So I'm still reading Orwell's essays, and two quotes just collided in my head.
The first (from Charles Dickens, 1940) :
One crying evil of his time that Dickens says very little about is child labour. There are plenty of pictures of suffering children in his books, but usually they are suffering in schools rather than in factories. The one detailed account of child labour that he gives is the description in DAVID COPPERFIELD of little David washing bottles in Murdstone & Grinby's warehouse. This, of course, is autobiography. Dickens himself, at the age of ten, had worked in Warren's blacking factory in the Strand, very much as he describes it here. It was a terribly bitter memory to him, partly because he felt the whole incident to be discreditable to his parents, and he even concealed it from his wife till long after they were married. Looking back on this period, he says in DAVID COPPERFIELD:
It is a matter of some surprise to me, even now, that I can have been so easily thrown away at such an age. A child of excellent abilities and with strong powers of observation, quick, eager, delicate, and soon hurt bodily or mentally, it seems wonderful to me that nobody should have made any sign in my behalf. But none was made; and I became, at ten years old, a little labouring hind in the service of Murdstone & Grinby.
And again, having described the rough boys among whom he worked:
No words can express the secret agony of my soul as I sunk into this companionship...and felt my hopes of growing up to be a learned and distinguished man crushed in my bosom.
The second (from Marrakech, 1939) :
When you go through the Jewish quarters you gather some idea of what the medieval ghettoes were probably like. Under their Moorish rulers the Jews were only allowed to own land in certain restricted areas, and after centuries of this kind of treatment they have ceased to bother about overcrowding. Many of the streets are a good deal less than six feet wide, the houses are completely windowless, and sore-eyed children cluster everywhere in unbelievable numbers, like clouds of flies. Down the centre of the street there is generally running a little river of urine.
In the bazaar huge families of Jews, all dressed in the long black robe and little black skull-cap, are working in dark fly-infested booths that look like caves. A carpenter sits cross-legged at a prehistoric lathe, turning chair-legs at lightning speed. He works the lathe with a bow in his right hand and guides the chisel with his left foot, and thanks to a lifetime of sitting in this position his left leg is warped out of shape. At his side his grandson, aged six, is already starting on the simpler parts of the job.
I was just passing the coppersmiths' booths when somebody noticed that I was lighting a cigarette. Instantly, from the dark holes all round, there was a frenzied rush of Jews, many of them old grandfathers with flowing grey beards, all clamouring for a cigarette. Even a blind man somewhere at the back of one of the booths heard a rumour of cigarettes and came crawling out, groping in the air with his hand. In about a minute I had used up the whole packet. None of these people, I suppose, works less than twelve hours a day, and every one of them looks on a cigarette as a more or less impossible luxury.
As the Jews live in self-contained communities they follow the same trades as the Arabs, except for agriculture. Fruit-sellers, potters, silversmiths, blacksmiths, butchers, leather-workers, tailors, water-carriers, beggars, porters–whichever way you look you see nothing but Jews. As a matter of fact there are thirteen thousand of them, all living in the space of a few acres. A good job Hitler isn't here. Perhaps he is on his way, however. You hear the usual dark rumours about the Jews, not only from the Arabs but from the poorer Europeans.
"Yes, MON VIEUX, they took my job away from me and gave it to a Jew. The Jews! They're the real rulers of this country, you know. They've got all the money. They control the banks, finance–everything."
"But," I said, "isn't it a fact that the average Jew is a labourer working for about a penny an hour?"
"Ah, that's only for show! They're all money-lenders really. They're cunning, the Jews."
So yes, there's no dispute that the Jews of that time owned the banks and the newspapers and everything. What time ? Why, the time when the average Jew worked for a penny an hour, and the average patriarch with a flowy beard could not afford his own cigarette. Ya think there's some connection here ?
Notwithstanding that Dickens did in fact grow up to be a "learned and distinguished man" (who happened to hate Jews, at least until he sold one a house, after which he proceeded to alter his already published writings, very American-like), for a while back when the very foundations that led him where he wanted to go were being quite deliberately, effectually and correctly built, through the only process that allows such miracle to occur, he felt all hope crushed in his bosom. Ya think there's some connection here ?
Classical masters 101, I swear to god, it's beyond ludicrous. The same hand wrote both things, the head driving it failed to notice the elephant in the room. Because it didn't "want" to, because that's what the stupid head does, and that's why the girl needs a master and so on and so forth.