George Orwell's Coming Up for Air Essay

Good Essays

George Orwell's Coming Up for Air

George Orwell’s novel, Coming Up for Air, portrays England at two different times. The story is based around George Bowling in 1939 and his life in the suburbs of London on Ellesmere Road, where all the houses are the same. He is very cynical of the world around him and dreams of his times as a child in Lower Binfield when things were not perfect, but not yet ruined by the Great War. The vision of 1900 England versus England in 1939 creates a sharp contrast in life for George Bowling. In 1939 England is on the verge of another war, and life is impersonal, harsh, and industrial. The reality of 1939 is only accentuated by George’s trip to his childhood home of Lower Binfield, where nothing is the same …show more content…

In his excitement about fishing he buys a new rod and all the necessary equipment to go fishing but decides to go and check out his old fishing spots before he actually fishes. The first spot he goes to is the Thames River where he is met with a surprise. When he arrives at the river he sees, “The place was black with people. And where the water-meadows used to be- tea-houses, penny-in-the-slot machines, sweet kiosks and chaps selling Wall’s Ice Cream. Might as well have been at Margate.” The stream where he had found solitude as a child was completely overrun with people. He could not fish in a place with the kind of commotion that would scare all the fish away. The river itself had also changed. The clear water he saw as a kid had become murky and brown. As a child he could fish all day by the river and not see another person. England had changed since he was a child. Crowds of people and a polluted river ruined his nostalgic view of fishing. England had grown and with the growth of the town came the destruction of nature.

Discouraged but not completely done with the idea of fishing he decided to go to find his other sacred fishing spot. This spot had suffered an even worse fate. The spot was located near the house at Upper Binfield (which had been turned into an insane asylum). Much to George’s dismay a new housing development had gone in by the pond he used to fish at. The pond itself had

Get Access