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Autor: anton 14 June 2011
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OrwellÐ²Ð‚â„¢s Message Through Animal Farm
George Orwell (Eric Blair), whether or not one agrees with the writings or views of, was an author distinguished in his time and for all times. His work Animal Farm reserves its own spot in history as one of the greatest books and political arguments to ever appear on a shelf. Orwell, through Animal Farm, presents a simple fact in his text: One man or group of men should never be able to gain too much political leverage. If totalitarianism is used as a governing system, the future of the citizens in any nation infected with a totalitarian leader holds nothing to save for a perilous future. If the reader fails to acknowledge his point, OrwellÐ²Ð‚â„¢s work Animal Farm is for naught.
George Orwell (pen name for Eric Blair) was born on June 25, 1903 in Motihari, India (levity.com, 11/17/2005). OrwellÐ²Ð‚â„¢s father, an opium department civil servant, and mother were both members in the Indian Civil Service (www.kirjasto.sci.fi/gorwell, 11/16/2005). The following year Orwell moved with his sister and mother to England where he would receive his formal education at St. CyprianÐ²Ð‚â„¢s Prepatory School, a school Orwell expressed public discontent for, and Eaton (www.kirjasto.sci.fi/gorwell, 11/16/2005). It was during OrwellÐ²Ð‚â„¢s college years the public began to see his writings in the form of college periodicals (www.kirjasto.sci.fi/gorwell). After finishing his college studies, George Orwell moved to Burma where he became a member of the Indian Imperial Police in Burma in 1922 (www.ourcivilisation.com/orwell, 11/19/2005). Based on his experiences while in the service of the Indian Imperial Police in Burma, Orwell published a book in 1934 called Burmese Days (www.levity.com, 11/17/2005). Upon leaving Burma, Orwell traveled to Pairs, France in hopes to begin a journalism career (BeachamÐ²Ð‚â„¢s , 2124) and soon returned to London, England to work low wage jobs and to beg while living below the poverty line; his poverty was self-inflicted (www.ourcivilisation.com/orwell, 11/19/2005). In January of 1933 Orwell released his first novel Down and Out in Paris and London which recounted his days living at the bottom of the European social hierarch (www.ourcivilizaion.com/orwell, 11/19/2005). Though in stores OrwellÐ²Ð‚â„¢s work accomplished little, Down and Out in Paris and London received praise from the likes of T.S. Eliot. The first novel of Orwell was significant in another way besides simply being his first novel: Down and Out in Paris and London was also the first novel in which Eric Blair used his pen name George Orwell, even though he never legally changed his name (BeachamÐ²Ð‚â„¢s, 2124). Because OrwellÐ²Ð‚â„¢s early novels were not popular is stores, he received his financial stability from his journalism career in which his first works began to appear in New Adelphi while in England in 1930 (BeachamÐ²Ð‚â„¢s, 2124). During the Spanish Civil War in the 1930Ð²Ð‚â„¢s, Orwell enlisted and fought in the United Workers Marxist Party Militia. While in service, Orwell received a bullet wound in the neck which ended his service career indefinitely (www.kirjasto.sci.fi/gorwell). However, from his experience in the Spanish Civil War emerged a great advance in OrwellÐ²Ð‚â„¢s writing career. After returning to England, Orwell wrote Coming up for Air, the first book to bring commercial standing to OrwellÐ²Ð‚â„¢s as a novelist. It was published in 1938 (BeachamÐ²Ð‚â„¢s, 2125).
Orwell himself believed the best novels were written out of personal experience (Twentieth Century Literary Criticism, vol. 2, 497). Leading by example, many of OrwellÐ²Ð‚â„¢s works (fiction and non-fiction) were written on a personal level about his life endeavors. The author George Orwell dies on January 23, 1950 of Tuberculosis (BeachamÐ²Ð‚â„¢s Guide to Literature for Young Adults, vol. 5, 2125). His untimely death came just after the publication of his last (and arguably best) work, 1984 which was published in 1949 (BeachamÐ²Ð‚â„¢s Guide to Literature for Young Adults, vol. 5, 2125). The legacy of Orwell lives on through his writings to the reader who wishes to understand the socialistic views of Orwell and learn of the perspectives of life Orwell was most influenced by.
In an article written by George Orwell entitled Ð²Ð‚ÑšWhy I WriteÐ²Ð‚Ñœ, Orwell stated,Ð²Ð‚ÑœÐ²Ð‚Â¦Animal Farm as the first book in which I tried, with full consciousness of what I was doing, to fuse political purpose and artistic purpose into one whole (Introduction to Animal Farm, xvi).Ð²Ð‚Ñœ The purpose of presenting his beliefs in book form was to give an artistic side to his reasoning as apposed to a journal writing or news paper article which have very little artistic basis to them. As a self-proclaimed artist, Orwell chose his approach in order to be more appealing to a reader who may or may not be interested in politics from perspective of a news paper or bias article. Another essay by Orwell, Ð²Ð‚ÑšPolitics and the English LanguageÐ²Ð‚Ñœ, was written to the public for all to see how politicians twist the English language to disguise their ultimate goals to the voting citizen (Preface to Animal Farm, ix). Orwell, not wanting to be hypocritical, wrote his book Animal Farm simplistically as to not confuse or hide his own purpose as many others involved in politics do.
The final question of OrwellÐ²Ð‚â„¢s approach to his novel using animals can be traced back to seventh century BC. The history of using animals in fables and stories was begun by the philosopher Aesop. The use of animals in fables, novels, and the like has survived every time period and style of writing since this time (BeachamÐ²Ð‚â„¢s Guide to Literature for Young Adults, vol. 5, 2127). The entire public of OrwellÐ²Ð‚â„¢s time could relate to a fable using animals; one must believe Orwell also had in mind future generations would also be able to relate to Ð²Ð‚Ñšallegorical beast fables (BeachamÐ²Ð‚â„¢s Guide to Literature for Young Adults, vol. 5, 2127)Ð²Ð‚Ñœ due to its historical track record.
The years in which George Orwell wrote his novel Animal Farm were 1943-1944, during the height of the Manhattan Project (Preface, vii). To fully understand his purpose in Animal Farm, one must also understand the events that led up to Animal Farm. The Russian Revolution left a struggle for power in Russia. After the death of Lenin, Stalin and Trotsky vied for political superiority. During the 1930Ð²Ð‚â„¢s, Spain enters its own civil war. The single largest, most influential event Orwell drew from was World War II. Also during this time, socialism was the apex of government rule all European nations wished to achieve. Nations like Britain and Spain envied the apparent Ð²Ð‚ÑšsocialisticÐ²Ð‚Ñœ rule displayed by Stalin in Russia. Being a socialist himself, OrwellÐ²Ð‚â„¢s utter disgust of the likes of Britain and Russia is surprising. Though not very abstract, OrwellÐ²Ð‚â„¢s past lead to a very controversial future.
Orwell saw in Russia what few, if no other, saw. In the second Great War, Russia fought against the axis powers and held off many harsh attacks of Hitler. In the last two years of the War, Hitler began to focus on the stronghold of Russia. The NaziÐ²Ð‚â„¢s made their way through Leningrad and aimed at Stalingrad as their next stop for destruction. Under Stalin, the Russian forces held off HitlerÐ²Ð‚â„¢s NaziÐ²Ð‚â„¢s, crippling the forces of the most powerful force in Europe. Such actions merited the approval of Allied European nations, such as Britain, and other nations such as OrwellÐ²Ð‚â„¢s favored Spain. In spite of the views of the rest of the world, however, OrwellÐ²Ð‚â„¢s negative criticisms for the political grain of RussiaÐ²Ð‚â„¢s socialistic policies were never repealed. Orwell felt his views were beneficial to anyone who should look past the glitter and gold on RussiaÐ²Ð‚â„¢s political surface; a surface unchallenged by the rest of the modern world.
The novel begins with a speech from Old Major (an old and wise pig on Manor Farm) intending to drive the animals to revolt against their present, oppressive master (Orwell, 28).
Ð²Ð‚ÑšNo animal in England knows the meaning of happiness
or leisure after he is a year old. No animal in England in free.
The life of an animal is misery and slavery: this is the plain truth.Ð²Ð‚Ñœ
Led by the pigs Napoleon (Stalin) and Snowball (Trotsky), the animals overthrow Mr. Jones, master of Manor Farm (Orwell, 38). The pigs (for they were the most intelligent among the farm animals) established themselves as the leaders of the farm and begin to enforce seven rules of government (Orwell, ). After some time, Napoleon and Snowball begin to compete for the top leadership position on Animal Farm. Eventually Napoleon would win, and over time would erase all memories of Snowball accept to slander and tarnish what Snowball did for the utopian animal community (Orwell,). Even though equality was a major motivating factor behind the revolt, the pigs on Animal Farm began to increase power over time; unchallenged by the other animals due to the lack of intelligence defining the rest of Animal Farm and exemplified by Boxer (a strong and loyal horse) in statements repeated by him such as Ð²Ð‚ÑšI will work harderÐ²Ð‚Ñœ, and Ð²Ð‚ÑšNapoleon is always rightÐ²Ð‚Ñœ (Orwell, 75). Ð²Ð‚ÑšAll Animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others (Orwell, 133).Ð²Ð‚Ñœ The decree will eventually replace all laws previously agreed upon by the members of Animal Farm and will place the pigs in the highest authority for as long as anyone can tell. The story ends with pigs and men talking and drinking together in the former house of Mr. Jones (all three of which previously illegal acts under the original code of conduct placed on the wall after the revolt of the animals), but the animals in the farm can tell no difference in the pigs and men.
There are three main points of support for OrwellÐ²Ð‚â„¢s message against any totalitarian governments in his time or at any time in the future. First, if one can dictate the past they can also dictate the future. A lack of education will only strengthen a dictatorÐ²Ð‚â„¢s stronghold on a terra firma. Regardless of how noble one may seem, any person or group of people with power will use the power for self improvement unless there in an implemented series of checks and balances. OrwellÐ²Ð‚â„¢s points are presented in a very simple, yet, profound way throughout Animal Farm.
The struggle for power between Trotsky and Stalin after the Russian Revolution ended with the murder of Trotsky ordered by Stalin after he came to power. Over the course of time, TrotskyÐ²Ð‚â„¢s role in liberating Russia was erased and in some instances misdirected in order to lead others to believe Trotsky was actually an enemy of Russia. With the power erase the past, Stalin directed the course of his own future. The future of Stalin holds his name accountable for 30,000,000 potential deaths and the total dictation of Russia. The death toll, though an estimate, is nearly five times greater than Hitler whom Stalin fought against in World War II giving Stalin the image of a trustworthy, accountable leader. Orwell prophetically brought light to StalinÐ²Ð‚â„¢s potential through the character Napoleon who erases the role of Snowball in the revolt of the animals of Animal Farm against Mr. Jones. The windmill made by the animals simply represents how an absolute leader can force his own ideals and goals into existence through nations citizens just as Stalin accomplished personal agendaÐ²Ð‚â„¢s while ruling over Russia.
For a leader to gain and exert such extreme control, the population of the ruled nation must be extremely uneducated and blinded to facts. Boxer, the exemplary role model of how to work and respect on Animal Farm, demonstrated a blind loyalty and superior work ethic towards Napoleon and the policies of Napoleon. Boxer was also described as a very unintelligent animal. A dictator can come to power if the citizens of a nation are uneducated and uninvolved in the politics and matters within the country.
Especially in a socialistic government, the power of the vote is vital to a group of people. The socialist government has control over major business (water, power, gas, and so on) as opposed to a strictly capitalistic government, such as the United States of America. Therefore, there is more money and power in the hands of a socialistic government, making it of greater importance for socialist nations to elect the proper officials and adopt means by which the elected officials will be held to. Without a proper, regulate election those running for position are free to accomplish any goals free of hindrance.
All of OrwellÐ²Ð‚â„¢s points lead to an undeniable conclusion. The conclusion is one in power should be checked and regulated as to prevent any domination of any group of people. Orwell saw a problem with Russia and its potential rulers; even though Orwell was criticized for doing so, he presented the views on an international basis. There were many reactions to OrwellÐ²Ð‚â„¢s Animal Farm. Ð²Ð‚ÑšÐ²Ð‚â„¢Animal FarmÐ²Ð‚â„¢Ð²Ð‚Ñœ is a wise, compassionate and illuminating fable for out times (Schlesinger, 1946).Ð²Ð‚Ñœ Opposing viewpoints on OrwellÐ²Ð‚â„¢s work were also published: Ð²Ð‚ÑšMr. Orwell stands apart from the imaginative writers of the Left; he spoils for trouble, dislikes his own side more than the enemy (Pritchett, 1946).Ð²Ð‚Ñœ In the minds of some Orwell was a poet, to others Orwell was a prophet, and another group of people viewed Orwell as a simple, closed minded political activist who should not be take seriously. In spite of what was said, George OrwellÐ²Ð‚â„¢s novel Animal Farm influenced many in the late 1940s when the book was published and continues to influence the minds of readers today.
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