Politics and George Orwell Essays

Politics and George Orwell Essays

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Politics and George Orwell
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     Books are a medium through which the author can express his views; whether they concern social injustices, current issues, or in Orwell’s case, politics. For centuries writers have weaved their opinions into their work, conveying to the reader exactly what they intended. “Orwell saw himself as a violent unmasker of published pretentiousness, hypocrisy and self-deceit, telling people what they did not want to hear….” (Crick, 244). Orwell accomplishes this unmasking of these facades through his use of rhetorical strategies to relay his views to the reader. Through his books and essays, George Orwell has found a forum in which he can express his opinions, fusing his political beliefs with a satiric quality all his own.

     A piece of literature that illustrates his ability to do this with unmatched skill and unrelenting satire is Animal Farm. Jeffrey Meyers said of Orwell’s novel, “In this fable about a barnyard revolt Orwell created a satire that specifically attacked the consequences of the Russian Revolution while suggesting the reasons for the failure of most revolutionary ideals” (339). In the book, the reader is given a situation in which the animals are fed up with the overindulgent, unappreciative human beings that run their farm. They decide a rebellion would cure their woes and so they revolt. However, they soon realize that the uprising was the easy part. Now they must establish a government with leaders and rules. The pigs are the self-appointed leaders because they are the smartest and cleverest of all the animals. The two pigs with the most power and persuasion are Snowball and Napoleon. The farm begins to run like a democracy, and all the animals are satisfied until Napoleon runs Snowball out of the farm with a pack of wild dogs. After the exile of Snowball, the animals on the farm increasingly become oppressed and Napoleon slowly starts to resemble a dictator. Throughout Animal Farm, Orwell’s main weapon of choice is his stinging satire. In fact, the entire book can be viewed as a one hundred page satiric look at politics and human life. Not only do we see humans being overthrown by pigs and chickens but all the animals can talk and some can even read and write. Naming one of the pigs Napoleon is also significant because as Meyers puts it, “The carefully chosen names are both realistic ...


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.... His use of satire combined with a headstrong political opinion creates for the reader thoughts and questions that were not there when one opened the pages of a book such as Animal Farm and began the journey chosen for them by Orwell. Orwell is a writer who not only gives the reader entertainment and enjoyment, but is set out to make the reader think and feel what the characters who are being victimized think and feel like. He is on a mission to make the reader ponder the injustices of society and the political regimes that run our countries, our world. George Orwell did not set out to create books that kindly represent everyone, even the tyrants. He set out to create books and literature that may have shocked some readers at first but without a doubt told the truth. Orwell once said, “Possession of the ‘truth’ is less important than emotional sincerity.” Orwell is unwavering in his commitment to make the masses aware of the injustices, victimizations, and corrupt politics. A writer’s only and best weapon is his words; Orwell chooses his words wisely. They can be bitter or sweet, but they always convey truths about the world ignored by many but seen and written about by Orwell.

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