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  • Level: GCSE
  • Subject: English
  • Essay length: 2759 words

Why Did George Orwell Write Animal Farm?

Extracts from this essay...

Introduction

Why Did George Orwell Write Animal Farm? Before I can answer the question - 'Why did George Orwell write animal farm,' I must explain some of the history from the time George Orwell lived in. The novel - 'Animal Farm' is based upon reality. Although there is no actual reference, it is easy to see that the book is based upon the Russian Revolution. The story of the Russian Revolution is told as an animal fable. There are several different reasons why George Orwell has chosen to write the book in this way. Here I will outline three of the main reasons. The first reason is to simplify human behaviour and events, which can become complicated when told as reality. The second reason is to allow us, the reader, to stand back from the story, and understand easier, the actions of the animals. The third and final reason that I am going to outline is to express that although the animal world is unlike our world, it is also very much the same. This statement may be seen as a contradiction, but if you look into the story in more depth, you can see that the behaviour of the animals, especially the pigs, is similar to that of the human race. By describing the Russian Revolution as an animal fable, George Orwell is able to demonstrate how changes that seem good at first, can also turn bad. The novel - 'Animal Farm' shows these changes, when the animals decide to dismiss their current leader, Mr Jones, and run the farm by themselves.

Middle

All the animals try to think of ways to capture snowball, should he return to the farm. These thoughts show that the animal's trust that was once in Snowball has now gone. From now on, we can see the animals starting to suffer. One of the main reasons is hunger - "starvation seemed to stare them in the face." The pigs are very careful though, not to let humans know that there is a food shortage on the farm, and when Mr Whymper is on one of his routine visits, Napoleon orders the food bins to be filled just below the brim with sand, then topped with grain. Whymper now believed that there was no food shortage, and reported this around the village. The pigs had also now, suddenly taken up residence in the farmhouse. It became known that the pigs ate in the kitchen, and slept in the beds. The pigs seemed to recall one of the commandments - "No animal shall sleep in a bed." When Muriel was fetched to read out the commandment to the rest of the animals, she read - "No animal shall sleep in a bed with sheets." Clover was suspicious of this commandment, as she was sure that there wasn't originally any mention of sheets. Squealer soon settled everything, by saying the pigs were merely sleeping in the beds, and were not actually sleeping with sheets, so this was acceptable. The pigs were said to be sleeping between blankets. The animals were forced to accept this when they were told that if the pigs didn't get the rest they required, then Mr Jones would come back.

Conclusion

The days of Mr Jones are recalled, when he used to carry the whip. Then the sheep burst into their new song, which had been taught by Squealer, of "four legs good, two legs better." This is a much-changed version of the previously sung song, which was "four legs good, two legs bad." The wall upon which the seven commandments had been wrote had again changed. Instead of having the seven commandments, there was only one commandment, wrote in white paint on the wall. It read "All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others." This is a contradiction because you cannot have one thing more equal than another thing. The real meaning is that the pigs are more important than the rest of the animals. When the animals look into the farmhouse, they glance from pig to man, from man to pig, then from pig to man again, but "it was impossible to say which was which." The pigs had become almost human, both in behavioural terms and in appearance. So why did George Orwell write 'Animal Farm?' One of the main reasons is to pass a message to the reader. Do not trust your leaders. What may seem good can be corrupt. He saying that if you give a person power, that person will always want more and more power - Power corrupts. When the pigs were seen as animals, they could be trusted, but looked at as humans, they cannot. Human nature is such that we cannot be trusted. Animal farm can be seen as a question of 'what kind of a future society do we want?' this is what George Orwell was trying to express when he wrote animal farm. John Keymer

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