How does George Orwell present Poverty in 'Down and Out in Paris and London'?

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beateach | Elementary School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator

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In Down and Out in Paris and London, George Orwell addresses poverty when he speaks about the virtue of money and the trade of being a beggar. He compares the life of a being a beggar to more profitable trades such as accountants and doctors as if it is a trade unto itself. His premise is that the beggars actually participate in a job, but it is a job the fails to provide them with a decent living; they will never get rich. Orwell feels that it is not being poor that makes a man worthless, but the lack of being educated or having a job that pays a decent salary does. When a person has an education, they are able to fill their time with other activities even if they become unemployed. But, a poor man who is uneducated has no means to fill his time has no life force; no will to live. Poverty is a state of being that is unacceptable if you are not educated or inclined to use your mind. He states, “If you set yourself to it, you can live the same life, rich or poor. You can keep on with your books and your ideas. You just got to say to yourself, "I'm a free man in here" - he tapped his forehead - "and you're all right.”

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