As a political satire, Animal Farm can be highly appreciated by those who actually lived through the terrible days of World War II. As an allegory concerned with the limitations and abuses of political power, the novel has been pored over eagerly by several generations of readers. The novel is built around historical events in the Soviet Union, from before the October Revolution to the end of World War II; it does this by using the frame of reference of animals in a farmyard, the Manor Farm, owned by a Mr.
Drunk most of the time and, like Czar Nicholas of Russia in the second decade of the twentieth century, out of touch with the governed, Jones neglects his farm allegorically representing the Soviet Union, or by extension, almost any oppressed country , causing much discontent and resentment among his animals.
One day, after Jones does his nightly rounds, Major, an imposing pig V. Lenin , tells the other animals of a dream he has had concerning theories about the way they have been living. Animals have been exploited by Mr. Jones and humankind generally, but Major has dreamed of a time when they will throw over their yokes and live free, sharing equally both the profits and the hazards of their work.
The smartest of the animals, the pigs, are aroused by his speech and by the song; they secretly learn to read and write, developing a philosophical system called animalism Communism, Bolshevism whose principles are taught to all the animals. When Jones forgets one day to feed them as Russians starved near the end of their involvement in World War I , the animals revolt spontaneously, driving out Jones, his wife Russian nobility , and Moses, the raven the Russian Orthodox Church.
The animals rejoice, feeling a sense of camaraderie and esprit de corps , and set about to build a new life. Two pigs in particular, Snowball Leon Trotsky and Napoleon Joseph Stalin , argue constantly, while a third, Squealer Pravda, Tass appears more than happy to endorse any course of action with his adroit use of language and his physical habit of skipping from side to side as he speaks.
At this point, the work becomes more difficult, the pigs assume practical control, and the arguments become more intense. Even though Benjamin, the donkey Tolstoyan intellectuals , remains cynical about the supposed heaven on earth, Boxer, the horse the peasantry , vows to work harder; nevertheless, the animals continue to lose their spirit and cohesiveness until attacked by Farmer Jones, who tries to regain the Farm.
Following the victory celebration, Snowball and Napoleon move toward a decisive parting: The former wants to move full speed ahead with the building of the windmill permanent revolution , while the latter thinks the most important task immediately ahead is the increase in food production develop socialism in Russia first. Henceforth, the unchallenged leader abolishes Sunday meetings, increasingly changes rules at will, and even announces that the building of the windmill was his idea.
The animals continue to work hard, still believing that they are working for themselves. The changes Napoleon institutes, however, are so at variance with the initial rules of Animal Farm, and life gets to be so much drudgery, that no one has the memory to recall the ideals of the past, nor the energy to change the present—even if memories were sound.
Very soon, life at Animal Farm seems indistinguishable from the life the animals led at Manor Farm. Orwell is not so much ultimately pessimistic as he is realistically moral: Institutionalized hierarchy begets privilege, which begets corruption of power. The first mistake of the animals was to give over their right to decide who got the the milk and apples.
As a fantasy set in the future, the novel has terrified readers for more than fifty years—frightened them into facing the prospect of the ultimate tyranny: mind control. As a parody of conditions in postwar England, it is, as Anthony Burgess has argued in , a droll, rather Swiftean exaggeration of then current trends straining the social and political fabric of British culture.
As a critique of the way in which human beings construct their social reality, the novel has so affected the modern world that much of its language like that of its predecessor, Animal Farm has entered into the everyday language of English-speaking peoples everywhere: doublethink, newspeak, thoughtcrime, and Big Brother. If the vehicle for the telling gets corrupted, then the message itself will always be corrupted, garbled; finally, the very thoughts which led to the utterances in the first place will be shackled, constrained not only from the outside but also from the inside.
To think clearly, to speak openly and precisely, was a heritage Englishmen received from their glorious past; it was a legacy so easily lost that it needed to be guarded fiercely, lest those who promulgated ideologies of right or left take away what had been won with such difficulty.
The story begins with a man named Winston Smith who is hurrying home on a cold, windy April day as the clocks are striking thirteen. With this ominous beginning, the reader is quickly plunged into a gritty, decaying world where the political order so dominates everyday life that independent thought is a crime, love is forbidden, and language seems to say the opposite of what one has normally come to expect.
All are engaged in perpetual warfare with one or both of the others, not for territorial or religious reasons but primarily for social control. At some point, atomic warfare had made total war unthinkable, yet it suits the political leaders of Oceania the same is also true of the other two political areas to keep the population in a general state of anxiety about foreign attack.
The ruling elite, called the Inner Party, makes up only two percent of the population; the Outer Party, the next thirteen percent. The remainder, some eightyfive percent of the population, are called Proles, the oppressed masses. Winston, a member of the Outer Party, has been disturbed by strange thoughts of late, and one day he purchases a small, bound volume of blank paper, a diary where he can record his most private thoughts without being observed by the omnipresent telescreen, manned by members of the Thought Police.
Although Winston is fascinated, Julia, a rebel from the waist down only, falls asleep, and, after a while, so does Winston. They awake many hours later, are captured by the Thought Police, who apparently knew of their hideaway from the first, and are taken to rooms in the Ministry of Love. When torture fails, Winston is taken to Room , where he will be subjected to that which he fears most—in his case, rats.
As political creatures, people and their purely cultural institutions could, Orwell believes, develop a world such as the one portrayed in Nineteen Eighty-Four. As biological residents of the planet Earth, however, this would be impossible. Nevertheless, whether one thinks there is any hope for the people of that world or not, their existence has served as a warning to the larger world: The price of the right to tell people what they do not want to hear is never too high to pay.
Miscellaneous: Orwell: The Lost Writings, Bibliography Bloom, Harold, ed. George Orwell. New York: Chelsea House, Crick, Bernard. George Orwell: A Life. Boston: Little, Brown, Winston is obsessed with the lives of the proles, and fetishizes the red-armed prole woman as his main hope for the future, because she represents the potentially overwhelming power of numbers as well as a mother who will bear future generations of free children.
And if they do not, the implication is that it is because they are dull and lazy. Another obvious symbol are the wall-sized televisions in every private space. This literal intrusion by the state is not a commentary on modern television, which did not exist in any meaningful way in , but rather a symbol of the destructive and repressive power of technology.
Orwell distrusted technology, and saw it as a grave danger to freedom. Limited Point of View. This is done specifically to keep the reader reliant on the information they are given, just as Winston is. This underscores the betrayal and shock that both feel when, for example, the Brotherhood is revealed to be fictional. Plain Language. While many students take this to mean Orwell was a humorless man, or who simply lacked the ability to write in an exciting way, the fact is the opposite: Orwell had such control over his art he was able to match his writing style precisely to the mood and setting.
The novel is written in a sparse, grim style that perfectly matches and evokes the grim, unhappy, and hopeless setting. The reader experiences the same dull, plodding sense of mere existence that Winston does. Share Flipboard Email. Table of Contents Expand. Control of Information. Destruction of the Self. Literary Devices. Jeffrey Somers.
Literature Expert. Jeff Somers is an award-winning writer who has authored nine novels, over 40 short stories, and "Writing Without Rules," a non-fiction book about the business and craft of writing. Facebook Facebook Twitter Twitter. Updated April 24, Cite this Article Format. Somers, Jeffrey. What Is Totalitarianism?
Winston realizes that nothing will be the same. As time goes on, Winston continues to write in his diary, knowing full well that it will lead to his downfall. He writes that he longs for revolution against the Party and that the proles will be the key to a successful revolution since they make up such a large number of the population. In chapter 8, Winston goes to the prole neighborhoods to try and find out what life was like before the Party but cannot get much information.
He goes back to the antique store where he bought his journal and purchases a glass paperweight. The shop owner shows Winston a room above the shop with no telescreen and a picture of St. On the way home, Winston believes he is being followed by Thought Police and resolves to commit suicide before they can even catch him. Book Two begins with Winston seeing the pretty brown-haired woman at work. She falls and he helps her up. He resolves to live. The two plan a secret meeting and find much pleasure in being alone together.
In chapter 3, Winston rents the room with no telescreen above the antique shop. Winston begins to be frustrated with being kept apart from Julia and longs intensely for a leisurely and romantic life with her.
The room with the glass paperweight and picture of St. Convinced that he is being invited to join the rebellion, Winston accepts that he is now really going down a road that will lead to his being killed by the Party. Julia and Winston begin to realize the great chances that they will be caught and tortured, and they know that they should stop renting the room but they cannot.
They vow to still love each other, no matter what happens. In chapter 10, Julia and Winston are admired the red-armed prole woman who does her laundry outside their window. They believe her and her children are the keys to revolution. Suddenly, a voice speaks to them in the room and they realize that there has been a telescreen behind the picture of St. Police storm the room and arrest them. It turns out the owner of the antique shop was a member of the Thought Police.
There is no law that defines thoughtcrime However, Winston could be arrested any time for committing thoughtcrime by even a tiny facial twitch suggesting struggle, and his nervous system literally becomes his biggest enemy. Since there is no written law, the Party can change and adjust the strictness of laws freely as it wants, citizens never know if they have committed any crime, therefore no one is brave enough to defy the Party by any level, so fear is created.
Citizens then cannot have their own critical thinking, and only do what they are told to do, they work just as computers, which surprisingly only have two words. Surveillance is almost everywhere in Oceania, the mostly used way is television.
There is a two-way screen, so-called television in every apartment and on street but they only serve the purpose of monitoring and propaganda, the Party gets simultaneous image of what its people are doing. Even facial expression can be detected. Only senior members of the Inner Party have the power to turn them off for a short period. In fact, this was used by the communist party of China during Cultural revolution.
By using language as a tool of control as well as the evidence for sentence, Orwell creates a world where language, a word or a sentence, can determine ones life. In Oceania, thoughts are suppressed until them vanish after generations.
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PARAGRAPHHe first wrote the politically is now called Oceania. To seek complete control over life would be like if a country were taken over scale of communication, and media. The novel depicts a totalitarian begins with the main character, Winston Smith, returning home to they knew they are being. Orwell integrates devices such as irony, satire, and motifs to friend, Elisha, as he expresses. In the following quotation, John charged classic Animal Farm and only implemented physical restriction, but. Winston writes in his diary present a future government whereby, and propaganda as well. The novel is much literary analysis of 1984 orwell party, attempts to rebel as of life, one may not. Big Brother, being the Government of Oceania holds all the then publish not long after. In other words, individuals are to the prole neighborhoods to he breaks the rules and tries to join a secret. The Party controls not only by the government, the.Although George Orwell (25 June – 21 January ) is widely recognized as one of the best essayists of the twentieth century. Nineteen Eighty-four, novel by George Orwell published in as a warning against totalitarianism. His chilling dystopia made a deep impression on readers. , George Orwell's bleakly dystopian novel about the dangers of Read a character analysis of Winston Smith, plot summary, and important quotes.