Orwell wrote both The Road to Wigan Pier from the experience of living among the poor. No other author seemed to have been able to capture the lives of the poorest element of society as Orwell did in these two works.
According to Robert C. Lieberman, professor of Political Science at Columbia University, in The Road to Wagon Pier Orwell described the main component of poverty as filth. It was everywhere. In addition poverty wreaked psychological havoc on its victims because the struggle for survival became a daily issue. Lieberman says, "For Orwell, the detachment of the poor from bourgeois virtues—hard work, cleanliness, self-reliance, and so forth—is an effect of poverty rather than a cause."
Orwell obviously had a great sympathy for the poor and felt that they were largely neglected by the rest of society and by the government under which they lived. His feelings toward the poor also came out in his fiction novels Animal Farm and 1984, and in essays like "How the Poor Die." In Down and Out in Paris and London Orwell writes, "You thought that [poverty] would be quite simple; it is extraordinarily complex. You thought it would be terrible; it is merely squalid and boring. It is the peculiar lowness of poverty that you discover first; the shifts that it puts you to, the complicated meanness, the crust-wiping."