• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Social Criticism in Literature

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Social Criticism in Literature Many authors receive their inspiration for writing their literature from outside sources. The idea for a story could come from family, personal experiences, history, or even their own creativity. For authors that choose to write a book based on historical events, the inspiration might come from their particular viewpoint on the event that they want to dramatize. George Orwell and Charles Dickens wrote Animal Farm and A Tale of Two Cities, respectively, to express their disillusionment with society and human nature. Animal Farm, written in 1944, is a book that tells the animal fable of a farm in which the farm animals revolt against their human masters. It is an example of social criticism in literature in which Orwell satirized the events in Russia after the Bolshevik Revolution. He anthropomorphises the animals, and alludes each one to a counterpart in Russian history. A Tale of Two Cities also typifies this kind of literature. Besides the central theme of love, is another prevalent theme, that of a revolution gone bad. ...read more.

Middle

Snowball represents Trotsky, a Russian leader after the revolution. He was driven out by Napoleon, who represents Stalin, the most powerful figure in the country. Napoleon then proceeded to remove the freedoms of the animals, and established a dictatorship, under the public veil of "animalism." Pigs represent the ruling class because of their stereotype: dirty animals with insatiable appetites. Boxer, the overworked, incredibly strong, dumb horse represents the common worker in Russia. The two surrounding farms represent two of the countries on the global stage with Russia at the time, Germany and England. Orwell begins his book by criticizing the capitalists and ruling elite, who are represented in Animal Farm by Mr. Jones, the farmer. He is shown as a negligent drunk, who constantly starved his animals. "His character is already established as self-indulgent and uncaring." (King, 8) Orwell shows us how, "if only animals became aware of their strength, we should have no power over them, and that men exploit animals in much the same way as the rich exploit the proletariat." ...read more.

Conclusion

Both these characters fall in love with Lucie Manette, the daughter of Dr. Alexandre Manette, unjustly imprisoned in France for 17 years. Though Lucie marries Darnay, Carton still loves her and in the end, gives his life to save Darnay for her. Dickens, who was fascinated with French history, especially the French Revolution, begins by criticizing the aristocrats' treatment of the poor people of France. In the seventh chapter of book two, the Monsieur the Marquis had accidentally driven his carriage over a young child, killing him. Instead of worrying about the child's welfare, the Monsieur's reaction was to worry about his horses: "One or the other of you is for ever in the way. How do I know what injury you have done to my horses."(Dickens, 111) He deemed their lives inferior and insignificant, as illustrated when he threw a gold coin to the child's devastated father as compensation. The Monsieur the Marquis revealed his true sentiments to his nephew: "Repression is the only lasting philosophy. . . fear and slavery, my friend, will keep the dogs obedient to the whip. . . ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Animal Farm section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE Animal Farm essays

  1. Orwell & Marx.

    The paradox, however, is that Orwell wanted to show that capitalism was not the only social injustice nor the only cause for dystopian societies while Trotsky wanted to use the revolutionary process to overthrow a government. Orwell believed that a nation would always exist where there are people, thereby allowing

  2. Social Criticism seen in "Animal Farm" and "A Tale of Two Cities."

    . to discredit the Soviet system by showing its inhumanity and its back-sliding from ideals [he] valued . . ."(Gardner, 106) Orwell noted that " there exists in England almost no literature of disillusionment with the Soviet Union.' Instead, that country is viewed either with ignorant disapproval' or with uncritical admiration.'"(Gardner, 96)

  1. Compare and contrast the themes of revolution in Animal Farm by George Orwell and ...

    Both the animals and the French people were being exploited to benefit the person who was in power, e.g. Jones uses the animals to make money but does not see the needs of animals, "He sets them to work, he gives them the bare minimum that will prevent them from starving.

  2. Animal Farm.

    Russia devoted a great deal of brain- and manpower to putting these programs in place. As suggested by the plot of Animal Farm, Stalin initially balked at the idea of a national emphasis on modern technology, only to embrace such plans wholeheartedly once he had secured his position as dictator.

  1. Animal Farm: About the Author; Overview; Setting; Themes and Characters; Literary Technique; Historical and ...

    In 1939 Orwell published Coming Up for Air, the first of his novels to attain commercial success. This personal triumph, however, was soon overshadowed by the outbreak of World War II. Excluded from military service for health reasons, Orwell was nonetheless active in civil defence.

  2. Animal Farm by George Orwell - Comparison of Orwell's Original Novel with the animated ...

    It reads, "Milk and apples (this has been proved by Science comrades) contain substances necessary to the well being of a pig. We pigs are brain-workers. The whole management and organization of this farm depend on us." By using claims that are falsely backed up by science Squealer persuades the other animals.

  1. The main elements of Napoleon's character.

    He is respected, admired, decent, selfless, dedicated, strong, compassionate and tireless in his efforts for others. Yet he lacks intelligence --- the sort of intelligence a leader must have to organize, direct and plan. The pigs have none of the positive attributes seen in Boxer --- indeed, in their selfish greed and deceit, they are virtually his opposite.

  2. Foxhunting Debate -The argumentation of both parties in the ongoing discussion on foxhunting has ...

    It is very likely that Copper is not the only case in which the lead hound has proven not to be a clean and fast killer. Cruel though it may be, there are not many good alternatives to hunting with dogs.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work