Mrs. P. McDonald
English 11 P4
March 9th, 2011
A FAIRY STORY
During the twentieth century, the people of the world saw the rise and fall of many nations and leaders. This was a time of high tensions and careful diplomacy, where people had to tread carefully lest they become suspicious. However, some took up a crusade against this careful attitude and used writing to diffuse situations. In his novel Animal Farm, George Orwell uses his mastery of satire to discuss and parody people and events in the Soviet Union during the mid-twentieth century.
When George Orwell set out to write Animal Farm, his purpose was to “fuse political and artistic purpose into one whole, providing a disillusion through wit, dramatized irony, and intertextuality” (Bloom 147). He sought to write a sort of parable or modern fairy tale that drew facts from real-world events, events which it in turn would illuminate (Smyer 106). Orwell chose to write specifically about the Soviet Union in an allegorical sense for many reasons. At the time of Orwell’s writing, many feared the rise of socialist or communist governments. Through Animal Farm, Orwell was able to present individuals, ideas, or institutions as foolish or absurd, while not directly attacking a specific figure, country, or ideal. He used this medium to expose extremist political ideals that he thought were dangerous (Lea 97). Throughout the novel, “certain general messages seem clear: power corrupts, passivity is dangerous, freedom dearly won may be lost, and political movements with good intentions can turn evil” (Greenblatt 103). With
these messages in mind, Orwell stretched his creativity to the limits. He created an ambiguous English farm, where he was able to imagine “speaking animals, plants, objects, and humans” that “metaphorically illustrate and satirize human conduct” (Bloom 159). With these tools set to his specific goals, Orwell unknowingly set out to write what is widely regarded as on of the...
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