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Down and Out in Paris and London by George Orwell

            The following paper will look to discuss George Orwell's use of fictional and storytelling strategies within the novel Down and Out in Paris and London. Firstly, it is necessary to establish what these strategies include. The use of character development, metaphors, suspense, temporal sequencing and narrative closure are all strategies which Orwell uses in order to convey his story. Sidonie Smith argues that memory is not enough to tell a story alone. Furthermore the author sometimes alludes or in some cases invents circumstance to the narrative. Smith doesn't set out to portray Orwell as unreliable but instead infers that autobiographical works are not completely precise. The quote from the question continues, "Cultural tropes and metaphors which structure autobiographical narrative are themselves fictive; and narrative is drawn by its own fictive conventions" (Smith 1990: 145). But how does Orwell use different strategies in Down and Out in Paris and London to create a story?.
             The first strategy to be discussed is the use of character development. Through a continuous portrayal of colorful characters that Orwell meets along his journey, the reader gains a larger insight into the narrative. By exploring each character in detail, we are forced to envisage the life of a poor person. The character Paddy is described in such detail, "He had the regular character of a tramp- abject envious, a jackals character. Nevertheless he was a good fellow, generous by nature and capable of sharing his last crust with a friend" (Orwell 2001: 162). At first, Orwell gives a stereotypical description of a tramp but soon goes on to tell of Paddy's gentle nature. By sharing positive characteristics of Paddy, despite a rugged appearance, Orwell is setting out to redefine the customs associated with the poor. By fully engaging with characters such as Paddy, Orwell is able to represent his companion in a way seldom seen before.

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