner's legs to make sure they die. An interesting jovial mood comes about as the story ends with the account of all the men drinking together. A jovial mood, fun activities, and laughter can lift stress, remove the mind from focusing on negativity, and create a better outlook on a situation.
When focusing on something negative, or in Orwell's case something he believes is wrong, a quick offer of a cigarette and a joke cracked sparks laughter and changes the way he feels in the moment. Orwell writes, “At that moment Francis's anecdote seemed extraordinarily funny” to express the change from focusing on the “unspeakable wrongness” of killing a a perfectly alive and conscious man. A difficult topic such as the one of killing this conscious man is like a bitter tea. It just needs a little sugar (or laughter) and it becomes light, sweet, and easy to swallow. As soon as the man was pronounced dead and jovial atmosphere begins, Orwell writes “An enormous relief had
come upon us now that the job was done.”
The negative and stressful events of the hanging disperse from the mind once the jovial activities begin. Orwell doesn't even mention the thought of the wrongness of killing a man once the jokes, cigarettes, and whiskey come out. The rest of the essay is spent writing about the activities of the men and the dead man is not even mentioned until the...