In “A Hanging,” Orwell tells the story of what it was like to witness a man being hung. In this narrative there is a progression of emotions that can be seen in Orwell. In “A Hanging,” George Orwell shows that capital punishment is not only brutal but also immoral. In the beginning of the passage Orwell discusses the cells of the condemned, comparing them to “small animal cages. The prisoners were truly treated as less than human. They were kept in cells ten feet by ten feet. “Which were quite bare within except for a blank bed and a pot for drinking water. The guards kept a tight grip on the prisoner making sure he does not escape. The superintendent gets upset because the execution is running late, and says, “For God’s sake hurry up, Francis. “The man ought to have been dead by this time. Orwell makes a point of showing his discomfort of the entire situation through the use of ironic sarcasm and frustration. The prison superintendent is unusually irritated with this event and wants the man dead. This allows the reader to see the disrespect, the authority had towards the prisoners. It shows that the prisoners are not treated humanely.
The essay starts out by describing the day as being “a sodden morning of the rains. Orwell continues with gloomy descriptions of the atmosphere. This creates a sad tone for the rest of the story. During the hanging Orwell thought it was just a duty that has to be done before the other prisoners can eat breakfast. All of it changed when a dog ran to the men from the other side of the yard. “A dreadful thing had happened “ a dog, come goodness knows whence. And “had made a dash for the prisoner, and jumping up tried to lick his face. Just as the prison workers began to escort the prisoner to his death, a happy spirited dog ran up to them. Then the dog jumped up and tried to lick the prisoner face. This was the turning point in Orwell views on capital punishment. Orwell was scared