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Marrakech by George Orwell

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Ivy Roberts

on 24 January 2014

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Transcript of Marrakech by George Orwell

Rhetoric,and Structure:
“broken-up brick”,“long lines, “wretched wooden”, “rare rainstorms”, “tiny trickles”
Contributes to the dumbstruck tone and paradox in the essay
“Two donkeys would not be quite strong enough, but on the other hand two cows would cost a little more to feed.”
“The peasants possess no harrows, they merely plough the soil several times over in different directions”
“One day a poor old creature who could not have been more than four feet tall”
Orwell’s attention to logos functions as both a remnant of his boarding school education and an underscore for the British Empire’s imperialism. (i.e. the numbers and precise measurements of various holes being dug and the furrows the plow makes, etc.)

Audience Participation!- In five words, tell me about your worst travel experience.
Context for
Orwell's health issues
Spanish Civil War

“Most of Morocco is so desolate that no wild animal bigger than a hare can live on it.”
“ Long lines of women, bent double like inverted capital Ls, work their way slowly across the fields, tearing up the prickly weeds with their hands, and the peasant gathering lucerne for fodder pulls it up stalk by stalk instead of reaping it, thus saving an inch or two on each stalk.”
“The plough is a wretched wooden thing, so frail that one can easily carry it on one's shoulder fitted underneath with a rough wooden spike”

"Country of Children":
“It seems to be generally the case in primitive communities that the women, when they get beyond a certain age, shrink to the size of children.”
Consistent focus on the women (“Long lines of women”, the “very old women” carrying firewood who are “tiny”)
“The peasants possess no harrows, they merely plough the soil several times over in different directions, finally leaving it in rough furrows, after which the whole field has to be shaped with hoes into small oblong patches, to conserve water.”


“broken-up brick”
“treeless waste”
“All of them are mummified with age and the sun”

Marrakech by George Orwell
Marrakech in the 1930's
Presented By: Ivy Roberts, Ryan Lewis, and Sana Mohammed
In this excerpt of George Orwell’s essay Marrakech, Orwell discovers a paradox within himself, meaning, he is torn between being both a part of and against British imperialism. This is demonstrated by his use of morbid imagery and litotes to emphasize the desolation and poverty in the lives of the Marrakech citizens.

“One day a poor old creature who could not have been more than four feet tall crept past me under a vast load of wood.”
“I suppose that from her point of view, by taking any notice of her, I seemed almost to be violating a law of nature.”

“Every afternoon a file of very old women passes down the road outside my house, each carrying a load of firewood.”
“I stopped her and put a five-sou piece (a little more than a farthing) into her hand. She answered with a shrill wail, almost a scream, which was partly gratitude but mainly surprise.”
“She accepted her status as an old woman, that is to say as a beast of burden.”
Full transcript