A Hanging By George Orwell Analysis

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It is not easy watching a loved one or friend you know pass away suffering even if it is for their better. It is heartbreaking and a sad experience for many. Imagine watching this happen violently everyday of your life to people who have done something wrong . This is what men in a prison in Burma experience every day one after the other watching their fellow men die because of capital punishment. George Orwell's text “A Hanging” uses a variety of rhetorical devices including similes, characterization and juxtaposition to convince people of the wrongness of capital punishment.

WS1: The use of similes in “A Hanging” are almost always a description of the dehumanization of the people in the prison. One example Orwell uses at the beginning of the passage is when he compares the manner in which the guards treat the
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One particular part of the text focuses on what the man was before he was put into this prison. Orwell realizes that capital punishment is destroying a perfectly healthy man and later goes on to say “This man was not dying, he was alive just as we were alive…”. Now this man is going to die and lose all the potential he has. As Orwell would put it “one mind less” among them meaning that another perfectly good healthy mind is gone. Not only is capital punishment making people around them corrupt, but it is destroying a perfectly healthy man. Using characterization Orwell shows that capital punishment is ruining men who have potential to live a full life. Similes help the reader better understand how worthless these prisoners are to the guards. Characterization describes the potential the prisoners had and are now losing. Juxtaposition is used to help show how the prisoners deal with the horrible actions going on around them. Through Orwell's use of all these rhetorical devices he convinces people to have a negative view on capital

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