Down and Out in Paris and London


George Orwell

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Debrouillard Term Analysis

George Orwell uses this French term to characterize the seemingly limitless resourcefulness of plongeurs and other low-level restaurant workers toiling away in the “smart” hotels and restaurants of Paris. Since their pay is low, their hours long, and their job largely thankless, such workers take pride in their ability to complete a wide range of menial tasks with great efficiency. It is their consolation for a drab existence. Mario, a co-worker of Orwell’s in the basement of the Hotel X, is a model of debrouillard.
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