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Copy of Copy of Animal Farm Introduction

Introduction to Animal Farm Unit
by

Amy Nicar

on 29 January 2014

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Transcript of Copy of Copy of Animal Farm Introduction

George Orwell's
Animal Farm

George Orwell
Connecting the Author the text...
Allegory-a story, poem or picture that can be interpreted to have a hidden meaning.
As you listen to the story "Yertle the Turtle,"

consider:
--How does this story relate to what I know about Germany in WWII?
--Who would the historical figures be in the story?
--How does this reshaping of the story teach a lesson?
Animal Farm was written during the closing years of World War II and was published in 1945. Orwell had a difficult time having the book published due to the fact that it criticized a world leader. At this time, the aims of the Russian Communists were beginning to be revealed. The purpose of the text was to warn the world of the dangers of totalitarianism and satirize those who believed Utopia was possible. Prompted by Orwell's intentions as we read, we will consider the following quiestion: Does power always corrupt?

More on the Russians in a bit...
Animal Farm is an allegory for the Russian Revolution-- some things you need to know about that:
Communism = elimination of private property; a system in which goods are owned in common and are available as needed; totalitarian system of government in which a single party controls state-owned means of production

Karl Marx, author of The Manifesto of the Communist Party, was said to be a socialist
Socialism = government ownership and administration of means of production and distribution of goods; no private property; distinguished by unequal distribution of goods and pay according to work done
What was Orwell's concern?
Animal Farm:
Is a fable - a short tale to teach a moral
Is a satire - uses wit, sarcasm, or irony to
criticize weakness or wrong-doing
Uses personification - gives human traits
to animals
Is an allegory - a story that has a literal
and symbolic meaning
"Yertle the Turtle"
“Liberty is telling people what they do not want to hear.”
1903-1950
Born in India
At that time India was a part of the British Empire, and Blair's father, Richard, held a post as an agent in the Opium Department of the Indian Civil Service.
The Blair family was not very wealthy - Orwell later described them ironically as "lower-upper-middle class". They owned no property, had no extensive investments; they were like many middle-class English families of the time, totally dependent on the British Empire for their livelihood and prospects.
Noted as a novelist and critic, as well as a political and cultural commentator
One of the most widely admired English-language essayists of the 20th century
Best known for two novels critical of totalitarianism in general, and Stalinism in particular:
Animal Farm
Nineteen Eighty-Four
George Orwell
British Author & Journalist
The novel, published in 1949, takes place in 1984 and presents an imaginary future where a totalitarian state controls every aspect of life, even people's thoughts. The state is called Oceania and is ruled by a group known as the Party; its leader and dictator is Big Brother.
1984
In explaining how he came to write Animal Farm, Orwell says he once saw a little boy whipping a horse and later he wrote,
“It struck me that if only such 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 [worker].”
Why Animals?
Interesting Fact:
George Orwell’s real name was Eric Blair.
Orwell was a person who had a reputation for standing apart and even making a virtue of his detachment.
This “outsider” position often led him to oppose the crowd.
Orwell’s beliefs about politics were affected by his experiences fighting in the Spanish Civil War.
He viewed socialists, communists, and fascists as repressive and self-serving.
He was skeptical of governments and their willingness to forsake ideas in favor of power.
George Orwell and His Beliefs
But why – now that Soviet Communism has fallen and the Cold War is over –does Animal Farm deserve our attention? The answer lies in the power of allegory.
Allegorical fables, because they require us to make comparisons and connections, can be meaningful to any reader in any historical period.
The story of Animal Farm will always have lessons to teach us about the ways that people abuse power and manipulate others.
Orwell's chilling story of the betrayal of idealism through tyranny and corruption is as fresh and relevant today as when it was first published in 1945.
Significance Today
After Animal Farm was published in 1945, George Orwell discovered with horror that booksellers were placing his novel on children’s shelves. According to his housekeeper, he began traveling from bookstore to bookstore requesting that the book be shelved with adult works. This dual identity — as children’s story and adult satire — has stayed with Orwell’s novel for more than fifty years.
Children’s Book? – No!
The Fable
Allegory
Boxer
Animal Farm is strongly allegorical, but it presents a very nice balance between levels of meaning. On the first level, the story about the animals is very moving. You can be upset when Boxer is taken away by the horse slaughterer without being too aware of what he stands for. But at the same time, each of the animals does serve as a symbol. The story's second level involves the careful critique Orwell constructed to comment on Soviet Russia.
Allegory (cont’d)
Allegory (cont’d)
Soviet Coat of Arms
In a satire, the writer attacks a serious issue by presenting it in a ridiculous light or otherwise poking fun at it. Orwell uses satire to expose what he saw as the myth of Soviet socialism. Thus, the novel tells a story that people of all ages can understand, but it also tells us a second story— that of the real-life revolution.
Satire
Snowball below the commandments.
Napoleon overindulging himself.
Irony results when there is a disparity between what an audience would expect and what really happens. Orwell uses a particular type of irony – dramatic irony. He relies on the difference between what the animals understand and what we, the audience, can conclude about the situation at Animal Farm.
We know just what the animals know, but we can see so much more of its significance than they can. The conclusions we reach that the animals never quite get to – that the pigs are decadent, corrupt, and immoral – are all the more powerful because we arrive at them ourselves, without the narrator pointing these things out directly.
Irony
Orwell uses dramatic irony to create a particularly subtle satire. Satire stages a critique of an individual, group, or idea by exaggerating faults and revealing hypocrisies. The dramatic irony of Animal Farm achieves this aim indirectly. We see the hypocrisy that the animals don't and therefore understand in this backward fashion that the book is deeply critical of the pigs.
Irony (cont’d)
Leon Trotsky
Joseph Stalin
Vladimir Lenin
Czar Nicholas II
Critics often consider Animal Farm to be an allegory of the Russian Revolution.
In the early 1900s, Russia’s Czar Nicholas II faced an increasingly discontented populace. Freed from feudal serfdom in 1861, many Russian peasants were struggling to survive under an oppressive government.
By 1917, amidst the tremendous suffering of World War I, a revolution began.
In two major battles, the Czar’s government was overthrown and replaced by the Bolshevik leadership of Vladimir Lenin.
When Lenin died in 1924, his former colleagues Leon Trotsky, hero of the early Revolution, and Joseph Stalin, head of the Communist Party, struggled for power.
Stalin won the battle, and he deported Trotsky into permanent exile.
When History and Literature Merge
Joseph Stalin
Once in power, Stalin began, with despotic urgency and exalted nationalism, to move the Soviet Union into the modern industrial age.
His government seized land in order to create collective farms.
Stalin’s Five Year Plan was an attempt to modernize Soviet industry.
Many peasants refused to give up their land, so to counter resistance Stalin used vicious military tactics.
Rigged trials led to executions and combined with the famine, he killed an estimated 20 million people--both government officials and ordinary citizens.
The government controlled the flow and content of information to the people, and all but outlawed churches.
Joseph Stalin
Joseph Stain
The communist dictator of the Soviet Union from 1922-1953 who killed all who opposed him.
He loved power and used the KGB (secret police) to enforce his ruthless, corrupt antics.
Napoleon
Boar who leads the rebellion against Farmer Jones
After the rebellion’s success, he systematically begins to control all aspects of the farm until he is an undisputed tyrant.
Napoleon = Joseph Stalin
Czar Nicholas II
Weak Russian leader during the early 1900s
Often cruel and brutal to his subjects
Displays isolated kindess
Farmer Jones
The irresponsible owner of the farm
Lets his animals starve and beats them with a whip
Sometimes shows random kindness
Farmer Jones = Czar Nicholas II
Leon Trotsky
A pure communist leader who was influenced by the teachings of Karl Marx.
He wanted to improve life for people in Russia, but was driven away by Lenin’s KGB.
Snowball
Boar who becomes one of the rebellion’s most valuable leaders.
After drawing complicated plans for the construction of a windmill, he is chased off of the farm forever by Napoleon’s dogs and thereafter used as a scapegoat for the animals’ troubles.
Snowball = Leon Trotsky
Karl Marx
The inventor of communism
Wants to unite the working class to overthrow the government.
Dies before the Russian Revolution
Old Major
An old boar whose speech about the evils perpetrated by humans rouses the animals into rebelling.
His philosophy concerning the tyranny of Man is named Animalism.
He teaches the animals the song “Beasts of England”
Dies before revolution
Characters
Many of the ideals behind the Soviet revolution were based on the writings and teachings of Karl Marx.
A German intellectual who lived in the mid-1800s, Marx believed that societies are divided into two segments, a working class and an owner class. T
he working class creates all the products, while the owner class enjoys all the benefits of these products.
This class division leads to inequality and oppression of the working class.
Marx’s objective was to create a classless society in which the work is shared by all for the benefit of all, and he believed revolution was the way to achieve this goal.
Who is Karl Marx?
Communism
Invented by Karl Marx
All people are equal
Government owns everything
People own the government
Animalism
Taught my Old Major
No rich, but no poor
Better life for workers
All animals are equal
Everyone owns the farm
Animalism = Communism
We already know that a fable is a narration intended to enforce a useful truth. Fables have two important characteristics. First, they teach a moral or lesson. In Animal Farm, the moral involves Orwell’s views about Soviet politics. Second, the characters are most frequently animals. These animal characters often function as a satiric device to point out the follies of humankind. Though Old Major, Snowball, and Napoleon may represent Karl Marx, Leon Trotsky, and Joseph Stalin, many of the story characters are much more general. Some animals are grouped together as a single character—“the sheep,” “the hens,” and “the dogs.” Orwell also capitalizes on the traits generally associated with particular animals, such as sheep as followers and dogs as loyal.
Characterization in Fables
Squealer
Boxer
Squealer    
A big mouth pig who becomes Napoleon’s mouthpiece. Throughout the novel, he displays his ability to manipulate the animals’ thoughts through the use of hollow, yet convincing rhetoric.
Represents the propaganda department that worked to support Stalin’s image; the members of the department would use lies to convince the people to follow Stalin.

Boxer    
A dedicated but dimwitted horse who aids in the building of the windmill but is sold to a glue-boiler after collapsing from exhaustion.
Represents the dedicated, but tricked communist supporters of Stalin. Many stayed loyal even after it was obvious Stalin was a tyrant. Eventually they were betrayed, ignored, and even killed by him.
Squealer & Boxer
Moses
Jessie
Jessie
The farm's sheepdog, she keeps tabs on the pigs and is among the first to suspect that something is wrong at Animal Farm.

Moses    
A tame raven and sometimes-pet of Jones who tells the animals stories about a paradise called Sugarcandy Mountain.
Moses represents religion. Stalin used religious principles to influence people to work and to avoid revolt.
Jessie & Moses
Pilkington Jones' neighbor, he finds a way to profit from Animal Farm by forming an alliance with the pigs.
Muriel A goat who believes in the rebellion, she watches as Animal Farm slips away from its founding principles.
Mollie A vain horse who resists the animal rebellion because she doesn't want to give up the petting and treats she receives from humans. Mollie represents vain, selfish people in Russia and throughout the world who ignored the revolution and sought residence in more inviting countries.
Benjamin The most cynical of all the animals, the farm's donkey doubts the leadership of the pigs but is faithfully devoted to Boxer. Benjamin represents all the skeptical people in Russia and elsewhere who weren’t sure revolution would change anything.
The Sheep Not tremendously clever, the sheep remind themselves of the principles of animalism by chanting "four legs good, two legs bad."
The Dogs
Napoleon’s private army that used fear to force the animals to work; they killed any opponent of Napoleon. The dogs represent Stalin’s loyal KGB (secret police). The KGB were not really police, but mercenaries used to force support for Stalin.
More Characters
Russian Revolution
Was supposed to fix the problems created by the Czar, but . . .
Life was even worse after the revolution.
Stalin made the Czar look like a nice guy.
Animal Farm Revolution
Was supposed to make life better for all, but . . .
Life was worse at the end.
The leaders became the same as, or worse than the other farmers (humans) they rebelled against.
Animal Farm Revolution
= Russian Revolution
Stop HERE!!!
Until we've read Chapters 1-4!
From Dr. Seuss
STOP
Stalinism-
[f. Joseph Stalin (Russ. ósif Stálin), the assumed name of Iosif Vissariónovich Dzhugashvíli (1879-1953), leader of the Soviet Communist Party and head of state of the Soviet Union + -ISM.] 
a. The policies pursued by Stalin, based on but later deviating from Leninism, esp. the formation of a centralized, totalitarian, objectivist government.

Totalitarianism
Totalitarian theory and practice; the advocacy of totalitarian government. Also loosely, authoritarianism; transf. monolithic character.
(totalitarian) A. adj. Of or pertaining to a system of government which tolerates only one political party, to which all other institutions are subordinated, and which usu. demands the complete subservience of the individual to the State. Also transf. Cf. TOTAL a. 3c.
Terms continued…
George Orwell (Eric Hugh Blair)
Born in Motihari, Bengal, India, 1903
Son of Customs and Excise Official of Scottish descent
Educated at Eton (prestigious boys school in England) from 1917-1927
Went into the Indian Imperial Police organization
Spent time in this service between 1922-1927
Returned home on leave, 1927, then quit the service
Went to Paris and did some writing
Lived in poverty in both Paris and London
Taught for awhile in England
Went to Spain, fought on the side of the Loyalists
Was badly wounded, became tubercular,
Became a successful author and journalist
Died January 23, 1950
The Author
George Orwell (Eric Hugh Blair)
Born in Motihari, Bengal, India, 1903
Son of Customs and Excise Official of Scottish descent
Educated at Eton (prestigious boys school in England) from 1917-1927
Went into the Indian Imperial Police organization
Spent time in this service between 1922-1927
Returned home on leave, 1927, then quit the service
Went to Paris and did some writing
Lived in poverty in both Paris and London
Taught for awhile in England
Went to Spain, fought on the side of the Loyalists
Was badly wounded, became tubercular,
Became a successful author and journalist
Died January 23, 1950
The Author
George Orwell (Eric Hugh Blair)
Born in Motihari, Bengal, India, 1903
Son of Customs and Excise Official of Scottish descent
Educated at Eton (prestigious boys school in England) from 1917-1927
Went into the Indian Imperial Police organization
Spent time in this service between 1922-1927
Returned home on leave, 1927, then quit the service
Went to Paris and did some writing
Lived in poverty in both Paris and London
Taught for awhile in England
Went to Spain, fought on the side of the Loyalists
Was badly wounded, became tubercular,
Became a successful author and journalist
Died January 23, 1950
The Author
Stalinism-
[f. Joseph Stalin (Russ. ósif Stálin), the assumed name of Iosif Vissariónovich Dzhugashvíli (1879-1953), leader of the Soviet Communist Party and head of state of the Soviet Union + -ISM.] 
a. The policies pursued by Stalin, based on but later deviating from Leninism, esp. the formation of a centralized, totalitarian, objectivist government.

Totalitarianism
Totalitarian theory and practice; the advocacy of totalitarian government. Also loosely, authoritarianism; transf. monolithic character.
(totalitarian) A. adj. Of or pertaining to a system of government which tolerates only one political party, to which all other institutions are subordinated, and which usu. demands the complete subservience of the individual to the State. Also transf. Cf. TOTAL a. 3c.
Terms continued…
Allegory- Description of a subject under the guise of some other subject of suggestive (very similar) resemblance.
Communism-
a. A theory which advocates a state of society in which there should be no private ownership, all property being vested in the community and labour organized for the common benefit of all members; the professed principle being that each should work according to his capacity, and receive according to his wants.
b. spec. A political doctrine or movement based on Marxism and later developed by Lenin, seeking the overthrow of capitalism through a proletarian revolution; = MARXISM-LENINISM. (Freq. with capital initial.)
Satire-
a. A composition in verse or prose intended to ridicule a particular person or class of persons
b. The employment, in speaking or writing, of sarcasm, irony, ridicule, etc. in exposing, denouncing, deriding, or ridiculing vice, folly, indecorum, abuses, or evils of any kind.
Literary and political terms
(because this story deals allegorically with political ideas, it is necessary to define a few so we can discuss them)
Animal Farm is Orwell’s most successful book. It won for him very great comparison, critically, with Jonathon Swift’s satire, Gulliver’s Travels. It is, from one point of view, a satiric allegory of Stalinism, and from another, on totalitarianism in general.
Orwell expresses great distrust and hatred for any form of totalitarianism in human activity.
The Book
George Orwell (Eric Hugh Blair)
Born in Motihari, Bengal, India, 1903
Son of Customs and Excise Official of Scottish descent
Educated at Eton (prestigious boys school in England) from 1917-1927
Went into the Indian Imperial Police organization
Spent time in this service between 1922-1927
Returned home on leave, 1927, then quit the service
Went to Paris and did some writing
Lived in poverty in both Paris and London
Taught for awhile in England
Went to Spain, fought on the side of the Loyalists
Was badly wounded, became tubercular,
Became a successful author and journalist
Died January 23, 1950
The Author
Full transcript