Down and Out in Paris and London Book Summary and Study Guide

Detailed plot synopsis reviews of Down and Out in Paris and London

George Orwell, from a respectable family and Eton educated, served in the British Imperial Police. In the late 1920's he gave it up to do a sort of deep cover investigative journalism, documenting life at the bottom of the heap in Paris and London. To seem poor he had to become genuinely poor, and so this adventure turned into one of the more unusual literary autobiographies that we have.
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The characters he meets are captured very vividly, genuine down-and-outs and ordinary crooks, and everything in between. The descriptions of his work as a plongeur and what really went on in the kitchens of Paris restaurants read like a horror story but are clearly the sober truth, and are worth reading on their own. He returns to London and lives the life of a hobo, doing the rounds of the night shelters and soup kitchens, taking in the rhyming slang, talking to pavement artists, and analysing the psychology of the tramp. After this his elegant slumming he goes back to his more comfortable life to write the books he became famous for.
The review of this Book prepared by Michael JR Jose

Chapter Analysis of Down and Out in Paris and London

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Plot & Themes

Job/profession/poverty story    -   Yes Kind of living:    -   general poverty story Period of greatest activity?    -   1900+

Subject of Biography

Gender    -   Male Profession/status:    -   unemployed Ethnicity    -   White Nationality    -   British


Europe    -   Yes European country:    -   England/UK    -   France City?    -   Yes City:    -   London    -   dirty, grimy (like New York) Misc setting    -   resort/hotel    -   sewers/subways Century:    -   1900-1920's

Writing Style

Book makes you feel?    -   concerned    -   like laughing Pictures/Illustrations?    -   None How much dialogue in bio?    -   roughly even amounts of descript and dialog How much of bio focuses on most famous period of life?    -   0-25% of book

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