Life and Death
We all die eventually, but is it right for individuals to make the decision on when another’s life should end? In A Hanging, George Orwell constantly contrasts death with life to show us how wrong it is to kill another human being. The human being in this story happens to be a prisoner on the way to his own hanging. Orwell shows the prisoner’s normal feelings and reactions to what his last day brings. The reader sees that the prisoner is not the only one struggling with the ending of his life. In these characters, he shows us the feelings humans use in an effort to mask our true ones.
It all begins with what Orwell portrayed as a dreary trip to the gallows. As the prisoners, wardens, and the superintendent escorted the prisoner to the hanging gallows, he explains something very out of the ordinary that occurred. A dog came out of nowhere and began to excitedly leap around all of them, wagging his tail and craving attention. Then, before anyone could stop it, it made a dash for the prisoner jumping up, trying to lick his face. I believe that animals have the ability to instinctively judge whether a human is good or bad. If that statement was truth and not opinion, could the judgment of this prisoner that was on the way to his own death be wrong? Orwell stated that everyone was aghast at the dog’s behavior but he does not state why. I think that it could be that the prisoner was starting to transform into a man before their eyes; a man that was just like they were. It is this same man that took the time to step aside to avoid a puddle as they continued to walk to the gallows. Orwell witnessed the prisoner do this so routinely and at that exact moment, he recognized that the prisoner was just as alive as they all were. What right did they have to take that from him? It was all becoming real; this man would die today.
After a long journey to the gallows, they finally arrive. The hangman prepared the gallows and the prisoner...