George Orwell's Stance on Capital Punishment in Essay, A Hanging

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The essay “A Hanging” by George Orwell speaks to the reader about the author’s stance on capital punishment. I believe that Orwell was able to communicate his point, without actually saying I’m against capital punishment, through three steps. The first step is to set the mood and bring you into his perspective. From the dreary description of the morning to the slow procession of the condemned man to the gallows, Orwell puts the reader in a mood that conveys the experience of watching a man die. The second step is to compare himself to the condemned man, showing how we are all equal. A life is a life, whether you are a condemned man or not. The third step is to show how everyone tries to cope with the aftermath of the execution. This …show more content…

When he talks about the wrongness of taking a man’s life, I get the sense that this was something that shook him to the core. This was a basic human reaction to death. Death is unpleasant and generally unwelcome, so why must we kill someone who is just as alive as we are? The condemned man feels, sees, and thinks like us, an equal. The condemned man was considered equal by the dog in the essay. I see the dog as symbolism for equality. It did not matter to the dog that the man was sentenced to death. He was another human being, a potential friend that was alive and well. After the execution, the dog seemed to know the wrongness of not only his misbehaving but that of taking a life as well. I think that everyone is an equal and that life is something special. Everyone seems to deal with death differently. As the essay concludes, Orwell mentions how everyone was laughing and that it was a homely and jovial scene. I do not think that I would be laughing after the death of someone who was hung right in front of me. Most people tend to be solemn and sad after someone dies but certainly not laughing. I believe that for some laughing is just a coping mechanism used to deal with the gravity of what just happened. They feel extremely relieved that the terrible situation is over, yet I think the memory remains with them. Others perhaps are heartless and think that the man deserved

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