Animal Farm

Authors Avatar

Charlotte Walton        WALCHA07        22-04-05

Level 2 Access/GCSE Communications

Animal Farm

Chose three chapters in the fable where you think the author’s use of satire helps us to:

  • Understand the writers purpose
  • Understand what is happening in the novel
  • Understand and appreciate the ‘characters’ more fully
  • Appreciate the writers skill
  • Understand why he used a fable form rather than a novel

Animal Farm was written by George Orwell in 1943, yet due to political sensitivity, not published until 1945.  The novel is written as an allegory of communist Russia. In consideration of Russia being an ally of the British at this time one can understand the reluctance of many publishers to participate in its distribution.  The story is set on an English farm and the animals on the farm are used as characters intended to represent prominent figures in the Soviet Union.  The story centres around a revolution undertaken by the animals in order to oust the farmer, Mr Jones, and gain freedom from oppression and hardship.  How the story unfolds relates directly to Orwell’s profound disillusionment with revolutionary politics, human nature and our overwhelming need to dominate and suppress.

The principle characters in this book are Napoleon, Squealer, Snowball and the pig population.  Napoleon represents Stalin and remains the most powerful force through out the story.  Squealer is used as a means of propaganda directed by Napoleon in order to control the animals on the farm.  Snowball who is in disagreement with Napoleon from the outset represents Trotsky who fled from Russia after the revolution.  After Snowball’s expulsion he is used as a focus of evil and as scapegoat for things that go awry on the farm.  To balance the ‘ruling class’ which are the pigs, other characters such as Boxer and Clover the horses, Benjamin the donkey and nameless hens, sheep and the cat reside on the farm and on the whole are true believers in the cause in which they fought and loyal to the principle of Animalism even though they are mostly unaware they are really loyal only to a different form of dictatorship.

Using animals to represent human figures creates an environment where it is far easier to illustrate treachery and cruelty.  The reader is not clouded by human personality and is drawn to the scale of the cruelty more vividly because the characters are animals.  The use of pigs  as the oppressors is any easy leap for the reader to make and works beautifully at the end of the story when “the creatures outside looked from pig to man, and from man to pig, and from pig to man again: but already it was impossible to say which was which”.

Join now!

Another crucial tool Orwell uses to convey his message is through the use of irony.  By making the reader aware of situations and deceptions on the farm the animals are not; are the reader is educated in the methods powerful groups use in order to oppress a larger population.  One argument is the use of parallels between animals and real individuals, fictional situations and real events is an attempt to get the book published and avoid offending but it is far more likely the use of satire was intended to highlight real instances of tyranny rather that veil it. ...

This is a preview of the whole essay