AP Literature and Composition
12 November 2012
Symbolism and Allegory in Animal Farm
When George Orwell wrote his literary masterpiece that has been acclaimed for many years by critics everywhere, Animal Farm, there were many world events shaping the future of all of Europe and the world that impacted his views, which therefore influenced his writing and opinions. His background and values help to shape the glasses through which he views these events. George Orwell is put into positions of warfare and diplomacy and handles both eloquently as he allows them to mold him into the person that writes the masterpieces that he goes on to produce. Animals are implemented to retell the story of Marxism, the Russian Revolution, and the downfall of utopian views and societies. George Orwell uses symbolism and allegory in his novel Animal Farm to show the social issues of the Soviet Union in the time period of 1917 through 1943.
The background of George Orwell must be understood before one can go deeper into his literary works. George Orwell was the pen name of Eric Arthur Blair who was born on June 25, 1903 in Motihari, Bihar, India. He was born into an upper middle class family and went to Catholic school. He moved to Burma where his grandmother lived, and this is where he later wrote Burmese Days, “A Hanging”, and “Shooting an Elephant”. “In Burmese Days, he resigned to ‘escape not merely from imperialism but from every form of man’s dominion over man’” (“Orwell” 748). When George Orwell moved to London, he began to explore the slums and the poorer parts of the city so that he could learn to understand them and the context of the many books that were written about them. Orwell became interested in the Spanish Civil War and decided to take part in it; because of this, he was asked to be a part of the Spanish Embassy in Paris and he wanted to eliminate fascism throughout the world. George Orwell was married to and adopted a son with Eileen