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Literature / Down and Out in Paris and London

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George Orwell's first full-length work, published in 1933, is a memoir detailing his experiences of, well, poverty in Paris and London. It is roughly divided into two parts: the first concerned with Orwell's life on the breadline as a dishwasher in various Parisian hotels and restaurants, while the second details his life upon his return to London, where, failing to find employment, he finds himself homeless and dependent on the capricious charity of society.


This novel contains examples of:

  • Author Tract: The final few chapters.
  • Gay Paree: Deconstructed - Orwell details the experiences of poorly-paid manual workers behind the scenes of Paris' romantic image.
  • Greedy Jew: Played uncomfortably straight. Twice.
  • Impoverished Patrician: Orwell himself, and another old Etonian he encounters in a lodging-house.
  • Ragtag Bunch of Misfits: The tramps in the second part, but also his colleagues in the Paris hotel kitchens.
  • The Scrounger: Orwell describes the various restaurant scroungers (sometimes known as débrouillards) he encountered while working as a dishwasher in Paris.


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