Firstly, Orwell’s comparison of the prisoners’ cells to “small animal cages”, which contained nothing but “a plank for a bed...
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This decay of moral judgement and desensitization to the killing of other human beings is epitomized in George Orwell’s essay, “A Hanging”, which revolves around his time spent enforcing capital punishment in Burma under British rule.
Orwell contends that the implementation of capital punishment causes those working for the justice system to stray from humanity and moral values by dehumanizing fellow citizens.
It is absolutely inconceivable that he could have made this story up out of whole cloth.
Orwell was simply not equipped with the type of imagination to carry off such a feat, which is why, as Orwell would readily admit, he was not a great novelist.
This animalization of the condemned prisoner communicates Orwell’s belief that capital punishment dehumanizes its subjects and is an unfit method…
The short story is based on the author’s first hand experiences as an imperial police officer in Burma.
It is a mark of its love for its master and loyalty the dog jumps on the prisoner and licks his face.
Here Orwell is hinting that guilt is a morally relative judgment.