Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Down and out

There hasn't been any reviews on here for quite some time so i shall try and re-address that over the coming days. A couple of book and cd reviews. Today I just finished reading 'down and out in paris and london' which is Geroge Orwell's thoughts and recollections of living with no money. From pawning clothes to buy food to survive, working 18 hours a day in a hotel, various squalid bed sits, to living the life of a tramp in london. It's not a bad read, and is quite an eye opener to the abject poverty experienced by many in this country merely 70 years ago. The novel concludes with some interesting thoughts, ideas to give hope and work to the 'tramps' and thoughts on class, which I guess are the seeds for his most well known novels, 1984 and Animal Farm.
In this book he is incredibly critical of the hospitality offered by the churches, despite the fact these would offer free food and drink, it always seemed to come with a forced prayer or a sermon. The tramps seemed to despise this charity, perhaps because they were starving they needed food and found it embarassing to have to take it from someone with excess, or perhaps it was felt that this charity was done out of some christian duty, rather than with any thought for the person. But it makes you think, people don't like to receive charity, they want dignity and the ability to leave a life of poverty. Which I guess is why things like fairly traded goods are a good way of engaging people to break the chains of poverty.


felicity said...

if you like that - i'd recommend the short story "the end" by samuel beckett.

moog said...

wasn't he in quantum leap? ;)

i'll search it out...

thanks for the tip