The Road to Wigan Pier is composed of two separate parts: Orwell’s exploration of the working and unemployed classes and later on his examination of middle class prejudices and socialism. I enjoyed the first half of the book as information; Orwell’s writing is persuasive and interesting, though I can’t say I’d regard his reporting as entirely honest, given a comparison with the diary he kept while writing the book. I assume that he’s giving us a picture, anyway, that is characteristic of the times. His images of the times are certainly very fictive, which adds to the enjoyment, not the reality of the situation.
The second half was not nearly as interesting. I’m not sure if middle class British perceptions towards the working class have changed, but overall this is not exactly what I’m interested in. Much less am I interested in socialism and how it can be applied to the situation. Moreover, Orwell skirts the deep issues and portrays only the surface of each ideology. He never quite manages to explain how socialism will solve the problem, only that it will.
Overall, an interesting read, but not entirely reliable.