A Hanging

Situate the text

Investigate the following in the text:

  1. Situate the text in Orwell’s life? (biographically)
  2. Situate the text amongst the other works we have studied. How is it related to the other works by way of perspective and language

Hanging an Elephant

In this text, you thought about the tension that works on the protagonist across the text. “A Hanging” was written earlier than “Shooting an Elephant” and so we would expect a natural progression between the two.

Task: Can you locate a development in the tension here? Does it seem to develop over the years or has it resolved itself by the time of writing (and hence it is the same)?

Writing and Hanging

Return to Orwell’s reflections on why he writes. Is this an example of the egoism or political perspective that Tyrell suggests or is it something else?

Equally, compare Orwell’s use of language. This text was written years before “Politics and the English language”. Was Orwell already practicing the guidelines he would formalise later?


Sentence structure: short/long; simple/compound/complex

Diction: simple/complicated; direct/vague

Figurative language:

Image: ‘Stray dog

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