Homage to Catalonia

by

George Orwell

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Orwell’s wife Character Analysis

While Orwell never names his wife in the story and she largely remains in the background of the narrative, she plays an important role in supporting him throughout his time in Spain. From Barcelona, she sends Orwell food and goods. When Orwell returns to their hotel in Barcelona after the POUM has been declared illegal, she informs him of the situation and tells him to go into hiding at once. In June 1937, she and Orwell manage to escape the country. Despite her fleeting presence in and out of the narrative, it appears that she, too, has been deeply marked by the Spanish Civil War. In France, she, like Orwell, wishes to return to Spain to show solidarity to their Republican comrades.
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Orwell’s wife Character Timeline in Homage to Catalonia

The timeline below shows where the character Orwell’s wife appears in Homage to Catalonia. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 5
The Possibility of Revolution  Theme Icon
Human Decency and The Absurdity of War Theme Icon
Subjectivity and Personal Experience Theme Icon
There are shortages of most things, including much-needed uniforms and boots. Orwell’s wife occasionally manages to send him tea, chocolate, and cigars from Barcelona, but even in the... (full context)
Chapter 9
Political Infighting and the Media Theme Icon
...in the center of town, he wants to return to his hotel to check on his wife . However, the firing has intensified and he ends up following an American doctor he... (full context)
Human Decency and The Absurdity of War Theme Icon
...are closed and the streets are completely dark, empty, and silent. Orwell tries to call his wife but cannot get through to her. He manages to get in touch with John McNair,... (full context)
Chapter 10
Human Decency and The Absurdity of War Theme Icon
Subjectivity and Personal Experience Theme Icon
...realizes that his right arm is paralyzed and that he is not able to speak. His wife , he reflects, will be glad that he has been hit, for she had wanted... (full context)
Human Decency and The Absurdity of War Theme Icon
Subjectivity and Personal Experience Theme Icon
...For a couple minutes, he watches as his thoughts fleet by. First, he thinks of his wife . Then, he is outraged at having to die and leave the world he so... (full context)
Chapter 11
Subjectivity and Personal Experience Theme Icon
While Orwell is sill at a POUM-run hospital in the suburbs of Barcelona, he and his wife decide that they should try to leave the country as soon as possible. Because of... (full context)
The Possibility of Revolution  Theme Icon
Political Infighting and the Media Theme Icon
As soon as Orwell arrives at his hotel in Barcelona, his wife walks toward him and hisses in his ear for him to exit at once. Orwell... (full context)
Political Infighting and the Media Theme Icon
Subjectivity and Personal Experience Theme Icon
Orwell learns from his wife that many of his friends have been arrested. He is particularly angry about Kopp’s arrest,... (full context)
Political Infighting and the Media Theme Icon
Subjectivity and Personal Experience Theme Icon
Orwell makes arrangements with his wife to leave the country. While he assumes that he is probably on the secret police’s... (full context)
Chapter 12
Political Infighting and the Media Theme Icon
...avoiding spending time near POUM buildings. On his first day as a fugitive, he meets his wife and two friends, McNair and Cottman, at the British Consulate to try to obtain a... (full context)
The Possibility of Revolution  Theme Icon
Political Infighting and the Media Theme Icon
That afternoon, Orwell and his wife visit Kopp. In the makeshift prison, Orwell notices that most of the prisoners are poor,... (full context)
Political Infighting and the Media Theme Icon
Subjectivity and Personal Experience Theme Icon
When Kopp arrives, he is cheerful and lighthearted. He tells Orwell and his wife that he will probably be shot, but does not seem bothered by the news. During... (full context)
Political Infighting and the Media Theme Icon
Subjectivity and Personal Experience Theme Icon
...explains, they examined every single object and possible hiding place in the room. However, since Orwell’s wife was lying in bed, they refused to inspect the bed. Even though Orwell had nothing... (full context)
Political Infighting and the Media Theme Icon
Human Decency and The Absurdity of War Theme Icon
Finally, one morning after receiving their passports from the British consulate, Orwell and his wife head to the train station. While waiting for the train, Orwell writes a final letter... (full context)
The Possibility of Revolution  Theme Icon
Subjectivity and Personal Experience Theme Icon
Orwell and his wife succeed in boarding the train. They make sure to sit in the dining-car and, as... (full context)
Human Decency and The Absurdity of War Theme Icon
Subjectivity and Personal Experience Theme Icon
...as they arrive in France, Orwell buys as many cigarettes as he can. Orwell and his wife get off the train at Banyuls, the first station. In the town, when they mention... (full context)