George Orwell expresses a feeling of alienation throughout "Such, Such Were the Joys...." He casts himself as a misfit, unable to understand his peers, the authorities placed over him, and the laws that govern his existence. Orwell writes, "The good and the possible never seemed to coincide" (37). Though he shows his ability to enumerate what is "good," he resigns himself to a predestined state; uncertain of where exactly he fits in society, his attitude is irreconcilable with what he knows society expects of him. Orwell's childhood understanding of society forces him into only one possible direction, failure. This essay is the maturing Orwell's response to childhood subjugation, a subtle exposure to the evolution of Orwell's thought.
Orwell's life as a boarding school student at Crossgates occupies his memory of childhood and serves as the platform for his views on life. Repeatedly Orwell describes the society of the school from which he is outcast:
That bump on the hard mattress, on the first night of term, used to give me a feeling of abrupt awakening, a feeling of: 'This is reality, this is what you are up against.'
Your home might be far from perfect, but at least it was a place ruled by love rather than by fear, where you did not have to be perpetually taken out of this warm nest and flung into a world of force and fraud and secrecy, like a goldfish into a tank full of pike. (23)
Young Orwell, impacted by this, "hard," disorienting situation, realizes he is alone in a hostile, harsh environment. Orwell uses the image of the "warm nest," a womb, from which the child is thrown, then innocently forced into a destructive reality. This reality is Crossgates, an educational institution but also a primary residence, the "home"...