Animal Farm


The main purpose of satire is to attack, and intensely criticise the target subject. This is superbly carried out in the classic piece of satire, Animal Farm. The main targets at the brunt of this political satire are the society that was created in Russia after the Bolshevik Revolution of 1917, and the leaders involved in it. George Orwell successfully condemns these targets through satirical techniques such as irony, fable, and allegory. The immediate object of attack in Orwell’s political satire is the society that was created in Russia after the Bolshevik Revolution of 1917. The events narrated in Animal Farm obviously and continuously refer to events in another story, the history of the Russian Revolution. In other words, Animal Farm is not only a charming fable (“A Fairy Story,” as Orwell playfully subtitles it) and a bitter political satire; it is also an allegory. The main target of this allegory is Stalin, represented by Napoleon the pig. He represents the human frailties of any revolution. Orwell believed that although socialism is a good ideal, it could never be successfully adopted due to uncontrollable sins of human nature. For example, although Napoleon seems at first to be a good leader, he is eventually overcome by greed and soon becomes power-hungry. Of course Stalin did too in Russia, leaving the original equality of socialism behind, giving him all the power and living in luxury while the common pheasant suffered. Orwell explains: “Somehow it seemed as though the farm had grown richer without making the animals themselves any richer – except of course for the pigs and the dogs.” The perennial topic of satire is to point out the frailties of the human condition, and this is one of Orwell’s central themes in Animal Farm . That it’s not necessarily the system that is corrupt or faulty, but the individuals in power. Old Major, with all his good intentions, took no note of the crucial fact: whilst his ideals were sound and moral, corrupt individuals found ways and opportunities to exploit those ideals to suit their own purposes. So Orwell successfully points out the frailties of his satirical targets by using the satirical technique of the allegory. Another main satirical technique used to condemn these targets is the use of fable, or storytelling. A fable is a story, usually having a moral – in which beasts talk and act like men and women. Orwell’s characters are both animal and human. The pigs, for example eat mash – real pig food – but with milk in it that they have grabbed and persuaded the other animals to let them keep (a human action). The dogs growl and bite the way real dogs do–but to support Napoleon’s drive for political power. Orwell never forgets this delicate balance between how real animals actually behave and what human qualities his animals are supposed to represent. Let’s just say Orwell hadn’t used the technique of storytelling, and had painted an objective picture of the evils he describes. The real picture would probably be very depressing and extremely boring. So instead, he offers us a travesty of the situation. The primary reason for this abstraction was to move readers from the concrete reality. So whilst entertaining us through a fantastic setting, he provides us reader with a critical vision towards his targets. It is written for entertainment, but contains sharp and telling comments on the Russian revolution and it’s leaders, offering ‘imaginary gardens with real toads in them’. Part of the fable’s humorous charm lies in the simplicity with which the characters are drawn. Each animal character is a type, with one human trait, or two at most–traits usually associated with that particular kind of animal. Using animals as types is also Orwell’s way of keeping his hatred and anger against exploiters under control. Instead of crying, “All political bosses are vicious pigs!” he keeps his sense of humour by reporting calmly: “In future, all questions relating to the working of the farm would be settled by a special committee of pigs.” The story of Animal Farm is told in a simple, straightforward style. The sentences are often short and spare: “Old Major cleared his throat and began to sing.” “It was a bitter winter.” The story follows a single line of action, calmly told, with no digressions. Orwell’s style, said one critic, has “relentless simplicity” and “pathetic doggedness” of the animals themselves. There is a kind of tension in Animal Farm between the sad story the author has to tell and the lucid, almost light way he tells it. This is very ironic, because the content of the story is so very different from the style. You are expecting the story to be like every other fable you’ve read. Complete with cute characters, predictable plotline, and happy ending. But because of the nature of the content in Animal farm, the content is completely incongruent to the style. Another irony that occurs in Animal Farm is when pig becomes man. In that Old Major at the beginning assumes that man is the only enemy of the animals. He emphasises that animals must never imitate man, especially his vices. Gradually in their life-style and their indifference to the animals, the pigs exploit the animals much more than Jones ever did. This irony particularly depicts how low the pigs had actually become, and how Stalin had made things much worse than it had originally been under the Czar’s rule. This further enhances the satirical aim of condemning the target. Through satirical techniques such as irony, fable, and allegory, George Orwell paints a vivid picture of the evils in Stalinist Russia in his book Animal Farm. He is very effective in doing so and condemns his targets through every thread of his book including the characters, the themes, and even the style. He does so simply, yet poignantly, and is very successful in achieving the satirical aim of condemning his targets.

Animal Farm


Animal Farm
I.

Animal Farm is a story of the struggle for freedom and power. It takes place on a farm in England called Manor Farm. There are many different kinds of animals on the farm; these animals include horses, geese, dogs, cats, sheep, and pigs, which are the most intelligent of all the animals. The story starts out when old Major, an old, wise pig, calls a meeting in the barn. He tells the animals about a dream he has. The dream was about how the animals should rebel against the leader of the farm, Mr. Jones. He tells them that in the dream he remembered a song called Beasts of England. The song is about how the animals should rebel against the humans. He teaches the animals the song and tells them that he is going to die soon. A few weeks later old Major dies. The animals hold secret meetings about the rebellion a couple times a week. None of the animals really expected the rebellion to happen any time soon, but it happened before anyone expected. Mr. Jones started to neglect the animals, and one day the animals decided that they had enough. A cow broke into the building where the food was kept, and all of the animals decided to get some food. Mr. Jones and some of his helpers came out with whips as started lashing the animals, but were caught by surprise when the animals started to fight back. The men fled in panic, and before anyone realized it, the rebellion had begun. The animals were on an emotional high for the next few days. They set up rules, including the seven commandments, and decided to make Snowball and Napoleon (pigs) the leaders. The animals had meetings every Sunday to discuss and vote on what should happen, and the work schedule for the following week. Every single time an idea was brought up Snowball and Napoleon would disagree. This went on for a year. Finally, at one of the meetings Napoleon and 9 dogs jumped Snowball, and chased him off of the farm. From then on the farm became a dictatorship, not a republic as the animals had dreamed of before the rebellion. Napoleon lied to the animals a lot, but none of them were smart enough to realize it. He planted false memories in the animals heads, and manipulated them. He stole food from them and blamed it on Snowball. Then he started to go against the seven commandments, but none of the animals could remember the seven commandments. He moved into the farm house and started to take up human activities, but none of the other animals had enough courage to stand up to him. At the end of the story Napoleon and the other pigs were sitting around a table, playing poker, and getting drunk with the humans. It was then that the animals realized that their dream hadn?t really come true.

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II.

Old Major was an old pig who installed the idea of a rebellion into the animals head. He was thought of very highly by the other animals before his death.

Napoleon was one of the two pigs who helped develop the rebellion. He ended up taking over the farm and turning it from a republic into a dictatorship.

Snowball was the other pig who helped in the leading of the rebellion. He was eventually chased away by Napoleon.

Boxer was the strong horse who had two mottoes; ?I will work harder?, and ?Napoleon is always right?. The animals were inspired by his hard work and how he never gave up.

Clover was another horse who was very quiet. She wasn?t as hard of a worker as Boxer was, but she was smarter.

Benjamin was the donkey. He didn?t talk very much, but he was wise and smart.

Squealer was one of Napoleons servants. He told all of the animals about Napoleons decisions. He was a very persuasive talker.


III.George Orwell uses many different literary techniques . His diction is very simple. He writes like he is one of the animals; using simple words, and describing things the way the animals perceive them. His writing style is not very realistic. The idea of animals talking and ruling over a

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