Section One: Question 1
George Orwell had had an interest in the dictatorial regime from a younger age and hated the idea. He was a socialist * as well as a Christian and an anti-totalitarian; he was against the system though he lived under it. George Orwell published his first book under his own name in 1933 called Down and Out in Paris and London, and he got the writing material by learning about the lowest of people. He documented and learned about the lowest of people- the prostitutes, beggars, criminals, tramps and people who were having a hard time. He was persistent in learning about the ways of life at the lowest point of society personally, sleeping poorly and doing casual work. Orwell served in the Spanish Civil War that broke out in 1936 * and after the war he started realising his views on government, that being a socialist view stating ‘I have seen wonderful things and at last really believe in socialism which I never did before.’
His inspiration to write Animal Farm was largely impacted by his beliefs of socialism; he was actively against the idea of the old forms of government and power. Orwell progressively became more and more against the Soviet Union’s style of communism and wrote Animal Farm as a metaphor of this. Characters in the book represented different characters of war, Mr.Jones being Nicholas II; the Bolsheviks overthrew him, specifically Vladimir Lenin who in the book is represented by Old Major. When Lenin dies, Stalin, Trotsky’s team takes over- in the book these people are represented by Napoleon and Snowball. Stalin (Napoleon) is against what Trotsky (Snowball) wants so Stalin and his defenders launched an idea to get rid of Trotsky before being removed from his post in 1925. Likewise Napoleon ‘exiles’ Snowball and after accuses him of being a traitor.
I found the idea of interpreting the Russian Revolution into allegory using farm animals interesting and clever as it appeals to a larger audience. That being younger readers, 11-12, can easily read it, as it written simply enough for them to read it though and also has a deeper meaning (with historic value) that can be explored through the interpretation of the book.
The word allegory derives from the Greek word allegorein, which roughly translates ‘to speak in other terms’. An allegory is more or less an extended metaphor; characters are often abstracts of ideas or people. The story has a further meaning usually resembling a social, religious or political significance. Writers, lyricists and filmmakers may use allegory, as it is a simple, though effective way to get a message across to a wider audience. Allegories simply put, has two meaning, the main being a straightforward story that may look simple at first, and second being symbolic and hides a deeper meaning. An example being Animal Farm, though a simple tale of animals rebelling at first glance is, after further analysis a metaphor for what happened in the Russian Revolution.