Saturday, March 28, 2009

Public Hanging

“‘Why can’t we go and see the hanging?’ roared the boy in his huge voice.  

‘Want to see the hanging! Want to see the hanging!’ chanted the little girl, still capering round.” (23)

A public hanging is an event that is not suitable for children, yet in this society of 1984, it is acceptable.  Attending a public hanging was also popular during Queen Elizabeth’s Elizabethan England. At this time, England was in a similar state of dysfunction. However, Elizabethan England was not prospering because of the bubonic plague that destroyed a large percentage of the population. the children’s interest in seeing the public hanging is Orwell’s method for showing how society has transgressed to one of its previous states, in this case a dysfunctional Elizabeth England.

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