Down and Out in Paris and London: Memoirs, George Orwell
George Orwell

Down and Out in Paris and London: Memoirs

230 printed pages
“Down and Out in Paris and London” is a memoir in two parts on the theme of poverty in the two cities. The first part is an account of living in near-destitution in Paris and the experience of casual labour in restaurant kitchens. The second part is a travelogue of life on the road in and around London from the tramp's perspective, with descriptions of the types of hostel accommodation available and some of the characters to be found living on the margins.
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Lemanhas quoted4 years ago
The question is, why does this slavery continue?
People have a way of taking it for granted that all work
is done for a sound purpose. They see somebody else
doing a disagreeable job, and think that they have
solved things by saying that the job is necessary. Coal-
mining, for example, is hard work, but it is necessary-we
must have coal. Working in the sewers is unpleasant,
but somebody must work in the sewers. And similarly
with a
plongeur's work. Some people must feed in
restaurants, and so other people must swab dishes for
eighty hours a week. It is the work of civilisation,
therefore unquestionable. This point is worth
bblbrxhas quotedlast year
A rich man who happens to be intellectually honest, if he is questioned about the improvement of working conditions, usually says something like this:

‘We know that poverty is unpleasant; in fact, since it is so remote, we rather enjoy harrowing ourselves with the thought of its unpleasantness. But don’t expect us to do anything about it. We are sorry for you lower classes, just as we are sorry for a cat with the mange, but we will fight like devils against any improvement of your condition. We feel that you are much safer as you are. The present state of affairs suits us, and we are not going to take the risk of setting you free, even by an extra hour a day. So, dear brothers, since evidently you must sweat to pay for our trips to Italy, sweat and be damned to you.’
;has quoted2 years ago
Quarrels, and the desolate cries of

street hawkers, and the shouts of children chasing

orange-peel over the cobbles, and at night loud singing

and the sour reek of the refuse-carts, made up the

atmosphere of the street.
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