A hanging By George Orwell Analysis and Evaluation: Outcome 1: Reading for Understanding Analysis and Evaluation Skills Outcome 2: Listening skills Creation and Production Outcome 1: Writing skills Outcome 2: Talking skills



Download 134,05 Kb.
Date conversion05.08.2018
Size134,05 Kb.

“A Hanging” By George Orwell





A Hanging

By George Orwell

Analysis and Evaluation:
Outcome 1: Reading for Understanding Analysis and Evaluation Skills

Outcome 2: Listening skills
Creation and Production
Outcome 1: Writing skills

Outcome 2: Talking skills

A hanging” by George Orwell


A Hanging (1931) is a short essay written by George Orwell, first published in August 1931 in the British literary magazine The Adelphi. Set in Burma, where Orwell (under his real name of Eric Arthur Blair) had served in the British Imperial Police from 1922 to 1927, it describes the execution of a criminal (Wikipedia).

This text is very suitable for the N5 and Higher NON FICTION PROSE question. At N5 one of the two prose questions will mention non-fiction so make sure you choose the right one. At Higher there will be a separate non-fiction prose section with three questions in it.

You need to look out for questions about an essay or work of journalism which looks at important social, moral or ethical issues. Other N5 speciment papers mention 'important themes'. You should also consider narrative techniques and how the 'voice' of writer comes across (for example in the moment of epiphany and the behaviour of the dog).

You could argue that the work also had a political influence as Orwell sought to influence public opinion against hanging. In 1931 hanging was commonplace in the United Kingdom and the British Empire (as the Commonwealth was then called).

Read Paragraphs 1 and 2: Establishing the setting

In this section your will learn how Orwell:

a) Uses the pathetic fallacy to create atmosphere

b) Uses imagery and vivid description

c) Uses language and inference to convey his attitude
1. a) The writer uses the weather to create an atmosphere (the pathetic fallacy): analyse the following word choice:

a) sodden

b) sickly
b) Analyse the imagery “a sickly light, like yellow tinfoil” for effect.
2. Analyse the imagery “the condemned cells …. like small animal cages” for effect.
3. What do you think is the writer’s attitude towards these prisoners in the first paragraph? Support your answer with some reference towards the text.
4. Show how the word choice in the following two expressions influence our attitude towards the prisoner:
a) puny wisp of a man

b) vague liquid eyes


5. What do you think is Orwell’s attitude towards the man who was to be hanged? Explain and support your answer from the first three lines of the paragraph only.

6. Explain how the writer uses word choice in the sentence “Two of them …. tight to his sides” to make the behaviour of the guards seem brutal.


7. Analyse the imagery “It was like men handling a fish …. water.” For effectiveness.
Summary
Summarise what you have learned so far by completing the following three statements. Highlight them in some way in your jotter:
The pathetic fallacy is important in the story because ….

The writer uses imagery and vivid description to describe …

The writer’s attitude towards hanging in the opening paragraphs is …
Writing Task: Settings
In this opening section the writer uses the pathetic fallacy, first person narrative, attention to detail (vivid detail) and some imagery to describe a scene. In about 200 – 250 words describe a scene of your choice using the same techniques. The scene could be creative or based on a real, personal experience.
For example:
An amazing view you have seen and experienced …

The scene of a battle or an accident …

A specific place eg a hospital accident and emergency unit …
Read Paragraphs 3 – 6: Establishing key characters
In this section you will learn how Orwell:

- establishes the character of the Superintendent

- establishes the character of Francis, the Head Jailer

- introduces the role of the dog

- uses incongruity to create a kind of humour
1. Referring closely to the text in paragraph 3 comment on how Orwell uses word choice to describe the behaviour and character of the Superintendent.
2. What do you think is Orwell’s attitude towards the Superintendent? Refer to at least one example of word choice to support your answer.
3. What do think is Orwell’s attitude towards Francis, the Head Jailer? Explain and support your answer with reference to the text.

4. Explain how Orwell uses sentence structure to draw attention to the arrival of the dog as a turning point in this story.


5. What is the contrast between how the warders are treating the prisoner and the behaviour of the dog?
6. Explain in your own words the reaction of the people in the crowd in the last sentence.
NOTE: The behaviour of the dog causes shock because its actions are incongruous (do not fit in with) to the incident. The incongruity creates both humour and shock because it is not appropriate. This is called black humour.
Summary
Summarise what you have learned so far by completing the following three statements. Highlight them in some way in your jotter:
The Superintendent is important to the story because ….

Francis the Head Jailer is important to the story because …

The dog is important to the story because …
Writing Task: Characterisation
In this section Orwell creates a small group of very different characters. Your attitude towards them is determined by small descriptions or actions. In about 200 – 250 write and imaginative scene where a small action, or detail about their description, or a line of dialogue influences the reader’s attitude towards at least one of the characters.
Read Paragraphs 7 -10: The moment of realisation
In this section you will learn how Orwell:

- uses the behaviour of the dog to draw our attention to the situation of the

prisoner

- uses a retelling of a vivid detail to draw attention to his point of view

- has an ‘epiphany’ – a moment of realising a truth / a turning point / seeing

a mystery revealed
1. Explain how the following two things take away from “the formality of the hanging”:

a) the language of the Superintendent in paragraph 7

b) the actions of the dog
2. In what way is the situation of the dog at the end of paragraph 8 similar to that of the prisoner?
3. How do the actions of the dog at the end of paragraph 8 form a contrast to the behaviour of the prisoner?
4. Show how Orwell draws attention to the prisoner as a being full of life in paragraph 9?

5. “He stepped slightly aside to avoid a puddle on the path”


a) What technique does Orwell use (twice) to suggest this detail was memorable?

b) Why do you think Orwell would remember this seemingly minor incident?


6. Rewrite the first sentence in paragraph 10 using as many of your own words as possible.
7. Explain how this sentence forms a link (or turning point) in the structure of the essay.
8. Explain in your own words the “mystery” Orwell “saw”.
9. Analyse the image of “cutting a life short when it is in full tide” for effectiveness.
10. Explain how the word “puddle” is developed in paragraph 10.
11. Analyse the expression “a sudden snap” for effectiveness.
Summary
Summarise what you have learned so far by completing the following three statements. Highlight them in some way in your jotter:
The incident with the puddle is important because ….

The mystery which Orwell sees is ….

“Cutting a life short when it is in full tide” is an important metaphor because it explains …
Read Paragraphs 11 – 15: Disgust / strong reaction at the hanging
In this section you will learn how Orwell:

- Builds up tension as we await the hanging

- Uses word choice and imagery to suggest the horror of the event

-transfers Orwell’s disgust about the hanging onto the reaction of the dog
1. Analyse the word choice “machine” for effectiveness.
2. Analyse the word choice “clumsily” for effectiveness.
3. The cry of “Ram! Ram!...” is a Hindu prayer for heaven to be opened for a dying soul. Explain why “his cry for help … almost like the tolling of a bell” is an effective image.
4. “The dog answered the sound with a whine.” Explain how the sound the dog made might reflect Orwell’s own emotional state.
5. Explain how Orwell uses sound and sentence structure to build up tension at the end of paragraph 12,
6. Explain how Orwell continues to build tension using sentence structure at the start of paragraph 13.
7. Explain how Orwell uses the vivid detail of colour and imagery to express horror as they await the hanging.
8. “Oh, kill him quickly, get it over, stop that abominable noise!”
Show how Orwell uses language in this line to show his feelings about the prisoner’s calling out “Ram ….”

9. Explain how Orwell uses language to make paragraph 14 an effective end to the building of tension and horror in this scene.


10. Explain how the first sentence in paragraph 15 forms a link in the structure of this essay.
11. Show how Orwell uses language in the reaction of the dog to suggest his emotional reaction to the execution.
Summary
Summarise what you have learned so far by completing the following three statements. Highlight them in some way in your jotter:
A good example of where Orwell uses sentence structure to build up tension is …

“Dead silence” is an effective expression because ….

The reaction of the dog after the hanging represents …

Writing Task 3: Expressing Strong Opinion
Choose a subject (however ridiculous!) that you feel strongly about. Write a 200 – 250 rant expressing strong opinions. The discursive section of the BBC Bitesize Website may help:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/education/topics/zx94jxs
The title “Hell is others” may also inspire.
What are the things about family, school, being out and about which genuinely annoy you? The students who get away with things but if you so much missed a day … Paying £10 for a cinema ticket and those girls who talk all the way through the film, or have their mobiles on?
The following website is loaded with ideas for the opinionated:
http://www.tedpower.co.uk/dis04.html
Read Paragraphs 16 – 24 Aftermath of the hanging
In this section you will learn how Orwell:

- Recalls the reactions of several of the spectators in vivid detail

- Uses the reaction of the dog to express his own personal feelings about what had happened

- Recalls his own unexpected response
1. The reaction of the Superintendent. Explain how Orwell uses word choice to suggest that the Superintendent responded in a nervous and then a casual manner towards the hanged man’s body.
2. “The dog, sobered and conscious of having misbehaved itself, slipped after them”. Explain how the verbs “sobered …. conscious …. misbehaved … slipped … “ might reflect Orwell’s own reactions to the hanging.
3. The last two sentences in paragraph 17 may be surprising. How does it form a contrast to the description of emotions before the hanging? What is surprising about the types of emotions being listed in these sentences?
4. Francis’ anecdote is also important in reinforcing the horror of hanging:
Compare paragraph 20 with paragraph 4. This is Orwell bringing the structure of the essay round in a circle. In Paragraph 4 the preparations for hanging were called ‘satisfactory’ but here is an anecdote on how they can be ‘unsatisfactory.’


  1. Explain how this is another example of ‘black humour’.

  2. Show how Orwell uses language to suggest a disapproving attitude towards

hanging
5. How effective are the last two sentences in the essay in forming a conclusion to the story?
Summary
Summarise what you have learned so far by completing the following four statements. Highlight them in some way in your jotter:
The dog’s final reaction following the hanging represents Orwell’s …..

Francis’ anecdotes at the end of the story are important because ….

The last sentence is an effective conclusion because …
Listening and Talking Task
Listen to the One Show presentation on “Capital Punishment”
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HKCU_uSNgDs

1. Approximately how many years ago was Capital Punishment abolished in Britain?


2. In the view of the first speaker under what conditions MUST a jury impose a Capital sentence?
3. What evidence is there that in 1994 Parliament was strongly in agreement that there should be no return to Capital Punishment?
4. How reliable is the narrator in this extract? Support your answer from what he says.
5. How balanced do you find his survey of public opinion? Why?
6. Why did the case of Derek Bentley help to change public opinion?
7. Why did the case of Ruth Ellis help to change public opinion?
8. What do you think was the narrator’s attitude to Ellis’ case? Support your answer from what he says.
9. How reliable is Tony Benn’s account of this case? Support your answer from what Tony Benn says.
10. Tony Benn states that Capital Punishment came to an end because all Home Secretaries (the member of the Government responsible for hanging) came to the same point of view. Explain in your own words what that point of view was.
Group Discussion
For the supreme crime the supreme penalty is required.
This was the point of view of one of the politicians from the 1950s. Is this view simply for the archives or the history books? Are there crimes (even unforeseen crimes such as terrorism) for which the death penalty should be restored?
Discuss in your group whether if you had the power to decide whether a criminal should live or die whether you could take that decision.
This discussion should either be filmed or notes should be taken as evidence.
Textual Analysis Assessment
For the 8 or 10 mark final question you should:


  1. For the first two marks establish the similarity between the piece of text you are analysing and another part of the essay.

  2. For the second two marks you may refer to the text in the assessment and do some analysis

  3. The next four marks (NAT 5) or 6 marks (Higher) must all come from other parts of the text.




  1. Show how Orwell uses language in Paragraph 1 to establish atmosphere. (4)




  1. Show how Orwell uses language in Paragraph 2 to create sympathy for the prisoner. (National 5 4, Higher 2)




  1. Explain how the dog’s behaviour in Paragraph 6 affects the mood of the hanging. (2)




  1. “A dreadful thing happened – a dog, come goodness knows whence, had appeared in the yard”. Explain how Orwell uses language to draw our attention to the dog. (2)




  1. Explain Orwell’s attitude towards hanging in Paragraphs 1 and 6. With reference to the text show how he establishes this. From elsewhere in the text show how this attitude changes and / or develops. (NAT 5 8, Higher 10)

“The Hanging” By George Orwell - Practice Essays


National 5
Choose a work of non fiction which deals with an important human issue.
By referring to appropriate techniques, show how the writer reveals the issue through the portrayal of people and events throughout the text and show how your understanding of the issue has deepened.

Higher
Choose a piece of journalism in which the writer persuades his or her reader to a point of view by effective use of language.
Briefly explain the writer’s point of view, and then discuss how the writer’s use of language is effective in persuading the reader.


Page National 5



The database is protected by copyright ©sckool.org 2016
send message

    Main page