Review on a Hanging Essay
A Hanging by George Orwell is a harsh, wake up call as to how cold and blind the human race can be. This story takes place in Burma, India in the 1940s. Orwell is a warder for a prison in Burma and he tells about his one experience as he prepares and
They all gathered around him, six warders, and walked the prisoner out of his cell and towards the gallows. The prisoner went calmly but was very afraid for his life is coming to an end in a mere 2 minutes and there is nothing he can do to change that. As the prisoner makes his way to the gallows, Orwell watches the him as he walks and notices that he came upon a puddle and steps aside to avoid getting his feet dirty, even though he is about to be put to death. Orwell starts to realize that the prisoner is a human being with feelings and thoughts, who is about to be cut short of his life.
As they were walking to the gallows, into the yard comes this dog. Wild and happy to see so many people together, he went round the men, barking and wagging his whole body around. In an instant, the dog made a dash for the prisoner, trying to lick his face. The superintendent of the prison became angry, for he wanted to get along with the execution so in that way the other prisoners can get there breakfast. They escorted the prisoner to the gallows. Two warders then placed a noose around his neck and tightened it. The prisoner then began to cry out to his god Ram! Ram! Ram! (Orwell, A Hanging, 234). It was a steady and rhythmical cry, not fearful and urgent. In hearing this sound, the dog answered with a whine. The warders then put a cotton bag over his face, but the sound muffled by the cloth, over and over again. Throwing up his head, the superintendent made a swift motion with his stick. Chalo he shouted fiercely. There was a clanking noise, and then dead silence. The prisoner disappeared with only the rope in view. Orwell let go of the dog and it made its way to the back of the gallows. It stopped short, barked and ran into a corner of the yard where it stood looking timorously at the men. They made there way to the back of the gallows to inspect the body. The superintendent stretched out with his stick and poked at the lifeless body, Hes alright said the superintendent. He looked at his watch, Eight minutes past eight. Well thats all for this morning, thank god.
After reassuring themselves of the prisoners death, they make there way towards the big central yard of the prison. The prisoners were already receiving there breakfast. They sat in rows, each man holding a tin pannikin, as two warders ladled out rice. It seemed like a quite jolly, homely scene, after the hanging. It was an enormous relief to the men, now that the hanging is over. One felt an impulse to break out and sing. All at once everyone began talking gaily. One warder, a Eurasian boy, with a knowing smile said: Do you know, sir, our friend (he meant the dead man) when he heard his appeal had been dismissed, he pissed on the floor of his cell. From fright. Kindly take one of my cigarettes, sir. Do you not admire my new silver case sir? From the boxwallah, two rupees eight annas. Classy European style. The men laughed at what? nobody knew. The superintendent grinned in a tolerant way. He suggested that the warders come out and have a drink of whisky which sat in his car. They went through the gates and into the road. Pulling at his legs! said a Burmese magistrate, and burst into a loud laugh. They all began laughing and had there drink, native and European alike. The dead man
The superintendent and the warders in this story are insensitive. After they put a man to death, they mock him and have a drink in celebration of his hanging being a success. They have been doing so for a period of time that they have become blinded with no emotions. Even if the man they put to death is a prisoner, they could have at least have the courtesy to remove his body from the gallows and not mock him and the others that have suffered the same faith as him.
The dog, to me, is the prisoners last show of affection towards him. Even though it was a dog, he had someone, or in this case something, be nice towards him for it was the last signs of affection he would get within the last 2 minutes of his life. The dog also shows us that all living things can show emotion. For example, after the prisoner was hung and dangling from the ropes, the dog sobbed and knew that the man was dead. But when youre surrounded by inconsiderableness, such as the warders, it can blind you
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A Hanging by George Orwell is a harsh, wake up call as to how cold and blind the human race can be. This story takes place in Burma, India in […]