George Orwell e il linguaggio della povertà. Esperienza autobiografica e strategie della finzione


Abstract


Abstract – From an autobiographical point of view, Orwell wrote Down and Out in Paris and London e The Road to Wigan Pier under the urgent psychological necessity to expiate his guilt for having served in Burma in the Indian Imperial Police and having been complicit with the British government’s many crimes against the colonised population. Despite his wish to be as truthful as possible in describing his experience of poverty in the underworld of the two capital cities as well as in the mining districts of Britain, Down and Out and The Road to Wigan Pier are far from being realistic renditions of Orwell’s life among the poor. Indeed, while recording the state of England in a time of mass unemployment, he could not help encoding his immersion in poverty into a fictional text in which his literary imagination takes the upper hand over the documentary and empirical aspects of his investigation into human degradation, squalor and slum life. From a linguistic perspective, Orwell’s lexical choices are often founded on negative hyperbole and exaggeration, while the phases of his actual trip are narrated in keeping with a novelistic re-writing of the real events and phenomena which he confronted in both books.


Keywords: George Orwell; Poverty; Sense of Guilt; Realistic Language; Fictionalisation.

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