Childhood in 'Such, such were the joys’ by George Orwell
In his essay entitled ‘Such, such were the joys’ George Orwell describes his life at the boarding school, St Cyprian’s in Sussex, from the age of eight to the age of thirteen. He focuses on his own inability to assimilate in the new environment and the preferential treating received by the wealthier students. Orwell describes childhood as a trying and harsh trial. He portrays it through the eyes of the child that believes most of the adults to be enemies and the world itself a place so irrational that its rules make no sense and are impossible to keep. He focuses on the fact that children’s innocence and unawareness to many experiences and the knowledge commonly known by adults, leaves them vulnerable to those who chose to take advantage of their ignorance. Author points out that children don’t love many adults. Orwell himself claims to have only ever loved his mother at the age described in the essay. He enumerates number of reasons as to why it happens. One of them is adult’s appearance, children have, as Orwell claims, very high standards of physical façade, the complexion, teeth etc. The other is the false impression children hold of the age. Young children often find people in their thirties and sometimes late twenties to be old and have trouble with envisioning themselves getting much older. This causes them to look at adults with the mixture of shyness, fear, respect and distaste. Orwell states that adults often forget about their own childhoods and find it difficult to relate to children’s problems and to treat them fairly. He points out that children sometimes live in distress and terror for many years because of the fact that they have no one to confide in. They start their lives with nothing and are sometimes willing to believe that something happening to them is perfectly normal and acceptable.
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