Animal Farm, by George Orwell

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“All animals are equal, but some are more equal than others.” This simple quote from Animal Farm, which at first seems merely humorous, can provide valuable insight into the values and ideas expressed in the novel. George Orwell uses various language forms and features to convey the ideas that are evident in Animal Farm. Such features include allegory, fable, satire, imagery and characterization. They are used to provide understanding of the purpose of the composition and in doing so convey ideas such as greed, propaganda, utopia, work ethic, betrayal and warnings.

The form of allegory in Animal Farm is used to convey the composer’s ideas. Animal Farm is a composition which includes a deeper level of meaning beneath the superficial children’s story. One particular perception of the audience is that it is a subtle warning that power can corrupt any government. This can be seen through the character Napoleon and several of his porcine counterparts. As the novel develops, the pigs gradually obtain more power, which they use to take advantage of the less intelligent animals on the farm. This supports the idea that Orwell is possibly warning the audience that no matter what the original intentions are, power can corrupt anyone. Orwell uses a deeper level of meaning to act as a vehicle to convey his idea in the form of a warning.

Animal Farm is a fable which is used to teach a lesson in morality. One such lesson can be that greed reveals the worst in everyone. In the novel, the pigs were driven by their own personal interests and ambition until they became just as bad as their enemies (and even friends with them). The earliest example of greed is when the pigs steal the apples and milk for themselves under the false pretence of it being for the benefit of the farm. Later on, they become even bolder when Napoleon declares that what was to become the retirement paddock was to be sown with barley. This evidence is directly linked to the idea that greed produces the worst in everyone. Therefore Orwell’s ideas on greed are conveyed through the form of a fable.

Satire is also used in Animal Farm to help achieve the writer’s purpose. Animal Farm is a satirical view of Russian politics in the early to mid twentieth-century. This can be deduced from several key factors. The composer parallels the characters in Animal Farm to key Russian leaders by mimicking their personalities to their human equivalents.

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