Animal Farm– Unrelenting Satire
A piece of literature that highlights his capability to do this with unequaled skill and relentless satire is Animal Farm. Jeffrey Meyers said of Orwell’s novel, “In this fable about a barnyard revolt Orwell developed a satire that particularly assaulted the consequences of the Russian Transformation while suggesting the factors for the failure of many advanced perfects” (339 ). In the book, the reader is provided a scenario in which the animals are fed up with the overindulgent, unappreciative humans that run their farm. They choose a rebellion would treat their concerns therefore they revolt.
However, they soon understand that the uprising was the easy part. Now they should develop a federal government with leaders and rules. The pigs are the self-appointed leaders since they are the smartest and cleverest of all the animals. The 2 pigs with the most power and persuasion are Snowball and Napoleon. The farm begins to run like a democracy, and all the animals are satisfied until Napoleon runs Snowball out of the farm with a pack of wild dogs. After the exile of Snowball, the animals on the farm significantly end up being oppressed and Napoleon slowly begins to look like a totalitarian.
Throughout Animal Farm, Orwell’s primary weapon of choice is his stinging satire. In truth, the whole book can be viewed as a one hundred page satiric take a look at politics and human life. Not just do we see people being overthrown by pigs and chickens however all the animals can talk and some can even check out and compose. Naming among the pigs Napoleon is likewise significant because as Meyers puts it, “The thoroughly chosen names are both realistic and highly suggestive of their owners’ characters and roles in the fable” (353 ).
Later in the story after Napoleon takes control of we see him declaring days of event on his birthday and not allowing the other animals to call him Napoleon however rather “our Leader, associate Napoleon” (Orwell, 66). Orwell uses satire here by looking like the conceit of this pig leader to that of the well-known conceit of the French leader Napoleon. Orwell spoofs the results alcohol has on people also. After a night of intoxicated insanity, the pigs are frightened in the early morning to learn that their cherished leader Napoleon is, in truth, passing away.
Since of this tragedy Napoleon decrees that any animal that drinks alcohol would be penalized by death, even going as far as producing a brand-new rule. After understanding that he was merely hung over, Napoleon celebrates with more drinking, orders a field to be planted with barley, and changes the rule from “No animal shall consume alcohol” to “No animal shall consume alcohol to excess” (77 ). Not only does Orwell utilize satire in Animal Farm, he uses this strategy throughout the majority of his works. Orwell satirizes the British police in a skillfully composed and strongly detailed essay called “Shooting an Elephant.
An example of this is when Orwell states “In Moulmein, in lower Burma, I was disliked by great deals of people– the only time in my life that I have been essential enough for this to happen to me” (Orwell, 1). Orwell utilizes satire to brighten a work of literature and explain in a not so lovely method the injustices and paradoxes of society and politics. “Animal Farm was the first book in which I tried, with complete consciousness of what I was doing, to fuse political function and artistic function into one whole.
This quote from Orwell in his essay “Politics and the English Language” (Orwell, 5) precisely illustrates what Orwell attempted to do and achieved in Animal Farm. Jeffrey Meyers stated Orwell, “… brilliantly presents a satiric allegory of Communist Russia in which practically every detail has political significance” (353 ). The characters of Napoleon and Snowball are representative of Russian communist leaders Joseph Stalin and Leon Trotsky. Napoleon (Stalin) takes over the farm in much the same way Stalin slyly took control of Russia; Snowball (Trotsky) goes from being an effective leader to being exiled and almost assassinated by Napoleon (Stalin).
Both characters are drawn completely and accurately, and show practically all the dominant characteristics of the historical models.” (Meyers, 353). The struggle between Snowball and Napoleon is a struggle “within the party elite whose result, whichever had actually won, would have been the increased debt consolidation and centralization of power into the hands of the pigs” (Woodcock, 2578). I saw a little young boy, possibly ten years old, driving a big cart-horse along a narrow path, whipping it whenever it tried to turn.
It struck me that if just such animals ended up being mindful of their strength we should have no power over them, which males make use of animals in similar method as the rich exploit the proletariat (Orwell, 70). This quote from George Orwell offers his thinking for picking the farm as the background to his political myth. Orwell utilizes the animals to depict the bad of society. Unlike the pigs who are informed yet lazy, the rest of the animals on the farm are hardworking yet stupid. A character that represents this concept is the thorough Fighter.
Fighter is a strong and effective horse who can just memorize the alphabet until the letter D; yet his maxim is “I will work harder” (Orwell, Animal Farm 22). The animals, such as Fighter, are utilized by Orwell to make the reader think of the poor and impoverished as the animals in the story, effective however uneducated. Orwell feels sorry for the animals in the book; perhaps it was because he matured demeaned by his social standings, describing that his experiences during his school years cultivated his extreme sensitivity to social victimization (Meyers, 339).
Throughout Animal Farm the reader picks up on Orwell’s tremendous dislike of the Communist government through the increase and eventual failure of Napoleon. This severe disgust for the Communist party was probably since Orwell the British becoming allies with the Russians and not recognizing the faults of the Communist federal government. In theory, Napoleon’s rules and modifications seemed like an extraordinary concept; however, like Communism, wound up dividing the leaders from the animals much more than when the high-handed Mr. Jones was the human owner of the farm.
Napoleon stopped working to supply adequate quantities of food for the animals who were not pigs, as in a Communist country where the rich keep getting richer and the bad keep getting poorer. In the end of the book the pigs begin strolling on their hind legs and handling other attributes most frequently attributed to people, the very ones the animals revolted versus and swore they would never ever look like. Orwell uses the increase to power of Napoleon to show the theme that “when in power, the innovative becomes as tyrannical as his oppressor” (Meyers, 353).
The sluggish but guaranteed injustice of the animals is clear from the beginning of Napoleon’s rule; yet the only ones to discover this is the reader. The animals don’t realize this until the single commandment Napoleon chooses to rule by is “All animals are equal but some animals are more equivalent than others” (Orwell, 10). The last scene in the book in which Orwell’s political preferences and disgusts are the most distinctive is when the oppressed animals consider the pigs and human beings stating, “The creatures outside looked from pig to male, and from guy to pig, and from pig to man again; but currently it was difficult to say which was which” (101 ).
Throughout Animal Farm, Orwell utilizes rhetorical strategies to help the reader in realizing the political innuendos he just and thoroughly wove into the book. Orwell foreshadows the occasions that will accompany subtle tips and hints. Orwell clues the reader in to the possible Communist-like future of the farm by saying, “All that year the animals worked like servants. However they were happy in their work; they grudged no effort or sacrifice, aware that whatever they did was for the benefit of themselves and those of the kind who would come after them, and not for a pack of idle, thieving humans” (44 ).
Orwell utilizes this excerpt to depict to the audience the thoughts of the animals who were “… accepting the truth that no matter what the pigs might do, no animal wants to be ruled again by Farmer Jones or his kind” (Woodcock, 2577). After reading this excerpt and after that seeing the slave-like conditions the animals remain in by the end of the book, one can presume through Orwell’s usage of foreshadowing that the oppression and unfair treatment of the animals was a most likely result.
Orwell also makes use of characterization by associating human qualities to the animals, offering the impression that “we nearly nowhere feel that we remain in an animal world” (Levburn, 220). Orwell uses Napoleon to represent the dictator, Fighter to represent the over-worked lower classes, and the old goat Benjamin to represent the always doubtful couple of. Orwell does not completely develop these characters due to the fact that he utilizes them to depict character types with easily identifiable character qualities (216 ).
Through his usage of these techniques, Orwell attains his miniscule recreation of the Russian Revolution in the early 20th Century. Experiences from one’s life shape and mold the individual one is, whether good or bad. The exact same holds true for Orwell. His skepticism of governments and politics could be traced back to his days as a law enforcement officer for the Indian Imperial Police where he was stationed in Burma. There, he experienced the extreme truth of colonial rule and unfair treatment of the lower classes. Revolted with that life, Orwell left the police but didn’t forget the important things he had actually witnessed.
Recalling the oppressions he saw during those past experiences, Orwell enlisted in the British Army and battled Fascism in the Spanish Civil War, fostering his hatred for oppressive governments. Numerous of Orwell’s books deal with the sort of victimization he saw in Burma and Spain and even experienced in his own life (Crick, 271). George Orwell effectively communicates what he meant to through a simplistic style of writing that is powerful, to the point, and gives the reader only the impression which he desired.
His usage of satire combined with a headstrong political viewpoint develops for the reader thoughts and questions that were not there when one opened the pages of a book such as Animal Farm and began the journey chosen for them by Orwell. Orwell is an author who not only gives the reader home entertainment and satisfaction, however is set out to make the reader think and feel what the characters who are being victimized think and seem like. He is on a mission to make the reader consider the oppressions of society and the political regimes that run our countries, our world.
George Orwell did not set out to develop books that kindly represent everyone, even the autocrats. He set out to develop books and literature that may have stunned some readers initially however without a doubt informed the truth. Orwell as soon as said, “Ownership of the ‘reality’ is less important than psychological sincerity.” Orwell is unwavering in his dedication to make the masses knowledgeable about the oppressions, victimizations, and corrupt politics. An author’s only and best weapon is his words; Orwell picks his words carefully. They can be bitter or sweet, but they constantly communicate facts about the world neglected by numerous but seen and blogged about by Orwell.