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Animal Farm in Context

Animal Farm in Context
by

Rayan Afiouni

on 25 February 2013

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Transcript of Animal Farm in Context

Animal Farm George Orwell Orwell was the pen name/alias of Eric Blair, a British political novelist and essayist whose criticisms of political oppression propelled him into prominence toward the middle of the twentieth century. As a young man, Orwell became a socialist, speaking openly against the excesses of governments During the 1930s and 40s, Orwell could not turn a blind eye to the hypocrisies of the Soviet Union Socialist party who had overturned the feudal system only to replace it with the dictatorial reign of Joseph Stalin. Orwell became a sharp critic of both capitalism and communism, and is remembered chiefly as an advocate of freedom and a committed opponent of communist oppression Animal Farm Animal Farm attacks the idea of totalitarian communism (a political system in which one ruling party plans and controls the collective social action of a state) by painting a terrifying picture of a world in which personal freedom is nonexistent. There are 3 concepts that we must be mindful of when reading Animal Farm: * Socialism

* Communism

*Totalitarianism In it's purest form, socialism means that everyone's work wages go into a common pool which is then divided out evenly amongst everyone and no one is left without.

In theory, it's great.. A doctor would earn as much as a cleaner and a lawyer would earn the same as a grocery store owner..

But in practice, lets see what happens.. S o c i a l i s m A system of social organization in which the means of producing and distributing goods is owned collectively or by a centralized government that often plans and controls the economy. An economics professor at a local college made a statement that he had never failed a single student before but had once failed an entire class.

That class had insisted that socialism worked and that no one would be poor and no one would be rich, a great equalizer. The professor then said, “OK, we will have an experiment in this class on socialism.
All grades would be averaged and everyone would receive the same grade so no one would fail and no one would receive an A.

The Class agreed! After the first test, the grades were averaged and everyone got a B. The students who studied hard were upset and the students who studied little were happy.

As the second test rolled around, the students who studied little had studied even less and the ones who studied hard decided they wanted a free ride too so they studied little. The second test average was a D! No one was happy.

When the 3rd test rolled around, the average was an F. The scores never increased as bickering, blame and name-calling all resulted in hard feelings and no one would study for the benefit of anyone else.

All failed, to their great surprise, and the professor told them that socialism would also ultimately fail because when the reward is great, the effort to succeed is great, but when government takes all the reward and shares it with those not earning it, no one will try or want to succeed. C o m m u n i s m Communism is a revolutionary socialist movement to create a classless, moneyless and stateless social order structured upon common ownership of the means of production, as well as a social, political and economic ideology that aims at the establishment of this social order. Socialism and communism are alike in that both are systems of production for use based on public ownership of the means of production and centralized planning. Socialism grows directly out of capitalism; it is the first form of the new society. Communism is a further development or "higher stage" of socialism. How is that different to Socialism? Communism is a form of socialism, in the same way that Catholicism is a type of Christianity.
However, communism is an all-encompassing POLITICAL system. There are different schools of communist thought, of course but all are political systems that dictate how a nation will function.

Socialism is merely an ECONOMIC facet of a political system. In a socialist countries, wealth and property are communally owned and distributed by the state. The political level of democratic input can vary based on the particular political ideology. Still don't get it? Don't fret.... T o t a l i t a r i a n i s m A dictatorship: a form of government in which the ruler is an absolute dictator.

- Having TOTAL control. In a nutshell... What does all this have to do with Animal Farm? Animal Farm is an ALLEGORY / FABLE that explores the political and social upheaval in the Soviet Union that was caused by socialism, communism and totalitarianism Allegory:
A story in which ideas are symbolized as people.
Fable:
A short story in which animals or objects speaks a story, to teach a moral or religious lesson. Q u e s t i o n In a time of social and political unrest, why do you think

Orwell would use animals to depict the major characters

in his story as opposed to standard people? Write your answer in your book :)
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