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george orwell

In the essay "A hanging" why when the man does not step in the puddle does the other people see him as a human? why did orwell see the human side of...


In my opinion, the narrator reacts this way because this is the first thing that the prisoner does that shows that he is not just a machine and that reminds the narrator that this is an actual human being that he is going to help kill.

When the prisoner steps aside for the puddle, it is such a human reaction -- he is a regular person who does not want to get his feet wet.  At that point, the narrator is forced to notice his humanity.  If he had just kept walking straight to the gallows, he wouldn't have seemed so human.  But avoiding a puddle is such a human thing to do that it reminded the narrator of the prisoner's humanity.

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