George Orwell – Animal Farm

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Christopher Train

Media Assignment: George Orwell – Animal Farm


In 1942 a well-known political writer named Eric Blair, under the pen name of George Orwell, wrote an allegorical story, which he named ‘Animal Farm’.  He wrote this book mainly to point out the negative effects political systems can have on people and also to send out his views in away, which were disguised in a tale about animals living on a farm rebelling against humans. The theme of the book was not totally different, Orwell himself was a socialist and therefore hated communism, he saw this book as a brilliant way to critisise the current sweep of communism he saw travelling through Russia, Europe and eventually on to the USA. In this book he used the ‘farm’ to symbolise communism.

   ‘Animal Farm was the first book in which I tried, with full consciousness of what I was doing, to fuse political purpose and artistic purpose into one whole’

                                    George Orwell ‘Why I Write’

   About two or three years later when Orwell had finished composing Animal Farm, he was determined to get it published, so he confronted a number of publishers and requested them to accept his story.  Although he tried to get it published he did not succeed, everyone he tried turned him down. The reason was, that because of the recent ending of World War 2 they thought Orwell’s book would not be suitable to publish due to the harsh criticism Orwell had given Russia within his book.

Orwell realised that if he wanted his book to be published he must change what had caused the failure of his requests: the criticism. He amended the content so not to criticise anyone in a way which was noticeable and direct, but he was not going to change the purpose of his story, which was clear.

        “ No book is genuinely free from political bias. The opinion that art should                                

             have nothing to do with politics is itself a political attitude”

                                George Orwell -‘Why I Write’

   After changing the content of Animal Farm, George Orwell contacted the well-known publishers ‘Penguin’ and asked them to consider publishing his story. After reading his script of Animal Farm, ‘Penguin’ agreed to publish the story Orwell had worked hard on and amended to get accepted.

   As a result of the of the successful publication, ‘Animal Farm’ today, has sold over 2 million copies worldwide and has been translated into hundreds of languages.

After the success of the book, approximately fifty years later in 1998, Turner productions produced a live version film based on the book and for the first time in any motion picture used both live animals and 3-D animatronics together successfully.


   In this media assignment, I will study and analyse the book ‘Animal Farm’, one event in particular, Old Majors speech, which takes place at the beginning of the book. I will compare and contrast the original story of Animal Farm to the latest version of it in video form. I will study them both to see what differences occur within and between the two media articles.

   I will conclude which is better (video/book) and which one portrays the story clearer and I will analyse and review how Animal Farm is presented in media in terms of language, structure, and other appropriate factors.

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 Old Majors Speech

Old Majors speech takes place at the beginning of the book, just before his tragic death.

  The main purpose of his speech is to unite the animals together in a rebellion against the humans.

 As the animals round up in the barn, we see the camera rise up a tall stack of hay to show on top the graceful Old Major in a bright light standing proud. This shows us that Old Major is seen as a leader- the main figure for people to look up to-

   Old Major begins his ...

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