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Use Of Humor To Describe Historical Events Illustrated In George Orwell's Animal Farm

1511 words - 6 pages

George Orwell created the novel Animal Farm as a pun to historical events. Orwell created a funny farm story based on the occurrences of the Russian Revolution. It is a novel based on the first thirty years of the Soviet Union, a real society pursuing the ideal of equality. Orwell uses many comical approaches in the novel depicting the historical events. Many of the events, people, and animals within Animal Farm are a direct representation of the Soviet Union. This story shows the reality of a corrupted society. It perfectly relates to the history of Russia and its problems with the Soviet Union. It develops a controversy between the intelligent and the simple-minded. The novel depicts the Russian Revolution, retelling the story of the emergence and development of Soviet communism in the form of an animal fable.

Each event that occurs in Animal Farm has a historical parallel. The Rebellion is the October 1917 Revolution, the Battle of the Cowshed is the subsequent Civil War. Mr. Jones and the farmers are a representation of the loyalist Russians. The hens revolt stands for the brutally suppressed 1921 mutiny of the sailors. Napoleon’s deal with Whymper represents Russia's 1922 Treaty of Rapallo with Germany. The animals follow the seven commandments throughout the novel. The building of the windmill is the most important event in the novel, which represents industrialization. Orwell ends the novel with a satiric portrait of the Teheran Conference of 1943, the meeting of Churchill, Roosevelt, and Stalin who are now allies. All of these events are noted in the novel in a humorous way.

Orwell uses humor in a way to enhance the story and events in the novel. All of the animals portray human qualities. They eat, sleep, act and talk like humans. The pigs gradually gravitate towards the human world. First they begin trading and alliances with Mr. Frederick. The selling of timber to Mr. Fredrick is a representation of the short-lived Nazi-Soviet aggression pact of 1939 (Kreis, Steven). By the end of the novel the pigs are convinced that “four legs are bad and two legs are good” and are teaching the other animals to walk on two feet instead of four. The pigs command other animals to follow their directions by persuading them with the idea of power. The pigs are the most powerful animals in the novel.

Old Major, the oldest, wisest pig on the farm starts the Rebellion off by calling all the animals to the barn. After the announcement that he is going to die soon the animals come to the conclusion that “no animal in England is free”. Therefore they must take charge of their destiny. After Old Majors death the remaining animals prepare for the rebellion under the leadership of three other pigs: Snowball, Napoleon and Squealer. They take charge when the farmer, Mr. Jones falls asleep one night and they all break in to the store shed to get food, when t he farmers come out the animals run them off the farm. They burn all the remainders of the...

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