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Example of research Paper for Animal Farm

Page history last edited by Jayson Yeagley 14 years, 8 months ago

The Satire of Animal Farm by George Orwell

A Look into the Satire of Animal Farm

            Every time a satire is written, the author has a purpose in mind that he or she is trying to convey to the reader. “Since the aim of satire is to criticize the object of attack, teaching a moral indirectly with a humorous tone, in the animal satire, the author uses animals instead of human beings and places his animals in human situations. Hence, Orwell is able to attack on the political ideas he is contemptuous of and entertain the reader at the same time” (Yemenici 3-4). Some characteristics of satire that are displayed in Animal Farm are assailing an organization or person the author considers dissolute, trying to influence the way the reader behaves, and communicating an advisory to a tainted civilization (Mitchell 1). Through his writing of Animal Farm as a satire, George Orwell made fun of the rulers of Russian Communism and communicated some of his own beliefs.

            For example, through Animal Farm, George Orwell showed how the Russian rulers were selfish and cruel. “Animal Farm is an animal satire through which Orwell indirectly attacks on the Russian Communism [and its leaders]” (Yemenici 1). George Orwell did not like or agree with the way that the Russian government was running the country. His goal in writing Animal Farm was to speak out against Russian Communism and show that the rulers were ruling cruelly. Animal Farm also opposed the Russian leaders because it depicted what would happen if those rulers were approved (Bloom 56). George Orwell degraded the Russian dictators, Stalin and Trotsky, by having pigs represent them. He also satirized Stalin and Trotsky by having Napoleon and Snowball, the pigs that represent Stalin and Trotsky, lead the working animals selfishly and deviously. While George Orwell wanted to relate the message that the Russian rulers were unacceptable, he also wrote Animal Farm as a satire so it would be received and enjoyed. 

In Animal Farm, George Orwell also showed a characteristic of satire by trying to get the working class of Russia to change the way it behaved and to oppose its rulers. “In a society where people have no voice, if the ruling body with privileges such as special education, luxury and titles, has absolute power, this will lead to total corruption and disintegration of values” (Yemenici 1). George Orwell was trying to convey the message to the working class that they were at a disadvantage and would be oppressed if they did not speak against the ruling class. This message was communicated through Animal Farm when the laboring animals’ lives became harsh after the pigs took complete control over everything that the laboring animals did and learned. George Orwell realized that if animals became mindful of the might that they possess, humans would not be able to overrule them. Furthermore, he realized that humans take unfair advantage of animals just as the wealthy take unfair advantage of the common people (Bloom 28). Likewise in Animal Farm, George Orwell showed that he believed the public should act together and become aware of their strength. He indirectly instructed them to be conscious of what orders they accepted from the ruling class and not to automatically take in everything that they were told. In Animal Farm, George Orwell encouraged the working class to be bold enough to oppose their oppressors (Lucas 265). George Orwell thought that if the working class stood apart from its unfair rulers, they would be mistreated less and have more freedom. When the working animals ignorantly allowed the pigs to take advantage of them, George Orwell demonstrated what the consequences are when people with no power follow all the orders of the powerful, even when the powerless are being mistreated. By writing Animal Farm as a satire and using the pigs with their outrageous method of ruling the other animals, George Orwell was able to communicate a convincing and enlightening message that the Russian rulers were taking full advantage of the laboring class.

            Also in Animal Farm, George Orwell satirically illustrated that humans abuse power, and he intended for us to recognize the problem that we have when it comes to possessing power. “It was not the lesson that mankind had its foibles and its follies but that all would be well in the end. It was more nearly a lesson of despair – the lesson that anarchy was intolerable, that mankind could not be ruled without entrusting power somewhere or other and to whomsoever power was entrusted, it was almost certain to be abused” (Bloom 32). Along with making fun of the Russian rulers, George Orwell also indicated that all humans are at fault. He pointed out that those with power will use the power deceitfully to make themselves greater, and it will demoralize them. Additionally, Animal Farm is a compelling satire because its main matter is not with the affairs of history that it satirized but rather with the importance of the corrupt nature of humans (35). The method in which George Orwell addressed the condition of humans possessing power was astonishing, and it drew great attention to his concern with the use of power. In order to exemplify the issue, George Orwell had pigs take power, distort all the laws they made, and force everything to work for their desires without caring about the animals that worked arduously to fulfill their orders. In the area of dealing with power, George Orwell tried to have the leaders become aware of how they ruled because he believed that the leaders should have been capable of ruling with more equality.

            Another way that George Orwell was able to make fun of the Russian leaders was by writing humorously and using animals. “The surface gaiety, the seeming good humor and casualness, the light bantering tone are, of course, part of the convention of beast fables, and Animal Farm would be a very bad tale indeed if it did not employ these devices” (Greenblatt 16). George Orwell used animals to add more humor to his satire and to represent different people involved in the Russian Revolution. Along with adding humor to Animal Farm, the animals also amplified the satire and its nature. Although Animal Farm has a discouraging lesson, it is read and not rejected because George Orwell wrote it in an amusing and pleasant manner (Bloom 32-33). The moral of Animal Farm is dark because it mocks the leaders of Russia that ruled during the Russian Revolution and proves a serious flaw that numerous humans have, but Animal Farm is not considered too imposing or offensive because George Orwell cleverly presented it. Some readers regard Animal Farm as a classic because it teaches a lesson in a entertaining way.  Because Animal Farm was written in a comical and entertaining form and it opposed the Russian Communism at the same time, it is a great example of a satire.

            Another way that George Orwell satirically attacks the Russian Communism is with irony.  Before his death, Old Major instructed the animals:

And remember also that in fighting against Man we must not come to resemble him. Even when you have conquered him, do not adopt his vices. No animal must ever live in a house, or sleep in a bed, or wear clothes, or drink alcohol, or smoke tobacco, or touch money, or engage in trade. All the habits of Man are evil. And above all, no animal must ever tryannise over his own kind. Weak or strong, clever or simple, we are all brothers. No animal must ever kill any other animal. All animals are equal. (Orwell 8)

George Orwell displayed irony by having the pigs that took dictatorship over the other animals completely reverse Old Major’s principles and do the opposite of what Old Major told them to do. This irony ridiculed the Russian leaders because it compared the pigs’ absurd authority to the actions of the Russian leaders. Irony is also exhibited when the Seven Commandments are altered by Squealer (Yemenici 3). The modification of the Seven Commandments caused the animals to follow rules that went against the original laws which had dictated the entire purpose of the animals’ revolution against man. Instead of the animals trying to unite together against man, the pigs with power misled the animals so that the power-hungry pigs could reap all the benefits of being in control. These examples of irony make the Russian rulers look dishonest in the way that they led their people.

     George Orwell once said, “Animal Farm was 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” (Bloom 31). Animal Farm had many purposes that were accomplished. Through Animal Farm, George Orwell was able to speak out against Russian Communism, encourage the lower classes of people, and share some of his beliefs. Because he wrote Animal Farm as a satire, he communicated these purposes in a way that the reader would enjoy. In conclusion, Animal Farm is a meaningful book, was written in an excellent manner, and proves to be a successful satire.  



                    Works Cited

Bloom, Harold. Bloom’s Notes: Animal Farm. Broomall, Pennsylvania: Chelsea House Publishers, 1999.

Greenblatt, Stephen J. “George Orwell” Three Modern Satirists: Waugh, Orwell and Huxley. YaleUniversity Press. 1965:35-74.


Lucas, W. Scott. “An Overview of the Life and Career of George Orwell.” Twentieth-  Century Literary Criticism, Vol. 128. Farmington Hills, MI: The Gale Group,      2002.


Mitchell, Philip. “Characteristics of Satire.” dbu.edu. 9 Feb. 2008.         <http://www.dbu.edu/mitchell/satire1.html>


Orwell, George. Animal Farm. Orlando, Florida: Harcourt Brace and Company, 1995.


Yemenici, Alev. “Animal Satire in Animal Farm.” theorwellreader.com. 30 Jan. 2008.             <http://www.theorwellreader.com/essays/yemenici.html>


Comments (1)

Jayson Yeagley said

at 10:32 pm on Oct 13, 2009

Run this essay backwards through the process. Open up a Word Document and do the following.
1. Start with QA123 and see if you can figure out what the points are
2. Run it through HOT also. Copy the introduction and see if it fits HOT
3. Copy and paste the topic sentences of one of the paragraphs and check the paragraph to see if the writer sticks to the topic of that paragraph. Discuss that!

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