Our, LitCharts assigns a color and icon to each theme in, Compare and contrast themes from other texts to this theme…, The ThemeTracker below shows where, and to what degree, the theme of The Possibility of Revolution appears in each chapter of. One could have destroyed the enemy positions one after another as easily as smashing nuts with a hammer. As the war drags on, Orwell realizes that his initial ideas about Barcelona and the militia were far too idealistic. In theory at any rate each militia was a democracy and not a hierarchy.

Above all, there was a belief in the revolution and the future, a feeling of having suddenly emerged into an era of equality and freedom. Of course there was no perfect equality, but there was a nearer approach to it than I had ever seen or than I would have thought conceivable in time of war. To anyone from the hard-boiled, sneering civilization of the English-speaking races there was something rather pathetic in the literalness with which these idealistic Spaniards took the hackneyed phrases of revolution. I used to wash one day and shave the next; there was never enough water for both. Teach your students to analyze literature like LitCharts does. google_ad_width = 234; The front line, ours and the Fascists', lay in positions of immense natural strength, which as a rule could only be approached from one side.

[…] But God forbid that I should pretend to any personal superiority. The men that fought at Verdun, at Waterloo, at Flodden, at Senlac, at Thermopylae - every one of them had lice crawling over his testicles.”, “They laid me down again while somebody fetched a stretcher. But the dirt never worried me. Thus, Orwell comes to see that the left is not unambiguously “good,” and the heart of the Spanish Civil war is not a fight between democracy and Fascism so much as a struggle for dominance among the different parties of the political left. It is the same in all wars; the soldiers do the fighting, the journalists do the shouting, and no true patriot ever gets near a frontline trench, except on the briefest of propaganda-tours. flags were red, those of the Anarchists red and black; the Fascists generally flew the monarchist flag (red-yellow-red), but occasionally they flew the flag of the Republic (red-yellow-purple).

They'll tear them off you in Barcelona.’ He was exaggerating, but it showed how Catalonia was regarded. The wretched children of my section could only be roused by dragging them out of their dug-outs feet foremost, and as soon as your back was turned they left their posts and slipped into shelter; or they would even, in spite of the frightful cold, lean up against the wall of the trench and fall fast asleep.
I had time to feel this very vividly. Our miserable mountain had not even at its best much vegetation, and for months it had been ranged over by freezing militiamen, with the result that everything thicker than one's finger had long since been burnt.

Up here, in the hills round Saragossa, it was simply the mingled boredom and discomfort of stationary warfare. Our worn-out rifles were a danger in themselves. Down here it was still the England I had known in my childhood: the railway-cuttings smothered in wild flowers, the deep meadows where the great shining horses browse and meditate, the slow-moving streams bordered by willows, the green bosoms of the elms, the larkspurs in the cottage gardens; and then the huge peaceful wilderness of outer London, the barges on the miry river, the familiar streets, the posters telling of cricket matches and Royal weddings, the men in bowler hats, the pigeons in Trafalgar Square, the red buses, the blue policemen—all sleeping the deep, deep sleep of England, from which I sometimes fear that we shall never wake till we are jerked out of it by the roar of bombs.”, “Perhaps when the next Great War comes we may see that sight unprecedented in all history, a jingo with a bullet-hole in him.”, “I believe that on such an issue as this no one is or can be completely truthful. If the Fascist machine-gunners saw you they gave you a drum of ammunition all to yourself. Just a moment while we sign you in to your Goodreads account. Up here, in the hills round Zaragoza, it was simply the mingled boredom and discomfort of stationary warfare. It was no use hanging on to the English notion that you are safe so long as you keep the law. These were seldom less than twenty years old, their sights were about as much use as a broken speedometer, and in most of them the rifling was hopelessly corroded; about one rifle in ten was not bad, however.

A life as uneventful as a city clerk's, and almost as regular. Chapter 6. It is the same in all wars; the soldiers do the fighting, the journalists do the shouting, and no true patriot ever gets near a frontline trench, except on the briefest of propaganda-tours. At this time and until much later the Catalan militias were still on the same basis as they had been at the beginning of the war. At that time it was still possible to buy candles, and I had brought several pounds of them with me.

It was an extraordinary life that we were living--an extraordinary way to be at war, if you could call it war. One night, I remember, the password was Cataluna--eroica, and a moonfaced peasant lad named Jaime Domenech approached me, greatly puzzled, and asked me to explain. In our own position or most of those round us a dozen men with two machine-guns could have held off a battalion. Even at Huesca you were generally safe enough if you took reasonable precautions. Bathing in the river ceased to be an agony and became almost a pleasure. The passage-ways of several smart restaurants had ' Visca P.O.U.M.!' 'Valiente!' And at the frontier the Anarchist guards had turned back a smartly-dressed Frenchman and his wife, solely – I think – because they looked too bourgeois. In winter on the Zaragoza front they were important in that order, with the enemy a bad last. Smillie’s death is not a thing I can easily forgive. But in practice when the emergency came I seldom fired my rifle; I was too frightened of the beastly thing jamming and too anxious to reserve at any rate one round that would go off. A modern mechanized army does not spring up out of the ground, and if the Government had waited until it had trained troops at its disposal, Franco would never have been resisted. But in Spain, especially in Catalonia, it was an attitude that no one could or did keep up indefinitely. Perched on the hill-tops as we were, we should have made lovely marks for artillery; but there was no artillery. From the creators of SparkNotes, something better. Your support helps us continue to discover and share incredible kids books! They had attempted to produce within the militias a sort of temporary working model of the classless society. Often in the mornings the valley was hidden under seas of cloud, out of which the hills rose flat and blue, giving the landscape a strange resemblance to a photographic negative.
Throughout that period there is probably no entry in my diary that does not mention firewood, or rather the lack of it. However, the sentry missed him. We had no range-finders, no telescopes, no periscopes, no field-glasses except for a few privately-owned pairs, no flares or Very lights, no wire-cutters, no armourers' tools, hardly even any cleaning materials. The fact that I had served in the POUM militia was quite enough to get me into prison. There were nights when it seemed to me that our position could be stormed by twenty Boy Scouts armed with airguns, or twenty Girl Guides armed with battledores, for that matter. I have no particular love for the idealized ‘worker’ as he appears in the bourgeois Communist’s mind, but when I see an actual flesh-and-blood worker in conflict with his natural enemy, the policeman, I do not have to ask myself which side I am on. Orwell is originally shocked by this, since he sees it as a potentially chaotic or ineffectual way to organize troops. I could hear the Fascists talking and singing inside. Chapter 2. In the barbers’ shop were Anarchist notices (the barbers were mostly Anarchists) solemnly explaining that barbers were no longer slaves.

google_ad_client = "pub-6110766095769513"; On a bullet-- chipped tree in front of our parapet thick clusters of cherries were forming.

My students love how organized the handouts are and enjoy tracking the themes as a class.”, LitCharts uses cookies to personalize our services. When the Popular Army, which was a 'non-political' army organized on more or less ordinary lines, was raised at the beginning of 1937, the party militias were theoretically incorporated in it. Here was this brave and gifted boy, who had thrown up his career at Glasgow University in order to come and fight against Fascism, and who, as I saw for myself had done his job at the front with faultless courage and willingness; and all they could find to do with him was to fling him into jail and let him die like a neglected animal.

Fascism called, no doubt, by some politer name, and—because this was Spain—more human and less efficient than the German or Italian varieties. Glory of war, indeed! I am walking up and down the line of sentries, under the dark boughs of the poplars. Nor was sleeping in one's clothes any hardship after a day or two. Chapter 5. Cynical people with no experience of handling men will say instantly that this would never 'work', but as a matter of fact it does 'work' in the long run. Actually, a newly raised draft 'of militia was an undisciplined mob not because the officers called the private 'Comrade' but because raw troops are always an undisciplined mob. I took it back to the position, where it was unsentimentally torn up for cleaning-rags. They believe that pursuing revolutionary goals detracts from the more important objective of winning the war. And apart from weapons there was a shortage of all the minor necessities of war. On one side the CNT, on the other side the police. Teachers and parents! When you are taking part in events like these you are, I suppose, in a small way, making history, and you ought by rights to feel like an historical character. It may be, though, that if you were really dying your thoughts would be quite different.”, “For some reason, all the best matadors were Fascists.”, “There was no boss-class, no menial-class, no beggars, no prostitutes, no lawyers, no priests, no boot-licking, no cap-touching.”, “Philosophically, Communism and Anarchism are poles apart. Two of the best book quotes from Homage to Catalonia #1 “All the war-propaganda, all the screaming and lies and hatred, comes invariably from people who are not fighting.” author. National and international newspapers portrayed the Spanish Civil War as a fight between good and evil, or democracy and Fascism, but personal experience of the war ultimately convinced Orwell that this was an overly simplistic—and even misleading—way of reporting on the conflict in Spain. Chapter 14. By using our site, you acknowledge that you have read and understand our. The men who fought at Verdun, at Waterloo, at Flodden, at Senlac, at Thermopylae – every one of them had lice crawling over his testicles. I do not think I have ever seen a country where there were so few birds. Teachers and parents! Cataluna!' THE days grew hotter and even the nights grew tolerably warm.

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