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Animal Farm Seminar

Seminar on the religious implications found in the novel by George Orwell titled, Animal Farm.
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Citizen 08141996

on 4 February 2013

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Transcript of Animal Farm Seminar

(cc) image by rocketboom on Flickr Animal Farm Presentation by: Faith, Samuel, Cinthia and Martin Introduction In class, we've read George Orwell's, Animal Farm. We all understand several things thus far: The associated school of literary criticism is Marxist criticism
The novel is a satire of the "utopian" Communist government established in the U.S.S.R
The novel depicts the events of the Bolshevik Revolution But what do we know about what George Orwell is trying to say about religion? Well, there are several things to consider: What is "Animalism"?
Animalism is a belief system based on the ideas of Old Major's speech.
Animalism is the belief that all animals are equal. Not one animal is greater than the other. Animalism in relation to Catholicism On Sunday mornings the animals do not work
They eat together and have a ceremony
Pigeons go around to other local farms spreading the news about Animalism.
Sugar Candy Mountain
" Beasts of England " Animalism & Catholicism The symbols and allusions Sunday morning mass; keeping the Sabbath Day holy
The body and blood of Christ
Catholic Missionaries, Jehovah's Witnesses, etc. spreading the good news of Jesus Christ
Heaven
Hymns during mass and other celebrations. The traditions and rituals (cc) image by quoimedia on Flickr The government system's attitude towards religion Thesis In analyzing these four concepts, it will be found that the author suggests that, in Communist societies, the role of religion is used to control the common people.

The central government is not supportive of religion, yet utilizes it as a method of control; giving hope to the hopeless. Religious Traditions
and Rituals What Are the Seven
Commandements? First, is the comparison between "The Meeting" and "Sunday Mass" as well as observing the Sabbath Day Next, is the comparison between The Ten Commandments and The Seven Commandments Sounds like political philosophy, right? Not quite! There's more to it! Animalism - A Religion, not Political Ideology Animalism Catholicism WHAT EXACTLY IS
THE MEETING? A gathering of all the animals on the farm, around one leader to hear about the beliefs of Animalism Sounds a little familiar, doesn't it? JUST LIKE
THE SABBATH DAY
So now we understand the similarities between Animalism and Catholicism...

But what does this all mean for the inhabitants of Animal Farm?

What does the author suggest about the role of religion in such a scenario? As Catholics, don't we gather around and listen to and praise our "leader" every Sunday? Connecting the Dots In the Catholic faith, we're told to take a break and do nothing on Sundays. Instead, we're supposed to gather together and show our piety to our God. Now all we need is a
little more detail. :D Animal Farm Quote: "On Sundays there was no work. Breakfast was
an hour later than usual, and after breakfast there
was a ceremony which was observed every week without a fail...After the hoisting of the flag all the animals trooped into the big barn for a general assembly known as The Meeting.....The Meeting always ended with the singing of Beasts of England" (Orwell, 48) Used to keep the animalism society running.
Catholicism also uses Sunday mass as a means to pursue our faith. They use the same means of keeping order within society.
Its ironic because the main ideology of Animalism is not to be like "humans" In Animal Farm, the Seven Commandments are a set of rules and the basic guidelines of the ideology that is considered Animalism. Now how does that compare with the Ten Commandments? They Both serve the Exact Same Purpose! Both of the Commandments are a set of rules on which you must obey. Both Animalism and Catholicism use the Commandments as the roots of their beliefs. Animal Farm Quotes: "These three had elaborated Old Major's teachings
into a complete system of thought, to which
they gave the name of Animalism." (Orwell, 36) "They explained that by their studies of the past three months the pigs had succeeded in reducing the principles of Animalism to Seven Commandments." (Orwell, 43) Both Animalism and Catholicism got their rules and guidelines from a power they considered superior Moses got the commandments from God
The pigs got their rules from Old Major And after creating the Commandments they presented it to the followers of their beliefs. Moses presented the commandments to the Isrealites
The three pigs presented their rules to the animals that lived in the farm. Moses the raven symbolizes the Biblical Prophet Moses. Preaching stories about a life better than what they know a world better than where they are he is often unwelcomed by the other animals due to his lack of work. Moses from the story of Exodus was exiled and outcasted in a similar fashion. In addition he provides the animals with a sense of hope. Symbolizes heaven. Ultimately symbolizes what all the animals seek for, which is a life better than the one they currently know. Sugar Candy Mountain is described as a place in whichthere is no hardship and all glory. This is a similar representation of The Kingdom of Heaven in the bible. A kingdom in which all those who obey and live life moraled will be rewarded.•AF Quote: “It was situated somewhere up in the sky, a little distance beyond the clouds, It was Sunday 7 days a week , lump sugar and linseed cake grew on hedges” (Orwell, 37) Bible Quote: “Go up to the land flowing with milk and honey” (Exodus 33:3) Symbolism in Animal Farm There are two important things to analyze here... Also known as "Sunday Mass" Moses Sugar Candy Mountain Something to Consider “In the middle of the summer Moses the raven suddenly reappeared on the farm … He would … talk by the hour to anyone who would listen. 'Up there, comrades,' he would say, pointing to the sky with his large beak– 'up there, just on the other side of that dark cloud that you can see– there it lies, Sugarcandy Mountain, that happy country where we poor animals shall rest for ever from our labours!'" … A thing that was difficult to determine was the attitude of the pigs towards Moses. They all declared contemptuously that his stories about Sugarcandy Mountain were lies, and yet they allowed him to remain on the farm, not working, with an allowance of a gill of beer a day.” (Orwell, 119) There is a section that hints towards George Orwell's beliefs on the role of religion in relationship to the government ... ... That can be divided into two parts for analysis. Animal Farm & Soviet Russia The citizens of both Animal Farm and Soviet Russia seem to share similar livelihoods: All Work and No Pay? On Animal Farm, the roles of the leaders and followers were very clear. Everyone had to endure long hours of work The lower class citizens were running out of hope and becoming restless. Restless citizens leads to revolution and civil disorder as we know... So how do you control a group of hopeless peasants? Introduce Faith in place of Hope Sugar Candy Mountain and Heaven To compensate for the working class' dwindling acceptance for their new low standard of living, faith is introduced to bring hope to the hopeless. Remember all those slides about Animalism and Catholicism, and symbols and traditions?
They come back! Consequently, this new found faith gives the lower class a blind hope for the future - suddenly starving to death doesn't seem that bad. The idea of control and propaganda through religion leads us to the next point... So is Religion Good or Bad? To answer this question, lets compare the leaders of Animal Farm and Soviet Russia: The Animalists Were clearly disapproving towards Moses
Claimed his stories of Sugar Candy Mountain to be all lies and nonsense tales.
However, they never harassed or hurt him directly.
They even fed him a gill of beer a day! The Communists Karl Marx wrote in his Communist Manifesto that Religion was a threat.
Vladimir Lenin did not believe that the people should praise a God more than the Communist Party.
Joseph Stalin converted Churches and Mosques to schools and theatres
However religion was still allowed to continue underground.
Some forms of Communist propaganda even included religion! And so, the verdict is... We return to our opening thesis statement! In analyzing the four concepts of:
Animalism vs. Catholicism
Traditions and rituals
Symbols and allusions
The Government's perspective on religion Summary and Closing It is understood that George Orwell suggest that the role of Religion in Animal Farm, a quasi-Marxist Socialist society, it to control the people (particularly of the uneducated lower class), in giving them a false sense of hope for the future.
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