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Animal Farm
 

Animal Farm

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Lecture points and discussion ideas

Lecture points and discussion ideas

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  • Old Major’s Dream is a simplified version of the Manifesto. Ending line of Manifesto, “The proletariats have nothing to love but their chains. They have the world to win. Workers of the world, unite!”—this parallels OM’s final call to “Rebellion”. Both are better at criticizing than enacting change.Jones is parallel to Tsar Nicholas II. Nicholas involved Russia in WW1 and mismanaged it; famine spread. Post-revolution, Lenin returned from exile and rose to power. Posted “April Theses” which parallel Seven Commands.Bolsheviks (Trotsky) take power in Russia, but are quickly challenged. Bolsheviks w/draw from WW1 and relations with other world powers (Germany, US, UK) begin to take shape. War ends in 1922 with defeat of the White Army (anti-Bolshevik) and renaming of Russia and the Soviet Union. Stalin given title of General Secretary of the Communist PartyRising tension between Trotsky and Stalin as Lenin’s health fails. Trotsky wants to spread the revolution abroad; Stalin wants to build communism in current Soviet territories. Stalin eventually exiles Trotsky and takes over with help of KGB.Stalin sets up goals to rapidly industrialize the country and collectivize farming. Caused drop in standard of living for peasants—famine broke out and Stalin did nothing. Stalin used propaganda and govt controlled press to appear to be successful.1936-1938: Stalin attempts to eliminate all traces of opposition. Sent 500,000 to 2 mill to Gulag labor camps. Forced many to come forward to confess (often falsely) Hitler and Stalin are longtime enemies; Hitler hated/feared communism. Stalin nearly signed an anti-Germ alliance with France and GB, but then stunned everyone by signing a non-aggression pact with Hitler (1939). This pact gave Russia a number of easter countries, like Poland. 1941 Hitler broke the pact and invaded Soviet territory.Russia suffered huge casualites on the Eastern Front. 1942, Germany w/i 20 miles of Moscow. Massive counteroffessive to push back, Germany then attacks the oil fields. Huge Russian casualties.Not a direct link-but general reference to the Gulags and Stalin’s policies and their effects on workers.Nov. 1943, intended to map out strategy to end WWII: FDR, Churchill, and Stalin. Gave Russia Poland (viewed as a sellout by the West). Ace of spades a reference to the start of the Cold War (which Orwell could only guess at)

Animal Farm Animal Farm Presentation Transcript

  • Animal Farm: A Fairy Story George Orwell
  • Genre?
    Fairy Tale--Fairy tales are simple stories of humans and their dealings with magical beings such as fairies, dragons, and wizards. Originally intended for children, the fairy tale has in certain instances involved into longer and more sophisticated narratives of supernatural events.
  • Allegory--The term loosely describes any writing in verse or prose that has a double meaning. This narrative acts as an extended metaphor in which persons, abstract ideas, or events represent not only themselves on the literal level, but they also stand for something else on the symbolic level. An allegorical reading usually involves moral or spiritual concepts that may be more significant than the actual, literal events described in a narrative. Typically, an allegory involves the interaction of multiple symbols, which together create a moral, spiritual, or even political meaning.
  • Fable--A brief story illustrating human tendencies through animal characters. Unlike the parables, fables often include talking animals or animated objects as the principal characters. The interaction of these animals or objects reveals general truths about human nature, i.e., a person can learn practical lessons from the fictional antics in a fable. However, unlike a parable, the lesson learned is not necessarily allegorical.
  • Satire--An attack on or criticism of any stupidity or vice in the form of scathing humor, or a critique of what the author sees as dangerous religious, political, moral, or social standards.
  • Discussion…
    What qualities and/or responsibilities does a “good” leader need to possess?
    What qualities and/or responsibilities does a “good” citizen need to possess?
    Why might (or should) a government be overthrown?
  • Literary Devices
    POV
    Tone
    Symbols
    Foils
    Irony (Dramatic)
  • “Beasts of England”(Orwell 22-23)
    Beasts of England, beasts of Ireland, Beasts of every land and clime, Hearken to my joyful tidings Of the golden future time. Soon or late the day is coming, Tyrant Man shall be o'erthrown, And the fruitful fields of England Shall be trod by beasts alone. Rings shall vanish from our noses, And the harness from our back, Bit and spur shall rust forever, Cruel whips no more shall crack.
    Riches more than mind can picture, Wheat and barley, oats and hay, Clover, beans, and mangel-wurzelsShall be ours upon that day. Bright will shine the fields of England, Purer shall its waters be, Sweeter yet shall blow its breezes On the day that sets us free. For that day we all must labour, Though we die before it break; Cows and horses, geese and turkeys, All must toil for freedom's sake. Beasts of England, beasts of Ireland, Beasts of every land and clime, Hearken well and spread my tidings Of the golden future time.
  • “Comrade Napoleon”(Orwell 90-91)
    Friend of fatherless! Fountain of happiness! Lord of the swill-bucket! Oh, how my soul is on Fire when I gaze at thy Calm and commanding eye, Like the sun in the sky, Comrade Napoleon! Thou are the giver of All that thy creatures love, Full belly twice a day, clean straw to roll upon; Every beast great or small Sleeps at peace in his stall, Thou watchest over all, Comrade Napoleon! Had I a sucking-pig, Ere he had grown as big Even as a pint bottle or as a rolling-pin, He should have learned to be Faithful and true to thee, Yes, his first squeak should be "Comrade Napoleon!"
    Compare and contrast this poem with “Beasts of England”
    Word choice
    Tone
    Imagery
    Purpose/Effect
  • Character Parallels
  • Historical Parallels
  • Position of Characters:
    Old Major
    Snowball
    Napoleon
    Boxer
    Benjamin
    Squealer
  • Lord Acton, in a letter to Bishop Mandell Creighton, 1887
    Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.
  • Niccolo Machiavelli, The Prince (1532)
    The end justifies the means.It is better to be feared than loved.
  • German anti-Nazi activist, Pastor Martin NiemöllerColumbia Theological Seminary in Decatur, GA, in 1959 (or 1960)
    In Germany they first came for the Communists, and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a Communist. Then they came for the Jews, and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a Jew. Then they came for the trade unionists, and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a trade unionist. Then they came for the Catholics, and I didn't speak up because I was a Protestant. Then they came for me — and by that time no one was left to speak up.
  • What one person can do…
    Chinese Demonstrations 1989
    Tiananmen Square Protest, June 5, 1989
    Quran burning
    News Article of Canceling
    Obama’s reaction-video
  • Analysis…
    What are “effective” strategies of leadership?
    Who is to blame for the failed revolution? What are the responsibilities of citizens?
    Who suffers the most? Ignorant or knowledgeable?
    Is there relevance for AF today?
    How do the pigs fit “good” leaders? Where do they fail?
    What is the role of education in a society?
    What is the role/purpose of religion in society? For governments?
  • Analysis…
    How does Orwell’s style affect the plot and message?
    What do we gain by comparing the following characters:
    Napoleon and Snowball
    Boxer and Benjamin
    Squealer and Benjamin
    Dogs and Sheep
    Napoleon and Mr. Jones
    Napoleon and Frederick/Pilkington
  • Genre?
    If this is a fairy tale, who are the “good” guys? Who are the “bad” guys? How do we reconcile the ending?
    If this is a beast fable, what is the moral?
    If this is an allegory, what meaning/message do we take away for today?