Mr John Wall

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‘The Best Satire Seeks To Do More than Simply Mock and Criticise’ In modern day culture, satire is appreciated for its unique approach to significant issues regarding the development of the human race and the ways these issues are conveyed. The best satire not only mocks and criticises, but also evokes thoughts of change from the audience in an attempt to identify and negate the vices of mankind. These qualities are evident in George Orwell’s novella Animal Farm (1945) and Gary Ross’ film Pleasantville (1998), where, through the development of key characters and the construction of dynamic themes, both directors are able to question human nature and an identity’s desire to conform to societal expectations, reinforced through the use of dramatic irony, lampoon and juxtaposition. Orwell’s Animal Farm delivers an allegorical novella that satirizes the events surrounding the Stalin era through universal themes such as hope and the abuse of power to unsettle audiences into identifying their own flaws. By critiquing the Russian Revolution, Orwell is able to delve into the core of communism, questioning its motives, applying antithesis and biblical allusions to convey his disgust of the system. The biblical allusion of ‘the seven commandments’ refers to the Decalogue of Moses, which became a symbol of hope for the Jews. However, Orwell communicates its consequences as the pigs, because ‘they were the cleverest of all animals’, manipulate the rules through the exploitation of the other animals’ inability to read properly, his lampoon at the threat of communism. The antithesis of Snowball’s democracy and Napoleon’s dictatorship emphasizes a human’s attraction to power and provides a direct juxtaposition with Russian leaders Trotsky and Stalin, reinforcing his critiquing of the movement through the actions of the two pigs. Using propaganda as a lampoon at the corruption of communism, Orwell demonstrates the desperation of the minor animals as the pigs exploit their...
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