Animal Farm and Nineteen Eighty-fourPresentation Transcript
& By Austin Shinners
George Orwell- A man of “lower-upper-middle class” He attended some of England`s most prestigious schools, but with his encounters with the upper class he found them to be very conceited and became growingly concerned about England`s unchangeable social structure After college he worked as a police officer in Burma, but he was outraged by the strict laws he was forced to uphold, so he decided to become a writer He became a well known and respected author after writing Animal Farm and Nineteen Eighty-Four which both looked at social structure and the dangers of power
Animal Farm is an allegorical novel detailing the Russian Revolution. In the book the animals of an English farm rebel against their owner in an effort to become free of abuse and hardship. The intelligent pigs immediately assume the position as leaders and before the end are shown to be more abusive than the humans. This novel looks at the dangers of Communism.
MAIN CHARACTERS Animal Farm Napoleon- Assumes position of power, opposing Snowball. Presented as power hungry, and uses fear to control the animals Old Major- The founder of the commandments by which the animals should live, and the inspiration for rebellion. For the most part his ideas are corrupted by the end. Joseph Stalin Karl Marx- Founder of Communism Snowball- Genuinely intelligent pig, concerned about the well being of the animals. Is made out to be an enemy by Napoleon, and blamed when anything goes wrong Boxer- Hard working , unintelligent, and unquestionably loyal to the leader. Mislead Communist Supporters Leon Trotsky
Nineteen Eighty-Four is a novel detailing a potential futuristic society in which the world has divided into three major nations, who are constantly at war. Oceania, in which the story takes place, is lead by an all powerful party and their leader Big Brother. In order to maintain their power they are constantly watching everyone, ensuring that if someone even has a thought against the party, they will be killed. The novel looks at the world through Winston Smith as he tries to find a way to rebel against society, even though he is consciously aware it will lead to his death.
Nineteen Eighty-Four Winston Smith- Constantly questioning the party's actions, and believes he will eventually be killed no matter what he does. Clearly the dissenter of the novel. In the beginning he believes he is already dead, but as the novel progresses he begins to gain hope for changing the future. Interested in rebelling so he can change the future of society Julia- Interested in rebelling against society, but only for personal gain. Only concerned about what happens in her life time. More interested in planning meetings with Winston and having sex then changing society.
O`Brien- A high ranking member of the party who leads Winston to believe he is a member of an anti-party group. In reality he is in charge of the torturing of Winston. Throughout the novel Winston sees O`Brien as hope for the future when he actually leads to Winston's downfall Big Brother- Throughout the novel it is never revealed if a person named Big Brother actually exists. He is used as an all knowing being who keeps the people protected and ensures they don`t step out of line. Big brothers tend to be people who one may look up to and trust, this may be the reason for this name.
Power of words/language “the revolution will be complete when language is perfect” In Nineteen Eight-Four there is a significant number of people devoted to developing a new language(Newspeak), which is considered to be more efficient, but in reality is taking away any word that may carry the same connotation as rebellion From this it is shown that words and language play a major role in actions. If people are stripped of the words to express themselves, even if they had thoughts of rebellion, they would never be able to explain themselves, or even comprehend what they are thinking. If there no words to describe an action than how would someone begin to contemplate doing something? Language is of extreme importance to thought and actions because it limits the ideas capable of being formulated
In Animal Farm the majority of the animals do not know how to read. The ones who do are generally considered to be smarter or more intelligent animals, but for the most part only the pigs can read. Due to the lack of intelligence among the animals the pigs are able to alter the commandments to benefit themselves. If people cannot understand the meaning of words than those with power and trust can alter meanings to their own benefit. Certain words or phrases can take on a wide variety of meanings. If someone says or writes something, but does not explain what they intended to mean It can be interpreted differently by different people. From this it is shown that words are extremely important because the meanings can be used to change facts and control the less intelligent.
Neglect of the Strength of the Lower Class “Until they become conscious they will never rebel, and until after they have rebelled they cannot become conscious” In Nineteen Eighty-Four the lower class significantly outnumbers the upper class, but have no goals, organization, or intentions of using their numbers to try and change the standard of living. The lower class simply believes there is no way out of their situation, they can’t comprehend that they are a vital part of society which populates the majority of the world. In Animal Farm the upper class is made up of a few pigs, and the lower class consists of almost every other animal on the farm. The only solution to change the standard of living is for the lower class to become organized and rebel. From this the author is trying to show how in the real world, the lower class complains about living conditions, but rarely takes into account their numbers to make a drastic change in society. Only the middle class recognizes their numbers, and the goal of the middle class is to use them to make there way to the upper class.
The Dangers of Flawed Political Systems The goal of communism is to create a classless society where everything is owned by the people not the government. In Animal Farm the animals rebel against the humans so they can all be equal and improve the quality of life, but quickly the intelligent pigs assume the position as the upper class and begin to abuse the power and decrease the quality of living for the rest of the animals. The theory of Anamalism, created by Old Major describing how all animals should be, is almost identical to the ideas of communism This shows that in theory communism is great, but in reality it can never truly work. In a society where everyone is equal, there will always be an individual or group that is considered higher or better in some way, and without anyone to claim the position of leader, they will take it. The author is trying to warn against communism by showing that the theory may be good, but it will never work the way it is intended.
Totalitarianism is when a state is operated under the power of a single person or party. To maintain a society under this rule, propaganda and mass media are used to control the people. In Nineteen Eighty-Four the inner party uses Telescreens(similar to T.V., but have a camera watching you) to monitor all the citizens and keep them in line. The party maintains absolute power by vaporizing anyone who thinks of going against them. From this novel George Orwell was trying to show that with technology advancing without question it may be possible in the future to watch people at all times. Through this he was trying to show the society depicted in the novel was possible and needed to be prevented. He was also trying to show the dangers of a society being ruled under one ideology. If a society is based under a strict set of beliefs anyone who thinks differently will be killed or tortured into changing their mind.
Dystopian Literature Dystopian literature shows a potential future society that is not appealing, but based on social or technological trends is possible. The goal is to warn people of this possible future and try to prevent it from happening. Much like Brave New World, Animal Farm and Nineteen Eighty-Four both show potential outcomes of society if current trends were to continue. Animal Farm looks at the potential outcome of communism. Clearly George Orwell is trying to show that communism ultimately ends in corruption and through this he is trying to shed light on the reality of a society where everyone is equal. It is shown that its impossible to maintain a society of entirely middle class, and will always end poorly. This novel was clearly an effort to prevent the spread of communism.
Nineteen Eighty-Four looks at the potential of technology if its used for the wrong reasons. Ultimately the technology in the novel is not impossible, and could potentially be implemented in our society. If this were to happen it would completely eliminate personal freedom and privacy, as you would be watched around the clock. Overall if you look at technology in society today, certain devices are exactly what George Orwell warned us about. Nineteen Eight-Four also looks at what occurs if people simply go along with what they are told, never questioning the government. Throughout the novel it is shown that people simply go with what they are told, act like they are expected to, and Winston is one of very few who question WHY the party is doing what they do.
This video shows that the things we do in privacy may not be as personal as we are led to believe How is Big Brother watching you? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MDSCC5iR_DE&feature=related
Animal Farm as an Allegory Russian Revolution Animal Farm In 1917 Russia was being controlled under the autocratic rule of Tzar Nicholas which resulted in low paying jobs and unemployment Karl Marx invents communism, but dies before revolution begins Two men replace Nicholas; Trotsky is brilliant speaker and in favour of communism and Stalin is an average speaker and somewhat favours communism Stalin exiles Trotsky, Stalin begins his tyranny
In the beginning Manor Farm is being ruled by Mr.Jones, a very abusive and selfish leader
Old Major invents Anamalism, but dies before revolution
Snowball and Napoleon rise to power. Snowball is a good speaker and wants to improve life for animals, Napoleon is an average speaker and is power hungry
Napoleon exiles Snowball, and begins his tyranny
Through this allegory George Orwell was trying to warn people about the dangers of communism. Although everyone being equal is appealing, it ends in corruption and tyranny. He was making an effort to prevent the spread of communism to the western part of the world.
Comments on Social Structure Both these novels make clear statements about social class. It is shown that the upper-class of society is always pushing their limits, and trying get more out of those below them, the middle class is only interested in becoming the upper class, and the lower class has no goals. The middle class recognizes that the lower class has devastating numbers and uses them to overthrow the abusive or corrupt upper class, but once they are in power begin their own tyranny. People are not interested in changing the leader for the better of society, they only interested in obtaining power to benefit themselves. These novels also show war as a beneficial tool to keep the social structure in tact. War is needed to use up resources so that lower classes will never have more then necessary. If there was excess of resources the lower class would have all they need, and would no longer be a lower class, only a middle class. War is equivalent to “digging holes, and filling them back up”.