Satire in George Orwell’s Animal Farm Essay Example
Satire in George Orwell’s Animal Farm Essay Example

Satire in George Orwell’s Animal Farm Essay Example

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Animal Farm Animal Farm has many of the necessary elements of a satirical work. These elements all combine to form a masterful piece of satirical literature. Fantastic One element often found in satire is the fantastic or unrealistic. This component is present throughout Animal Farm. The animals in the story are able to talk, which is an unrealistic aspect that drives the entire novel. In addition, the way that the pigs turn into humans by starting to walk upright, carrying whips, and wearing clothes is very unreal.

This presence of the fantastic makes the book satirical and distinguishes it from a regular novel with realistic and factual events. Morality Another recurring element in satirical works is a strong moral lesson. Orwell presents issues of morality in many forms through Animal Farm.


One such issue is whether power itself corrupts. Orwell asserts that power does indeed corrupt, and even those who were not corrupt before they had power will quickly become corrupted by power. This is seen in the two main pigs in the story, Napoleon and Snowball, who both become corrupt after gaining power in Animal Farm.

In addition, the idea of the pigs turning into humans contributes to this idea. Once the pigs gain power, they change to match the humans who have similar power, in both principles and appearance. Another topic of morality presented is the existence of an ignorant and naive working class. Orwell argues that an ignorant lower or middle class can make a society very vulnerable. The working class in Animal Farm is very ignorant, making their exploitation not only possible, but positively simple. Satiric Victi

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In all satire, there is a specific target of the satire.

This satiric target is a symbol of the problem with society, as the author sees it. In Animal Farm, the satiric victim is Napoleon and the other pigs. Orwell targets the idea of totalitarian governments who use power to abuse the common person, while attempting to convince him that they stand for justice and equality for all people. Orwell wanted to point out that even though communism in principle promotes equality, it instead results in a totalitarian-type of government that oppresses its citizens. He portrays this through Napoleon and the pigs who rule over the other animals on the farm.

Despite constant insistence from Squealer, the pigs quickly and decisively gain power and ascend above the other animals. This represents the rise to power of Joseph Stalin and the Bolsheviks. Stalin oppressed the Russian people even while claiming that they ran a communism in which all individuals were equal. Characters In Animal Farm, Orwell mostly uses the characters and plot events to create satire. Animal Farm is directed against the Russian Revolution of 1917 and the reign of Joseph Stalin that followed. Many of the characters offer direct allegories to people or groups of people of the Russian Revolution.

Mr. Jones, the owner of the farm, bears resemblance to Czar Nicholas II of the Russian Revolution. Jones, in the same way as the Czar, is the original leader of the farm but is overthrown in the name of the new principals that the animals adopt. However, the real satire of the book comes from five major characters that all stand as

direct allegories of certain figures of the Russian Revolution. Old Major Old Major is the driving force behind the animals’ rebellion and provides them with the necessary system of thought, “Animalism. In this way, he is comparable to two major figures of the Russian Revolution: Karl Marx and Vladimir Lenin. Marx was one of the original creators of communism and said that workers should unite and rebel against the capitalist leaders of the world. Lenin organized this rebellion in the form of the October Revolution against the Czar. Pigs Snowball and Napoleon emerge from the rebellion as the two main leaders and struggle for power. They represent Leon Trotsky and Joseph Stalin, respectively. Trotsky was very smart and was a good speaker and influencer.

He was a pure communist and wanted a better life for everyone in Russia. Stalin was primarily concerned with power and, with the help of the secret police, killed many of his enemies that opposed him. He was less educated and a poorer speaker than Trotsky. Boxer Boxer is a very strong and dedicated horse who works extremely hard for Animal Farm. He epitomizes the working force of Russia before and after the Revolution as well as the spirit of the Stakhanovite Movement. Stakhanovites followed the example of Alexey Stakhanov, a Russian miner who set a record of coal mining efficiency and production in 1935.

Stakhanov became famous, and the Communist Party of the Soviet Union heralded him as a standard of work productivity and encouraged everyone to follow his example and work as hard as possible. Squealer The young pig Squealer has a loud mouth and is very

good at influencing and manipulating the other animals on the farm. He is Napoleon’s right-hand man and works directly with him. He also manipulates the Seven Commandments of Animalism, which is seen when the animals discover him next to the Commandments with paint and a ladder, and several days later Muriel reads the Commandments differently than they had originally been written.

Squealer represents Vyacheslav Molotov as well as the propaganda used by Stalin in Russia. Molotov was Stalin’s closest associate for many years of Stalin’s regime. He was a great negotiator and speaker. Stalin also used propaganda techniques to sway the people, including a newspaper called Pravda. This newspaper was heavily aligned with the Communist movement. Orwell uses these allegories to create satire in the book. He uses the characters to stand for real people in order to satirize these people. For each, he uses one of the devices of satire. Mock-heroic

For instance, Orwell uses one device, mock-heroic, to satirize Karl Marx and Vladamir Lenin. He does this by comparing Old Major, Marx and Lenin’s allegory, to a hero using the style of a literary epic. Orwell paints a majestic and gallant picture of Major in the Animal Farm. He seems to command the respect of all of the other animals on the farm. In addition, he comes off as more of a manager than a leader; he preaches of the suffering that all animals face, but as he himself even says, “For myself I do not grumble, for I am one of the lucky ones.

I am twelve years old and have had over four hundred children” (8). Major tells

the animals to rebel against the humans, but dies before the revolution begins. He is thus portrayed almost as a hero or god who speaks to the animals from a higher position. This mock-heroism contrasts the real heroism of Marx and Lenin. Though the two were admirable, Orwell satirizes their leadership by saying that they set up the plans for the revolution, but did not sufficiently plan the aftermath, which lead to the unjust rule of Stalin. Parody

Orwell uses a classic device of satire, parody, when describing Napoleon and the other pigs, in order to satirize Joseph Stalin and other similar rulers. He uses parody to imply the absurdity of the pigs’ actions. For instance, soon after gaining sole control of Animal Farm, Napoleon decides to give him and the other pigs certain privileges just because he can. “The pigs suddenly moved into the farmhouse and took up their residence there. ... Some of the animals were disturbed when they heard that the pigs... slept in the beds” (66).

With each new liberty that the pigs take, Napoleon and Squealer reach out to the other animals to “justify” their actions, and the animals are always reassured. However, from the view of one reading the book, it is clear that the pigs live lives of luxury not for the benefit of the rest of the animals, but only for their own happiness. This is further shown as the story progresses, as the pigs grow more and more like humans, first drinking alcohol, then walking on two legs and carrying whips, and finally smoking pipes and wearing old humans’ clothes.

Additionally, of course,

the last sentence of the book shows beyond doubt the extent to which the pigs have abused their power and grown to be exactly like the other humans: “The creatures outside looked from pig to man... already it was impossible to say which was which” (141). This transformation parodies the way that those in power can begin to abuse their privileges. Orwell uses the behavior of the pigs to mirror and satirize the way that Joseph Stalin (as well as others in power throughout history) abuse power. Exaggeration Orwell uses another device of satire, exaggeration, to satirize the working class of Russia and the Stakhanovites.

Boxer, the carthorse and the allegory for the working class, displays hyperbolized diligence and loyalty. His hardworking attitude is demonstrated in part through his first personal motto, “I will work harder,” which he repeats in crucial moments where more work is needed. After Napoleon orders many various animals to be put to death, Boxer explains the horrible events by saying, “It must be due to some fault in ourselves. The solution, as I see it, is to work harder. ” In addition, Orwell uses similes to exaggerate Boxer’s strength.

After the animals drive off the humans and claim the farm for themselves, Boxer starts working harder than ever. “He had been a hard worker even in Jones’s time, but now he seemed more like three horses than one; there were days when the entire work of the farm seemed to rest on his mighty shoulders. ” Later, Boxer’s strength and determination is embellished even further. “Nothing could have been achieved without Boxer, whose strength seemed equal to that

of all the rest of the animals put together. ” His loyalty is shown through his other personal motto, “Napoleon is always right. Even though Napoleon and the pigs treat Boxer and the other animals very poorly, Boxer is endlessly dedicated to Napoleon. This is shown by Boxer’s ultimate fate: even though his character was always extraordinary, Napoleon ultimately sells him to the glue factory for extra money to buy more whiskey. Boxer is used in the story to satirize the working class of Russia. The working class, though dedicated, was exploited by Stalin and the Russian government. Orwell uses Boxer (as well as the rest of the animals) to show this. He exaggerates their dedication for satirical effect.

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