Animal Farm is an allegorical novella by George Orwell published in England on 17 August 1945. According to Orwell, the book reflects events leading up to and during the Stalin era before the Second World War.
The novel addresses not only the corruption of the revolution by its leaders but also how wickedness, indifference, ignorance and greed corrupt the revolution. It portrays corrupt leadership through things such as the use of manipulation and the power of language. It also shows how potential ignorance and indifference to problems within a revolution could allow horrors to happen if a smooth transition to a people's government is not achieved.
Lord Actin once stated “Power corrupts and absolute power, corrupts absolutely.” Through this quote he refers to how people use power for their own interests. In the novella Animal Farm,
power is presented as a corruptive force. This is shown through various techniques that Orwell uses such as allegory, irony, symbolism and metaphorical language.
Orwell singles out one of the pigs, Napoleon, and creates an image of corruption through the use of verbal and situational irony when leading and being in charge of all the animals and the barn. As the pigs gain power, it accordingly becomes harder and harder for them to resist the temptations of enjoying an easier life for themselves
Verbal irony is used to criticise dictatorship and communism. Napoleon vows to things that should never be done by an animal yet once he finds out what he can do, the rules and commandments are adjusted to fit him. “No animal shall sleep in a bed” becomes “No animal shall sleep in a bed with sheets.” When he starts drinking, “No animal may drink alcohol” soon becomes “No animal may drink alcohol to excess.” A good example is when Napoleon begins to walk, something that they vowed they would never do, and changes their motto to “four legs good, two legs better.”
Situational Irony is along the same line as verbal irony in the fact...
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