Reading Response: Down and Out of Paris

The story “Down and out of Paris” brings out Orwell as unemployed and searching for a job opportunity in Paris. During his search, Orwell meets Boris, an old friend. According to the story, both the narrator and Boris are unemployed and living in poverty. After some time, Orwell gets a job as a plongeur while Boris is a waiter. However, Orwell is not contented with his position as a plongeur. As a result, Orwell travels to London where he has been promised a better job by his friend (Orwell 212).

In chapter twenty-two, the narrator compares plongeur job with slavery “A plongeur is a slave” as he works more and has little time to rest. Therefore, it is clear that poverty is inevitable as people have become choosy on the type of jobs to undertake. Poverty has myriad negative effects that range from engaging in criminal activities, high susceptibility to diseases among others. Due to the harsh living conditions that Orwell experiences in Paris, he decides to leave for London (Orwell 235). Nevertheless, poverty and living standards in London are quite the same or less relative to Paris.

Forced to live in a spike, the narrator is faced with difficult situations as he sleeps on a hard floor, on the cold, and makes friends with Paddy, who has an interesting character. According to the story, Orwell did not get the babysitting job in London as he had been promised (Orwell 240). Therefore, what difference could have been evident if Orwell had acquired the job? Down and Out in Paris brings out the life experience of the narrator as poor, and wandering from one place to the other in a search of better living conditions.


Works Cited
Orwell, George. Down and Out in Paris and London. London: Secker & Warburg, 1960.
—. “Down and Out in Paris and London.” Planet ebook (1933): 207-250.

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