Animal Farm And A Tale Of Two Cities: Social Criticism

1583 WORDS
Read the full essay 1583 words
Animal Farm and A Tale of Two Cities: Social Criticism


Many authors receive their inspiration for writing their literature from outside sources. The idea for a story could come from family, personal experiences, history, or even their own creativity. For authors that choose to write a book based on historical events, the inspiration might come from their particular viewpoint on the event that they want to dramatize. George Orwell and Charles Dickens wrote Animal Farm and A Tale of Two Cities, respectively, to express their disillusionment with society and human nature. Animal Farm, written in 1944, is a book that tells the animal fable of a farm in which the farm animals revolt against their human masters. It is an example of social criticism in literature in which Orwell satirized the events in Russia after the Bolshevik Revolution. He anthropomorphises the animals, and alludes each one to a counterpart in Russian history. A Tale of Two Cities also typifies this kind of literature. Besides the central theme of love, is another prevalent theme, that of a revolution gone bad. He shows us that, unfortunately, human nature causes us to be vengeful and, for some of us, overly ambitious. Both these books are similar in that both describe how, even with the best of intentions, our ambitions get the best of us. Both authors also demonstrate that violence and the Machiavellian attitude of "the ends justifying the means" are deplorable.

George Orwell wrote Animal Farm, "... to discredit the Soviet system by showing its inhumanity and its back-sliding from ideals [he] valued ..."(Gardner, 106) Orwell noted that " there exists in England almost no literature of disillusionment with the Soviet Union.' Instead, that country is viewed either with ignorant disapproval' or with uncritical admiration.'"(Gardner, 96) The basic synopsis is this: Old Major, an old boar in Manor Farm, tells the other animals of his dream of "animalism": " ... Only get rid of Man, and the produce of our labour would be our own. Almost overnight we would become rich and free.'" (Orwell, 10) The other animals take this utopian idea to heart, and one day actually do revolt and drive the humans out. Two pigs emerge as leaders: Napoleon and Snowball. They constantly argued, but one day, due to a difference over plans to build a windmill, Napoleon exiled Snowball. Almost immediately, Napoleon established a totalitarian government. Soon, the pigs began to get special favours, until finally, they were indistinguishable from humans to the other animals. Immediately the reader can begin to draw parallels between the book's characters and the government in 1917-44 Russia. For example, Old Major, who invented the idea of "animalism," is seen as representing Karl Marx, the creator of communism. Snowball represents Trotsky, a Russian leader after the revolution. He was driven out by Napoleon, who represents Stalin, the most powerful figure in the country. Napoleon then proceeded to remove the freedoms of the animals, and established a dictatorship, under the public veil of "animalism." Pigs represent the ruling class because of their stereotype: dirty animals with insatiable appetites. Boxer, the overworked, incredibly strong, dumb horse represents the common worker in Russia. The two surrounding farms represent two of the countries on the global stage with Russia at the time, Germany and England.

Orwell begins his book by criticizing the capitalists and ruling elite, who are represented in Animal Farm by Mr. Jones, the farmer. He is shown as a negligent drunk, who constantly starved his animals. "His character is already established as self-indulgent and uncaring." (King, 8) Orwell shows us how, "if only animals became aware of their strength, we should have no power over them, and that men exploit animals in much the same way as the rich exploit the proletariat."(Gardner, 97) What was established in Russia after the Bolshevik Revolution was not true communism ("animalism"), which Orwell approved of, where the people owned all the factories and land. Rather, "state communism" was established, where a central government owned them. Orwell thought that such a political system, "state communism," was open to exploitation by its leaders. Napoleon, after gaining complete control, did anything he wished - reserved the best for the pigs, and treated the animals cruelly. The

Related Topics

Literature Fiction English-language films British films Cold War films Allegory Animal Farm Social criticism A Tale of Two Cities Madame Defarge Alexandre Manette Charles Darnay uncritical admiration animal fable human masters george orwell charles dickens social criticism bolshevik revolution soviet system personal experiences best of intentions farm animals russian history disillusionment inhumanity animal farm historical events disapproval boar human nature revolt

More Free Essays Like This

1984 Review
A Changist View
A Dolls House And Tess Of The DUrbervilles
A Dolls House And Tess Of The DUrbevilles
A Historical and Modern Look at Child Abuse in the United States and N
A Separate Peace - Symbolism
A Whole New World
Abortion: Life Or Death - Who Chooses
abstract on Twelve Angry Men
Academic Achievement
Achilles Anophtheis (Achilles Revisited)
Aids Conspricay - Is AIDS Biological Warfare?
Albert Einstein
Alexander The Great
Alice In Wonderland
American history
American Romanticism in Edgar Allan Poes Ligeia
An American Tragedy And The Futility Of The American Dream
An Observation Of The Aeneid, Book II
Analysis Of Early Civilizations Through Literature
Analysis On Beowulf
Analyzing MacBeth According To The 7 Habits Of Highly Effective Teens
Ancient Greek Drama
Ancient Near East
Andrew Carnegie
Animal Farm
Animal Farm
Animal Farm And A Tale Of Two Cities: Social Criticism
Animal Farm As Animal Satire
Antigone: Gender Issues
Approaches and methods
Aristotle On Tragedy
Art, Literature And Society From 1955-1970
Barn Burning: Abner Snopes Character Analysis
Beowulf: Heroism
Bill Clintons Life
Blanche the Monarch Butterfly in a Streetcar Named Desire
Book review
Bury My Heart At Wounded Knee
Canon- means a closed list of writings that are c
Capacity-Related Innovations Resulting From
Capital Punishment
Carl Gustav Jung
Carlos Bulosan
Celtic Lifestyle
Champ D? Avoine
Charles Dickens
Charles Et Secondat, Baron De La Brede Et De Montesquieu
Chinese Footbinding
Compare & Contrast 3 Essays
Comparing And Contrasting Anglo-Saxon, Medieval, And Renaissance Perio
Comparing and Contrasting: Montressor and General Zaroff
Comparison Of Franklin & Douglass
Comparison Of Judaism And Christianity
Computer Education
couch potaoes
Cultural Analysis On Death And The Afterlife
Culture Of India
Culture Of India
Curriculum project
Death and the kings horsemen
Deciphering Jeremy Geddess A Perfect Vacuum
Development and Lifelong Learning for Infants
Doe Season: Andys Epiphany
Don Juan As Byron Introspective
Don Quixote
Don Quixote: The Misadventures Of A Lunatic
Early American Literature
Early Influences On Huckleberry Finn
Earnest Hemingways Books
Earnest Hemingways Works
Edgar Allan Poe
Education Of Gifted Children
Efficient Market Theory: A Contradiction Of Terms
Emily Dickinsons Poetry
Emporer Hadrian Of Rome
Environmental Conflicts In Literature
Epic Of Gilgamesh
Erik Padilla
Exile And Pain In Three Elegiac Poems
Exposing Children To Profanity
Fahim Patwary
Fahrenheit 451
Fahrenheit 451 And Brave New World
Field Of Dreams
Figurative Language
Flawed characters are always more memorable tha
French Literature In The Age Of Reason