George Orwell: Looking into the Background of Animal FarmNg Ding Xuan (18)1I3Introduction (Background) to Animal Farm:Animal Farm is a classic work by George Orwell and a noted piece ofliterature, which, of course, may help the reader to catapult the imaginationbeyond the horizons of dogmatic adherence to idealistic or Utopianthoughts. It however, represents human characteristics in an analogy ofanimal instincts, but it really gives insight into the Russian Revolution of 1917.It also mimics the doomsday of a precipitated change, brought by amodicum of bureaucratic class called as Bolsheviks.Animal Farm is a satirical fable set on Manor Farm, a typical English farm.Orwell employs a third-person narrator, who reports events withoutcommenting on them directly. The narrator describes things as the animalsperceive them.The animals, feeling that they are not being treated well by Jones (theirfarmer), revolt against the farmers. Under the leadership of the wise andclever Snowball as well as the strong and brave Napoleon, won the ‘war’easily.However, after the revolt, there were some leadership problems. The pigs(especially Napoleon) and the dogs seem to get a larger share of the food.However, thanks to some well-phrased propaganda by Squealer, the animalsdid not protest. Then, Snowball was soon driven out as Napoleon saw him asa threat.
As years passed, many things happened, from the building and collapse oftheir windmill to Boxer (a loyal and strong horse) being sent to the horse-slaughterer.Soon, the pigs become more and more similar to humans, such that theother animals can no longer differentiate them. This is similar to what ishappening in Russia, and the story aims to let us know about Communism,to prevent people at that time from being influenced by the lies andpropagandas of the Communist party in England.GEORGE ORWELL: Why he wrote Animal FarmHaving been enlisted in the Indian Imperial Police and served in Burma forfive years, George Orwell witnessed Imperialism at its worst; saw hangings,floggings, and filthy prisons, and he "was forced to assert superiority over theBurmese which he never really felt." Little economic or cultural progress wasmade and Orwell left this situation with the conviction that Imperialism wastoo evil to risk ones life for.In 1936, Orwell joined the Republican side and fought in the Spanish CivilWar. Through first-hand experience, Orwell saw propaganda and theperversion of history used for the first time as instruments of war. Thedeliberate distortion of facts by both Left and Right seemed to Orwell to beeven more terrible than "the roar of bombs." Orwell believed the uncheckeddistortion of objective truth would create far worse situations for mankindthan any ideological war ever could. For power, Orwell realized, had becomean end in itself.Animal Farm is constructed on a circular basis to illustrate the futility of therevolution. The novel is a series of dramatic repudiations of the SevenCommandments, and a return to the tyranny and irresponsibility of thebeginning. The only change will be in the identity of the masters, andironically, that will be only partially changed.
In the eyes of Mr Orwell, the sole purpose of the book was to expose theSoviet myth of Russias acclaimed socialist utopia in a way that almostanyone can comprehend. The simplicity of language in the book and theusage of animals to convey the message made it a prime candidate for acartoon version and thus one was created.Why was Animal Farm written as a fable?According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, a fable is:A narration intended to enforce a useful truth; especially: one in whichanimals speak and act like human beingsThere could me various reasons for writing Animal Farm in the form of afable. Firstly, he might get into trouble with the Russians if it was not soindirect. As a result, he wrote it as a fable. Though it did not directly criticizethe Russians, it exposed their myth about how a utopia can be achieved.Secondly, propaganda plays with the emotions of people and lets them beconvinced of something else. Only some people like George Orwell wasaware of the truth. As a result, he wrote it as a fable, using characters likeanimals as an analogy, to make the truth even easier to comprehend.ConclusionGeorge Orwell’s purpose in writing Animal Farm is to tell us about thedanger posed by Communism. While we might enjoy ourselves reading thebook, occasionally punctuated with irony and humour, we should keep inmind his message for us, and not make a mistake as future leaders ofSingapore, or perhaps the world.References http://www.online-literature.com/orwell/animalfarm/ http://www.cliffsnotes.com/study_guide/literature/Animal-Farm- Animal-Farm-at-a-Glance.id-12.html http://www.sparknotes.com/lit/animalfarm/summary.html