In the essay “A Hanging” written by George Orwell,he describes his experience of witnessing an execution of a prisoner.Throughout the essay, Orwell shows his disproval for capital punishment. Thestatement “He and we were a party of men” is significant to the essay becauseit shows that the man being executed was just like any other person. Theprisoner was completely healthy and had many more years of life to live.
He wasa man who was “walking, seeing, hearing, feeling, and understanding the sameworld” just like the men who were involved in or witnessing the execution. Inthe essay when the man was being taken to the gallows to be executed, heavoided walking through a puddle on his way there. This little detail isextremely significant because it shows that he like any other person avoidedthe puddle. It did not matter that he was going to be executed moments laterbut he cared about his feet getting wet. We would assume that he would not careabout his feet getting wet because he was going to die regardless, but he caredbecause he was still alive and completely aware of everything around him. Thestatement, ” he and we were a party of men” shows that the execution does notonly affect the person being executed but it also affects everyone else who isinvolved.
Orwell states that “Everyone had changed color…the same thought wasin all our minds: oh kill him quickly, get it over”. This statement describesthe jailer’s state of mind, it shows that he is feeling anxious and fearful. Itis the thought of ending the life of a man who is perfectly healthy andconscious that torments the jailers. After the execution takes place the menseem relieved and cheerful and this is odd because when a person dies, mourningthe death is the usual reaction. The men reacted this way because they wererelieved that the execution was done. For the men watching it was torture towatch the execution of a healthy and conscious man.
In his essay, Orwellportrays the misery and agony of people who have to witness or be involved inan execution. The burden isn’t the prisoners to carry alone but also everyoneelse’s.