Allegory used in Animal Farm Essays

Allegory used in Animal Farm Essays

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Written in the middle of World War II, it took two years for George Orwell’s Animal Farm to be published, finally, on the 17th of August 1945, into a post-war world. His novel contains themes of satire and the general characteristics of dystopian fiction, although its primary convention is allegory. George Orwell was an outspoken democratic socialist and his imposed his concerns and criticism of Soviet Russia into his book. On a literal level, Animal Farm can be interpreted as how ethics can easily be twisted into warped versions of the original and provides a good moral lesson for those who are reading, yet on a more symbolic level, it exhibits Orwell’s concerns on the use of education and knowledge as tools of oppression, the pitfalls of revolution and the corruptive qualities of power.

The manipulation of the intellectually inferior and the use knowledge as a tool to oppress is exhibited by Orwell to demonstrate the need to push past the boundaries of ignorance and stress the need for education. With the allegorical conventions of Animal Farm, Orwell exposes the way the pigs gained control of the farm, with their supposed ‘superior intellect’. Both the pigs and Stalin and the Bolsheviks were able to subtly come to power with their augmented knowledge and once in control, sought to maintain the ignorance of the general public. Furthermore, the manipulation of the sheep in Animal Farm to repeat the slogan ‘four legs good, two legs bad’ and later on ‘four legs good, but two legs better’ and Boxer, the hard working horse who maintained the mantra of ‘I will work harder’ and ‘Napoleon is always right’ was used to spread propaganda and a sense of ease to the farm animals and their historical mirrors, the working class of Russia. O...


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...e pigs have taken to wearing clothes, walking on two legs and living in houses. This expresses the connection between the allegory to the stage in Stalin’s reign where his hypocrisy is exposed blatantly by Orwell. The revolution has come full circle and Orwell has merely taken to Animal Farm to express his views that power is all-consuming and in the end, the people in possession of the power, whether they say they are part of a different cause regress to being no better than their predecessors.

The use of allegory and its conventions by George Orwell in Animal Farm has been skillfully written to demonstrate his concerns on the lack of knowledge and understanding in situations of oppression by the general public, the fact that absolute power succumbs to corruption and the inescapable paradox nature of a revolution.

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Animal Farm - George Orwell

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