There are many books that show what a horrible and destroying effect hunger and poverty have upon us. The majority of us don’t even know how difficult it is to fall asleep when your stomach aches; thus, it is difficult to relate, but still it is important to do so. Down and Out in Paris and London by George Orwell will remind you of the importance of staying grateful for a chance to sleep in a comfy bed, start morning with a fragrant cup of coffee, and wear clean clothes.
The most wonderful thing about this story is that it doesn’t blame those who are lucky to be unaccustomed to asking/begging for money or working extra hours without any day off, so that be able to afford a roof over the head. The author just describes what he sees and what he feels in such a way that you can’t help but sympathize with these unlucky fellows who come to Paris hoping to become an artist but end up washing dishes days and nights.
When one thinks about Paris, he probably thinks about something beautiful, artistic, and aesthetically pleasing. This is a picture they sell to tourists, but the writer destroys this flawless image by showing genuine stories of Parisians who are engaged in creating that illusion of the most romantic city. Hopeless days are over when the protagonist gets a job at a hotel or this is what he believes in. This is a place where he learns how difficult it is to work in the sphere that uses people heartlessly and throws them away when they can’t work all night long.
Down and Out in Paris and London should be valued for one more important reason. It contains firsthand knowledge about the historical period after World War I and before World War II. Hundreds of beggars are ex-soldiers who used to fight for their country and now are tossed on streets of London, Paris, and other European cities. The 20th century was both curious and horrible time, it took away so many lives, caused so much suffering, but it also brought positive changes that were necessary for establishing a democratic society.
This memoir is such a heady and mesmerizing combination of misery, despair, happiness, and gratitude that it is next to impossible not to fall in love with it. It inspires to believe in the better future no matter what, it makes laugh and cry, it is about being grateful for a chance to be alive. As it has been already mentioned, the writer manages to describe sufferings of hunger of one’s without putting the other down. The only one thing he asks to do is to be less judgmental. Nobody knows why somebody gets into a difficult situation, but can definitely show kindness and compassion. Who knows what happens tomorrow. Orwell successfully shows that there is a world that always awaits you and has a place for you if you “ever penniless.” This story should to be read to get rid of stereotypes about those people who are often chosen to be ignored.