One thing that stood out to me in Marrakech is Orwell’s tone and interpretation of colonial rule in Morocco. He shows sympathy to the “poor old creature” that was an elderly Moroccan woman, describes the burial conditions of the brown-skinned inhabitants, or the Jewish political minority. He does not praise the British colonial system, nor cover up the truth of colonial rule subjects. What is interesting about his approach is that it was unique for the era, and mirrors modern popular sentiment of minority classes.
Through Marrakesh, we can see how dominant public opinion of the dominant class has changed in perspective about social problems. “As they went past a tall, very young Negro turned and caught my eye. […] It was the shy, wide-eyed Negro look, which actually is a look of profound respect,” which through a modern lens, the respect of the black boy to the white man is only because he considers the white man superior. White people were responsible for the black boy’s perception, because they did not care about the black boy. The black boy was taught not to question why his race was inferior, because white people did not pay attention to the social issues faced by members of his race.
The impacts are big of white suppression of cultural and economic freedom. “But what is strange about these people is their invisibility. …and though they had registered themselves on my eyeballs I cannot truly say that I had seen them.” We see that the suppressed fall into conformity with the new power structure, affecting their psychology. Inaccess to wealth reduces quality of life, promotes suffering, reduces physical health, overall reducing life-satisfaction. I wonder how these people continue to suffer and work, to hide their passion and will. I would think they must suppress large portions of their emotional thought, take a simpler perspective on the world, not to question their existence, but only to work.
Orwell writes, “This kind of thing makes one’s blood boil, whereas – on the whole – the plight of the human beings does not. I am not commenting, merely pointing to a fact. People with brown skins are next door to invisible. Anyone can be sorry for the donkey with its galled back, but it is generally owing to some kind of accident if one even notices the old woman under her load of sticks.” Firstly, Orwell’s clarity of his topic makes it way easier to understand his motive, and my interpretation of his topic, in my opinion, enhancing the text because it increases the potency of the message. The diction tells us his angered energy and distaste of these descriptions, “makes one’s blood boil”, and the clarity of his message “I am not commenting, merely pointing to a fact” tells us that he writes to be clear.