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Orwell's Messge Through Animal Farm

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Orwell’s Message Through Animal Farm

George Orwell (Eric Blair), whether or not one agrees with the writings or views of, was an author distinguished in his time and for all times. His work Animal Farm reserves its own spot in history as one of the greatest books and political arguments to ever appear on a shelf. Orwell, through Animal Farm, presents a simple fact in his text: One man or group of men should never be able to gain too much political leverage. If totalitarianism is used as a governing system, the future of the citizens in any nation infected with a totalitarian leader holds nothing to save for a perilous future. If the reader fails to acknowledge his point, Orwell’s work Animal Farm is for naught.

George Orwell (pen name for Eric Blair) was born on June 25, 1903 in Motihari, India (, 11/17/2005). Orwell’s father, an opium department civil servant, and mother were both members in the Indian Civil Service (, 11/16/2005). The following year Orwell moved with his sister and mother to England where he would receive his formal education at St. Cyprian’s Prepatory School, a school Orwell expressed public discontent for, and Eaton (, 11/16/2005). It was during Orwell’s college years the public began to see his writings in the form of college periodicals ( After finishing his college studies, George Orwell moved to Burma where he became a member of the Indian Imperial Police in Burma in 1922 (, 11/19/2005). Based on his experiences while in the service of the Indian Imperial Police in Burma, Orwell published a book in 1934 called Burmese Days (, 11/17/2005). Upon leaving Burma, Orwell traveled to Pairs, France in hopes to begin a journalism career (Beacham’s , 2124) and soon returned to London, England to work low wage jobs and to beg while living below the poverty line; his poverty was self-inflicted (, 11/19/2005). In January of 1933 Orwell released his first novel Down and Out in Paris and London which recounted his days living at the bottom of the European social hierarch (, 11/19/2005). Though in stores Orwell’s work accomplished little, Down and Out in Paris and London received praise from the likes of T.S. Eliot. The first novel of Orwell was significant in another way besides simply being his first novel: Down and Out in Paris and London was also the first novel in which Eric Blair used his pen name George Orwell, even though he never legally changed his name (Beacham’s, 2124). Because Orwell’s early novels were not popular is stores, he received his financial stability from his journalism career in which his first works began to appear in New Adelphi while in England in 1930 (Beacham’s, 2124). During the Spanish Civil War in the 1930’s, Orwell enlisted and fought in the United Workers Marxist Party Militia. While in service, Orwell received a bullet wound in the neck which ended his service career indefinitely ( However, from his experience in the Spanish Civil War emerged a great advance in Orwell’s writing career. After returning to England, Orwell wrote Coming up for Air, the first book to bring commercial standing to Orwell’s as a novelist. It was published in 1938 (Beacham’s, 2125).

Orwell himself believed the best novels were written out of personal experience (Twentieth Century Literary Criticism, vol. 2, 497). Leading by example, many of Orwell’s works (fiction and non-fiction) were written on a personal level about his life endeavors. The author George Orwell dies on January 23, 1950 of Tuberculosis (Beacham’s Guide to Literature for Young Adults, vol. 5, 2125). His untimely death came just after the publication of his last (and arguably best) work, 1984 which was published in 1949 (Beacham’s Guide to Literature for Young Adults, vol. 5, 2125). The legacy of Orwell lives on through his writings to the reader who wishes to understand the socialistic views of Orwell and learn of the perspectives of life Orwell was most influenced by.

In an article written by George Orwell entitled “Why I Write”, Orwell stated,”…Animal Farm as the first book in which I tried, with full consciousness of what I was doing, to fuse political purpose and artistic purpose into one whole (Introduction to Animal Farm, xvi).” The purpose of presenting his beliefs in book form was to give an artistic side to his reasoning as apposed to a journal writing or news paper article which have very little artistic basis to them. As a self-proclaimed artist, Orwell chose his approach in order to be more appealing to a reader who may or may not be interested in politics from perspective of a news paper or bias article. Another essay by Orwell, “Politics and the English Language”, was written to the public for all to see how politicians twist the English language to disguise their ultimate goals to the voting citizen (Preface to Animal Farm, ix). Orwell, not wanting to be hypocritical, wrote his book Animal Farm simplistically as to not confuse or hide his own purpose as many others involved in politics do.

The final question of Orwell’s approach to his novel using animals can be traced back to seventh century BC. The history of using animals in fables and stories was begun by the philosopher Aesop. The use of animals in fables, novels, and the like has survived every time period and style of writing since this time (Beacham’s Guide to Literature for Young Adults, vol. 5, 2127). The entire public of Orwell’s time could relate to a fable using animals; one must believe Orwell also had in mind future generations would also be able to relate to “allegorical beast fables (Beacham’s Guide to Literature for Young Adults, vol. 5, 2127)” due to its historical track record.

The years in which George Orwell wrote his novel Animal Farm were 1943-1944, during the height of the Manhattan Project (Preface, vii). To fully understand his purpose in Animal Farm, one must also understand the events that led up to Animal Farm. The Russian Revolution left a struggle for power in Russia. After the death of Lenin, Stalin and Trotsky vied for political superiority. During the 1930’s, Spain enters its own civil war. The single largest, most influential event Orwell drew from was World War II. Also during this time, socialism was the apex of government rule all European nations wished to achieve. Nations like Britain


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