The short story “A Hanging” by George Orwell is set in Burma (today’s Myanmar) during the time when the country was a British colony. Considering the fact that Orwell served as a policeman in Imperialist Burma in the 1920s, and the story was published in 1931, most probably the events in the story unfold during the 1920s. Also, the events take place over less than an hour.

Physical setting

The main physical setting includes two places, the jail and the gallows where prisoners are hanged. The prison is described before the execution:

It was in Burma, a sodden morning of the rains. A sickly light, like yellow tinfoil, was slanting over the high walls into the jail yard. We were waiting outside the condemned cells, a row of sheds fronted with double bars, like small animal cages. Each cell measured about ten feet by ten and was quite bare within except for a plank bed and a pot of drinking water. 

Then, the narrator depicts the ex...

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