Interview with George Orwell and Jonathan Swift

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Interview with George Orwell and Jonathan Swift

        P/        Hello and welcome to ‘Interviewest’, the interviews we are having today are probably two of the most eagerly anticipated interviews ever. Satires are books that poke fun at events that have happened or are happening, and are usually cleverly put under disguise by changing the characters or giving the book an unusual title and so on. They are often thoroughly enjoyable containing complex literature and layer upon layer of thought and disguise. The most successful books tend to go a little further and have a powerful, hidden meaning in the storyline, telling the true feelings and opinions of the writer. Some of the best known satires are written about famous events. Satires are often humorous and sarcastic, the majority of them are written about politics. George Orwell 1903 – 1950 was a socialist and has written many political books. The one we are considering today, ‘Animal Farm’ was a satire written about the Russian revolution and has proved a great success. Other books include ‘Burmese days’ through the times when he worked in Burma and ‘Down and out in London and Paris’ through the times when he lived in Paris. Jonathan Swift – 1600’s wrote a powerful satire in the times of poverty in Ireland while he was Bishop of Dublin concerning the potato famine and cruel ruling of England, called ‘A Modest Proposal’, written in the way of a pamphlet by politicians at the time. Another famous book he wrote was ‘Gullivers travels’ which, up until this day, is widely popular. Both satires are most probably two of the best well-known satires in history.

        Welcome George, welcome Jonathan. Both books are quite different it their approach, but use similar techniques. One of the most obvious differences is the age range the books have individually appealed to. ‘Animal farm’ interest’s both young and old, a very wide audience, due to its simple-like approach. But if you understand the history the ideas are complicated and exceptionally clever. Why did you choose this writing manner for your satire George?

G/        Well, as the story seems quite fantasical with animals for characters I knew it would appeal to children as well as adults alike. Yes, the writing is meant to seem basic for younger children to understand, especially from a first person narrative as I have chosen, which allows the reader to draw their own conclusion. Children could see it as a story, with a strong moral perhaps, while adults would see the satirical purpose and appreciate the disguise in which I have put the characters, setting and history under. It was all for the disguise. The book seems an innocent, children’s fable, but really it is a satire about the Russian Revolution. Do you know I have seen hard backs and paperbacks, in children’s bookstores and adults?

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P/        I see, you did originally call your book ‘Animal farm – a fairy story’ didn’t you, why did you call it this?

G/        Yes I do believe the American’s changed the name – maybe because ‘a fairy story’ was no longer needed I am not sure, but I did originally call my book that. It was more to give a hint, than anything else. You don’t see many books stating what type of book they are in the title do you? I thought the reader’s might hopefully see it, pick it up and think – ‘oh, that’s odd’, and ...

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