Down and Out in Paris & London

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The Thin Line Between Poverty & Wealth
“The rich and poor have a common bond, The Lord is the maker of them all” (New American Standard Bible, Proverbs. 22) .You would think this was the the truth but through history and still present today in our society the wealthy subject an obvious difference from the poor. Although there is the lower and middle class we are joined together and considered “impoverished” according to income. The way most people view poverty is different but similarly agree you picture a dirty and worthless person begging for money. This viewpoint can easily be changed once one reads Down and Out in Paris and London by George Orwell. Orwell lived a some what easy life but was not rich nor poor. He decided to become a writer in Paris and that is where he writes this book. Orwell assumes the role of a poor man living in Paris. He takes us on a journey as he depicts all the hardships and struggles a person in poverty deals with. Throughout the book he constantly states his opinion that he feels everyone is morally the same, rich or poor. He feels the only difference between them are the different

Blaylock-Jones 2 methods and tactics used to earn a steady living. This book is very persuasive and makes you believe exactly what Orwell is depicting. Don’t be fooled though. In Down And Out In Paris And London, Orwell has blatantly overlooked the whole concept of the differences between a person of wealth and a person of poverty. Still present in today’s society the rich are dominantly different than the poor. The rich are always allowed to do what ever they want with little or no consequences and they sell us this vision of success but in the long run it does nothing but benefit them proving their selfishness.

The saying money can buy you anything is a true statement in this case. People of wealth are given a “get out of jail free” ticket throughout their whole life. In Down And Out In Paris And London, Orwell tells us the story of a man named Charlie who is of wealth and pays to rape a young peasant girl. When he arrives to the door step he is approached by a woman, pays her, and she says, “... go down into the cellar there and do what you like. I shall see nothing, hear nothing, know nothing. You are free, you understand— perfectly free” (Orwell 12). When Charlie enters the cellar he finds the peasant girl and the tragedy happens,

“‘She gave a whimper of fright. With a bound I was beside the bed; she tried to elude me, but I seized her by the throat—like this, do you
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see? —tight! She struggled, she began to cry out for mercy, but I held her fast, forcing back her head and staring down into her face...
Without another word I pulled her off the bed and threw her on the floor. And then I fell upon her like a tiger Ah the joy, the incomparable rapture of that time!” (Orwell 13-14). He there rapes her and exclaims that that is love. Love in this case is a metaphor towards power. After evaluating this source, Charlie is the representation of the wealthy and the peasant girl is of poverty. Now in this scene we are first shown the woman in charge who tells Charlie he is allowed to do what ever he pleases with NO consequences, since she won’t “hear” or “know” of anything. That alone is a prime example of how the rich are allowed to do what ever they want without consequences. What makes it even worse is that the woman, who is also poor, is exploiting the poor peasant girl herself. A great example of the poor getting over on the poor. In an article called, Can The Rich And Famous Get Away With Anything? It Certainly Seems That Way written by Greg Morago, it goes into depth about the ways of the rich.

“Average Jane and Joes go to jail when they’re caught red-handed; they pay fines when they’ve transgressed; they suffer when they’re publicly humiliated. Not so the Teflons among us. Their shiny

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impenetrable surface...
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