Satire in Animal Farm, A Modest Proposal and Blackadder

Authors Avatar by hdalphasalesgmailcom (student)

How do composers use satire to expose the follies or flaws of humanity? Use three texts including Animal Farm by G.Orwell

George Orwell in Animal Farm, Jonathan Swift with A Modest Proposal and Ben Elton's BBC television series Black Adder adopted a satirical approach. But whereas Orwell wanted to alert the world to the growing menace and hypocrisy of Communism, Swift was passionate about his native Ireland and used satire to expose the callousness of the British parliament in ignoring the millions dying of famine in Ireland.  Ben Elton's purpose was more universal to hold up to ourselves the folly and greed of those who seek to rule over most of us.

Orwell uses a deceptively simple allegory, a narrative of farm animals usurping their human owner, to caution the world about the clash between idealism and human nature in a system like communism which loses its checks and balances, namely the right to remove a leader we don't think is good for us.  Animal Farm is not just a speculative work of fiction “what might happen” it translates the actual events and the leaders of the Russian Revolution in the aftermath in this little farm. By reducing them pigs it reduces them in stature and enabled people to see their real characters and mocked them, and its characters resemble the characters of the Revolution, Old Napoleon is Karl Marx, Snowball the ill-fated Trotsky.

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Orwell directs his satirical attack through irony. Just before his death, Old Major warns the animals against mankind “All men are enemies... we must not come to resemble him... all animals are equal.” However, as the novel progresses, we see the gradual change, which takes place in the pigs. At first, the pigs reserved the apples and milk for themselves, under the justification “of keeping the pigs in good health”. The pigs begin to develop more humanistic qualities, such as living in the farmhouse, sleeping in beds and eventually carrying whips and walking on two legs. This is extremely ironic; as ...

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