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A Comparison between 1984 and Animal Farm with regards to Totalitarianism

Uploaded by frollypoo on Jun 13, 2002

George Orwell: The Callous Nature of Totalitarianism



The establishment of an elite power in a society produces feelings of hopelessness and fear. George Orwell, a world-renowned poet and author is known for his politically influenced works regarding socialism. In Animal Farm, Orwell creates a satire based on the communist regime in Russia from 1917–1943. The animals seeking freedom under their liberators the Pigs’, revolt against their oppressive owner, Farmer Jones. Ironically, after the revolution the Pigs’, lead by Napoleon become the oppressors. Orwell’s most influential novel Nineteen Eighty-Four describes a society under totalitarian control. The dictatorship of Big Brother and his Party in Oceania rule over the population with rigid laws and a distinct hierarchy of social position. Winston Smith, a blue-collar Outer Party member is secretly discontent with his life. When he begins to rebel against the Party he is found out, brutally forced to rehabilitate and required to conform to their ideals. In both novels, the authorities use their power to gain their own prestige at the expense of others; the government control of the population, poor treatment of the working class and the disallowance of basic needs illustrate the destructiveness of totalitarian government.

The government control of the population on Animal Farm is manipulative and brutal. For instance, the Pigs’ use songs to control the thoughts of the other animals. The Pigs’ teach, “all the humbler animals…the maxim FOUR LEGS GOOD, TWO LEGS BAD…the sheep developed a great liking for the maxim and would start bleating…for hours on end” (Orwell a 22). Initially, the Pigs’ lead all the animals to believe that anything on four legs is a friend and anything on two, namely humans are the enemy. However, later on when the Pigs’ gain more power, they inform the animals that they will start trading with humans and change the song to, “Four legs good, two legs better…by the time the sheep had quieted down the chance to utter any protest had passed” (Orwell a 89). The animals are angry that the Pigs’ want to start trading with the supposed enemy but the Pigs’ take advantage of the stupidity of the sheep and use their over whelming singing and bleating to drown out any opposition. The Pigs’ use songs to negatively influence the thoughts of the other animals. Moreover, the Pigs’ establish basic slogans that are the basis of the original rebellion against Farmer Jones. These seven...

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Uploaded by:   frollypoo

Date:   06/13/2002

Category:   Animal Farm

Length:   15 pages (3,266 words)

Views:   8354

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