Down and Out in Paris and London

by

George Orwell

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Casual Ward Term Analysis

Also referred to in the text as a “spike,” casual wards are prison-like London homeless shelters where men are given food and a room for the night, sometimes in return for manual labor. Orwell meets Paddy Jacques in a London casual ward and the two become traveling companions for a time. The casual wards are, in Orwell’s opinion, needlessly cruel and uncomfortable. Men are allowed only a night’s stay in each ward, so they must hike long distances to different spikes, thereby prolonging their misery and the pointless effort required to maintain their daily lives.

Casual Ward Quotes in Down and Out in Paris and London

The Down and Out in Paris and London quotes below are all either spoken by Casual Ward or refer to Casual Ward. For each quote, you can also see the other terms and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Poverty as Prison Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Mariner Books edition of Down and Out in Paris and London published in 1972.
Chapter 30 Quotes

Another thing to remember is to keep your money covered up, except perhaps a penny in the hat. People won’t give you anything if they see you got a bob or two already.

Related Characters: Bozo (speaker), George Orwell, Paddy Jacques
Page Number: 163
Explanation and Analysis:
Quotes explanation long mobile
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Casual Ward Term Timeline in Down and Out in Paris and London

The timeline below shows where the term Casual Ward appears in Down and Out in Paris and London. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 26
Poverty as Prison Theme Icon
Poverty is Unnecessary Theme Icon
Honesty Does Not Pay Theme Icon
...Orwell decides to go in search of someone who might know something about the nearest casual ward , or prison-like homeless shelter. He runs into an old Irishman who invites him to... (full context)
Chapter 27
Poverty as Prison Theme Icon
Poverty is Unnecessary Theme Icon
Orwell’s first night in a casual ward is uncomfortable and stifling. All the lodgers are required to strip naked and turn over... (full context)
Poverty as Prison Theme Icon
Poverty is Unnecessary Theme Icon
Honesty Does Not Pay Theme Icon
...a melancholy Irishman, and the two set out to make the 12-mile walk to another casual ward , stopping at a coffee shop along the way to spend the meal tickets given... (full context)
Chapter 29
Poverty as Prison Theme Icon
Poverty is Unnecessary Theme Icon
For Orwell and Paddy, another day means another casual ward . The Edbury spike is notable only for the fact that one can get an... (full context)
Chapter 34
Poverty as Prison Theme Icon
Poverty is Unnecessary Theme Icon
...a spike that is sixteen miles away. Having spent the last several nights in London casual ward s, they can’t risk staying in another city ward for a while—to do so could... (full context)
Honesty Does Not Pay Theme Icon
...without a room for the night. The man consults a tramp who suggests the local casual ward . The man then takes the tramp’s advice, sewing his 30 pounds into his coat.... (full context)
Chapter 36
Poverty as Prison Theme Icon
Poverty is Unnecessary Theme Icon
Honesty Does Not Pay Theme Icon
...or obstinance, but of the law. Men are only allowed one-night’s stay in the London casual ward s, meaning they have to keep moving, day after day, night after night, for no... (full context)
Poverty as Prison Theme Icon
Poverty is Unnecessary Theme Icon
...inquiries. Take, for instance, the idea that tramps are monsters. If they were dangerous, would casual ward s admit them by the hundreds every night? Rather than hardened criminals, tramps are, in... (full context)
Poverty as Prison Theme Icon
Poverty is Unnecessary Theme Icon
Another evil of the tramp’s life is, Orwell suggests, enforced idleness. Tramps who stay in casual ward s are basically locked up all night with no meaningful work to do, and they... (full context)