Politics and George Orwell
Works Cited Missing
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 and highly suggestive of their owners’ personalities and roles in the fable” (353). Later in the story after Napoleon takes over we see him declaring days of celebration on his birthday and not allowing the other animals to call him Napoleon but rather “our Leader, comrade Napoleon” (Orwell, 66). Orwell uses satire here by resembling the arrogance of this pig leader to that of the well-known arrogance of the French leader Napoleon. Orwell satirizes the effects alcohol has on people as well. After a night of drunken madness, the pigs are horrified in the morning to learn that their beloved...