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Symbolism And Literary Techniques In George Orwell's "Animal Farm"

1157 words - 5 pages

George Orwell’s Animal Farm is an allegoric fairy tale type novel that uses irony, satire, and allegory to portray the true identity of media censored Communist Russia. Because of the relationship between America and Communist Russia during WWII, Animal Farm was not originally received with warmth because it was thought of as harmful propaganda. But then, during the Cold War, when US-USSR relations soured, George Orwell’s novel was finally read.
George Orwell, the pseudonym of Eric Blair, conceived the basis of Animal Farm during his tenure at Eden, a prestigious English boarding school. It was here where Blair founded his belief in Socialism, a centralized government that controls all economic procedures and enterprises. Socialism is in stark contrast to Communism; whereas Socialism has a centralized government that controls economic procedure, Communism does not. Communism relies upon only a small dictatorship party or a single dictator. Once Blair graduated from Eden, he served in the Spanish Civil War, the proving ground for WWII and the rivalry between Hitler and Stalin. When Blair served for Stalin, he was finally disillusioned, allowing him to see the horrors of Russia under the censored façade. Blair became fearful of Russia, and wrote the book to warn others of the terrible civil atmosphere in the USSR.
Of the three literary techniques used by Orwell to warn others and reveal to them the “real” Communist Russia, irony was the most prominent, and most easily put into real world context. Mr. Blair used irony to convey the manipulative powers of the Communist Cabinet Members through the use of the TASS or Propaganda Ministry. He also used a particular type of irony, dramatic irony, to let the reader draw conclusions based on knowledge not known by the animals. For example, through the use of hypocrisy, corruptness, and blatant cruelness, the pigs, symbolizing the Communist Party Cabinet Members, manipulated the animals for their own purposes. The most blatant use of irony that occurs in Animal Farm is the manipulation of the Commandments, symbolizing the Communist Manifesto, by the pigs to cater to their own whims. An extremely good example of this type of manipulation is the Commandment “No animal may sleep in a bed.” Once the pigs start liking the comfort of beds, they have Squealer change the Commandment in the middle of the night to “No animal may sleep in a bed with sheets.”At this time, the animals notice that the Commandment has been changed, and start asking questions. Their uneasiness is quickly quelled by the manipulative Squealer, allowing the pigs to keep unquestionable control, without a doubt of uneasiness, on the farm. Another prominent example of the irony used in the book is at the final pages of the novel in the line, “All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others.” This single line is the most important in the book, because in the few words it is written in, it completely epitomizes the era...

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