CLASS: SENIOR SIX
TABLE OF CONTENTS
UNIT I: EUROPEAN LITERARY TRADITIONS
UNIT II: STRUCTURE IN MODERN PROSE
UNIT III: ELEGY AND EPITAPH
UNIT IV: LIMERICKS- RHYTHM AND RHYME
UNIT V: FREE VERSE
UNIT VI: THEATRE OF THE ABSURD
UNIT VII: RADIO AND TELEVISION DRAMA
UNIT VIII: PERFORMING DRAMA
UNIT I: EUROPEAN LITERARY TRADITIONS 2
I.1. REVIEW THE EARLIER PERIODS OF THE EUROPEAN LITERARY TRADITIONS
Literary traditions refer to some common features or characteristics that define literature of a group of people at a certain period of time. These features relate to form and meaning of the literature of the given place or time period.
Literature tradition can also be referred to the passing down of stories which give meaning to human experience, according to literary articles. It may be also a sharing of stories between generations. Every linguistic group has a literary tradition which is transmitted either orally or through writing.
European literary traditions are the literature written in the context of Western culture in the languages of Europe, including the ones belonging to the family as well as several geographically or historically related languages such as Basque and Hungarian. Western literature is considered one of the defining elements of Western civilization.
A literary text from one literary tradition will differ in themes and features from a text of a different literary tradition. Literary traditions differ from one place to another and they keep on changing across time. For example: Rwandan literature is different in themes from Ugandan literature; African literature is different from European literature, Asian literary traditions are different from American literary traditions. African literature was primarily oral while European was mainly written.
Scholars of European literary traditions divided them in six different periods corresponding to specific types of literature: Classical ancient Greek and Latin literature, Medieval literature, Renaissance literature, Baroque literature, Classical literature, Enlightenment literature.
The European literary traditions have their origins in the East rather than in the West. They originated from 4500 B.C to 2000 B.C in Sumeria, Egypt, Babylonia and Assyria as well as in China and India, all of which have been considered by westerners as Eastern countries. The main stream of Western civilization is not as old as of that Eastern civilization. European literary tradition is said to have their sources in Palestine and in Greece.
Classical ancient Greek
Ancient Greek literature refers to literature written in the Ancient Greek language from the earliest texts until the time of the Byzantine Empire.
The earliest surviving works of ancient Greek literature are the two epic poems of Homer: The Iliad and The Odyssey, set in the Mycenaean era along with the Homeric Hymns and the two poems of Hesiod: Theogony and Works and Days, comprised the major foundations of the Greek literary tradition that would continue into the Classical.
Sophocles is famous for his tragedies about Oedipus, particularly Oedipus the King and Antigone. Euripides is known for his plays which went beyond the tragic genre. The comedic playwright Aristophanes wrote in the genre of Old Comedy, while the later playwright Menander was an early pioneer of New Comedy. The philosopher Plato wrote dialogues, usually centered around his teacher Socrates, dealing with various philosophical subjects, whereas his student Aristotle wrote numerous treatises, which later became highly influential.
Homer is regarded as the greatest of all the Greek writers. This period is divided into the Pre-classical, Classical, Hellenistic and Roman periods.
The Iliad: It is a famous story about the Trojan War. It is a pure tragedy which centers on the person of Achilles who embodied the Greek heroic ideal.
Odyssey: It is a mixture of tragedy and comedy. It is an account of the adventures of Odysseus, one of the warriors at Troy. After ten year, fighting the war he spends other ten years sailing back home (to Ithaca) to his wife/family. He looses his comrades and ships and Penelope was considered as the ideal female based on her commitment, modesty, purity and respect during her marriage with Odysseus.
Works and Days: It is a faithful depiction of the poverty-stricken country life and it sets forth principles and the rules for farmers.
Theogony is a systematic account of creation and of the gods. It vividly describes the ages of mankind beginning with a long-past Golden age.
Latin literature refers to the body of writings in Latin, primarily produced during the Roman Empire when Latin was a spoken language. Ancient Latin literature began as translation from the Greek. Latin authors used earlier writers as sources of stock themes and motifs, at their best using their relationship to tradition to produce a new species of originality. Latin literature includes the essays, histories, poems, plays, and other writings written in the Latin language. Beginning around the 3rd century BC, it took two centuries to become a dominant literature of ancient Rome with many educated Romans still reading and writing in Ancient Greek.
Latin Literature includes not only Roman authors like Cicero, Virgil, Ovid and Horace but also includes European writers after the fall of Empire, like Aquinas, Francis, Baruch Spinoza and Isaac Newton.
Cicero has traditionally been considered the master of Latin prose. Cicero’s many works can be divided into four groups: letters, rhetorical treatises, philosophical works, and orations. His letters provide a vivid picture of the public and private life among the Roman governing class. Cicero’s works on oratory are our most valuable Latin sources for ancient theories on education and rhetoric. His philosophical works were the basis of moral philosophy during the Middle Ages. His speeches inspired many European political leaders and the founders of the United States.
Medieval literature is a broad subject encompassing all written works available in Europe and beyond during the Middle ages. The literature of this time was composed of religious writings as well as well as secular works and Latin language was a common language for medieval writings.
The Medieval Period, or the Middle Ages, extends roughly from the 5th to the 15th Century. The early part of this period is sometimes referred to as the Dark Ages because of the scarcity of achievements in culture and learning. The Western countries produced a large quantity of verse and prose during this period of time.
Many medieval works are anonymous. Medieval Europe became the cradle of new developing genres. It brought ballads, allegorical poetry, Latin hymns, sacred songs, lullabies, fabliaux, debates, court epics, popular epics, beast epics, tale cycles, chivalric romances, mystery plays, miracle plays, and morality plays. A great deal of medieval literature is folk literature. Such literature is linkable to the oral tradition of bards, jongleurs and troubadours. Main writers are Christina de Pizan, Geoffrey Chauser, John Anthony Burrow, Margery Kempe, Julian of Norwich, Chretien de Troyes, Marie de France, Jacobus de Voragine, William Langland, Thomas Aquinas, Francis of Assisi,…
Renaissance basically means rebirth or revival. Renaissance literature refers to European literature which was influenced by intellectual and cultural tendencies associated with Renaissance. It was written during the general movement of the Renaissance which arose in 14th century in the Italy and continued until the 16th century.
Renaissance is the revival of European art and literature under the influence of classical models in the 14th –16th centuries. The characteristics of Renaissance were humanism, nationalism, a new approach to life, and a new spirit in art, architecture, literature and learning, the growth of the vernaculars, and scientific investigation. Renaissance was a time of rediscovery. More Europeans had access to ancient Greek and Roman learning. Another thing that accelerated this learning was the fall of Constantinople in 1453. As more Greek and Roman scholars moved to West, more people were curious to learn about ancient’s times. The influential writer of Renaissance was Willian Shakespeare. Other main writers include Geoffrey Chaucer, Nicholas Machiavelli, Miguel de Cervantes, Edmund Spenser, Giovanni Boccaccio, Francesco Petrarch, John Milton, Sir Thomas More,…
The era of literature known as the Baroque period in Spain occurred during a particularly difficult time in the country’s history. Most works during this period, the 17thCentury, dealt with human struggle and the reality of the miserable conditions many were enduring. At the time, Spain was dealing with many issues surrounding their economy and political system, such as their loss of control over owned land and territories and poor leadership from the country’s rulers.
Spanish baroque coincides with the Golden Age of Spanish literature, called that way because of the great number of excellent literary productions that appeared in the period. Miguel de Cervantes is without doubt, the ultimate Baroque author.
His masterpiece, the adventures of the mad knight Don Quixote, is considered the most important book of the Spanish literature.
Baroque literature is the 17th Century prose that is known for its dramatic elements and use of Allegory (a story in which people, things or happenings have the symbolic meaning. Aesop’s fables are an example of Allegory).
Literature in Baroque period was full of metaphor, emblem, symbols and hyperbole. Some baroque writers include Lope de Vega, Luis de Gongora, Andreas Gryphius and Paul Fleming.
Enlightenment is referred to as the Age of Reason. It was a confluence of ideas and activities that took place throughout the 18thCentury. Scientific rationalism and use of scientific method were the hallmark of everything related to the Enlightenment. Enlightenment thinkers believed in advances of science, egalitarianism and the progress of humankind.
- Middle class had more money and free time to spend on reading.
- Shift towards prose and realistic experiences – Rise of Journalism
Enlightenment was an intellectual and philosophical movement that dominated the world of ideas in Europe during 18th century. It was characterized by reason, nature, happiness, progress and liberty. The main writers of Enlightenment include Jean Jacques Rousseau, Voltaire, John Locke, Denis Diderot, Montesquieu (1689-1755), Immanuel Kant, Adam Smith, Francis Bacon, Descartes, Baruch Spinoza, Isaac Newton (1642-1727), Alexander Hamilton, Antoine Lavoisier, Voltaire…
Classicism is a specific genre of philosophy, expressing itself in literature, architecture, art, and music, which has Ancient Greek and Roman sources and an emphasis on society. It was particularly expressed in the Neoclassicism of the Age of Enlightenment with the classicism. Literary critics of this period influenced in upholding classical standards both in French and English literature. A book on classical principles, Longinus constitutes the key source of aesthetic of romanticism.
The Age of Enlightenment identified itself with a vision of antiquity which, while continuous of the previous century, was shaken by the Physics of Sir Isaac Newton, the improvements in machinery and measurement, and a sense of liberation which they saw as being present in the Greek civilization.
Some of the writers of classicism include Nicolas Boileau-Despréaux, Molière, Nicolas Poussin…
I.2. EUROPEAN LITERARY TRADITIONS 2
Etymologically, the word romanticism is derived from “Roman” in the various European languages, such as “romance” and Romanesque. By the middle of the 18th century, two words “romantic” in English and; romantique’ in French were universally used as adjectives of praise for natural phenomena such as views and sunsets, in a sense close to modern English usage but without the amorous connotation.
Romanticism was a movement of arts and ideas which showed deep interest both in nature and in thoughts and in the feelings of individual. In many ways, Romantic thinkers and writers reacted against the ideals class. They turned from reason to emotion, from society to nature. Nationalism also fired the Romantic imagination. For example, a fighter for freedom in Greece, Lord Byron, ranked as one of the leading Romantic poets of the time.
Romanticism is a movement in the arts and literature which originated in the late 18th century. It is also called romantic period or era which was an artistic, literary and intellectual movement in Europe.
The idea of Romanticism emotion, sometimes wild emotions, was a key element of Romanticism. Nevertheless, Romanticism went beyond feelings. It expressed a wide range of ideas and attitudes.
In general, Romanticism thinkers and artists:
- Emphasized inner feelings, emotions, imagination.
- Focused on the mysterious and the supernatural; they also on the odd, exotic, and grotesque or horrifying
- Loved the beauties of untamed nature
- Idealised the past as a simpler and nobler time
- Glorified heroes and heroic actions
- Cherished folk traditions, music and stories
- Valued the common people and the individual
- Promoted radical change and democracy
It was characterized by its emphasis on emotion and individualism as well as glorification of all the past and nature, preferring the medieval rather than the classical. All components of modernity embodied most strongly in the visual arts, music, and literature. Its major impact on historiography, education, social sciences, and natural sciences had a significant and complex effect on politics, with romantic thinkers influencing liberalism, radicalism, conservatism and nationalism.
The authors of this period include:
- William Wordsworth (a poet)
- Samuel Taylor Coleridge (a poet)
- Lord Byron (a poet)
- John Keats (a poet)
- William Blake (a poet)
- Marry Shelley (a poet)
- Edgar Allan Poe
- Walter Scott (a novelist)
Realism was an artistic movement that began in France in the 1850s, after the 1848 revolution. It rejected Romanticism which dominated French literature and art since the late of 18th century.
Realism revolted against the exotic subject matter and exaggerated emotionalism and drama of Romantic movement. Instead it sought to portray real and typical contemporary people and situations with truth and accuracy and not avoiding unpleasant and sordid aspects of life.
Realism in literature is defined as an approach that attempts to describe life without idealization or Romantic subjectivity. It is also an attempt to represent subject matter truthfully, without artificiality and avoiding artistic conventions, implausible, exotic and supernatural elements.
Realism was introduced in England by William Dean Howells. In French we have novelist like Flaubert and Balzac. Other major writers include George Eliot (1819-1880), Edith Wharton (1862-1937), Mark Twain (1835-1910), Henry James, (1843-1916), etc… Realism as an art movement was led by Gustave Courbet.
Realism was born in a chaotic era marked by revolution and social change. It revolutionised painting and expanding conceptions of arts. Dramatically, it changed the life of Europe because of the introduction of machine within Industrial Revolution in Europe.
Modernism can be defined as a style or movement in the art that aimed to depart significantly from classical and traditional forms, in accordance with modern ideas, especially in the Catholic Church in the later of 19th early 20th centuries mainly in Europe and North America.
Modernism was characterised by a very self-conscious break with traditional ways of both prose and poetry, fictions. This break includes a strong reaction against religious, political and social views. Sigmund Freud and Ernst Mach’s theories influenced early modernist literature.
Among the factors that shaped modernism was the development of modern industrial society, rapid growth of cities, which were followed by the harrowing reaction to World War I. It rejected the certainty of Enlightenment thinking and religious belief. It was characterized by self-consciousness and irony concerning literary and social traditions, which often led to experiments with forms, along with the use of techniques that drew attention to the process and materials used in creating painting, poems, buildings, etc…
In literature, modernism was a diverse movement that spanned Europe, America, and even parts of Africa and Asia. In England, it took hold in the first decade of the 20th century. As the economic, political, and social structure of Britain began to crumble in those years, British writers began to experiment with ways that would question the basic elements of literature of a poem or the narrative elements of a fictional story.
A main figure in the modernist movement was James Joyce (1982-1941), whose novels, short stories, and poetry were anything but traditional. The 1922 publication of his work Ulysses marked the peak of the modernist movement in fiction. Other modernist writers include Virginia Woolf, J Con Joyce, D.H. Lawrence, Aldous Huxley, Ernst Hemingway, George Orwell (1903-1950), Bertolt Brecht (1898-1956), Robert Frost (1874-1963), Boris Pasternak, W.B. Yeats, T.S Eliot, Evelyn Waugh, …
Post-modernism is late 20th-century style and concept in the arts, architecture, and criticism, which represents a departure from modernism and is characterized by the self-conscious use of earlier styles and conventions, a mixing of different artistic styles and media, and a general distrust of theories.
It is largely a reaction to the assumed certainty of scientific, or objective, efforts to explain reality. In mind, it shoots from a recognition that reality is not simply mirrored in human understanding of it, but rather, is constructed as the mind tries to understand its own particular and personal reality.
Some of the common characteristics are aligned like: truth is relative; consumerism is all, transformation of the mix, disillusionment with the idea of progress, uncertainty, fragmentation of social life, incessant choice, globalization and the impact of ICT. It has been enlightened by irony, playfulness, black humour, pastiche, inter-sexuality, meta-fiction, temporal distortion, techno-culture and hyper-reality, a sense of paranoia, maximalism and minimalism, fiction and tabulations, magic realism and scepticism toward all sort of meta narratives.
The main writers of post-modernism include Samuel Beckett, Tom McCarthy, Cormac McCarthy, Kurt Vonnegut, Jorge Luis Borges, Vladimir Nabokov, …
Context refers to the whole situation, background or environment relevant to a particular event. It also refers to the social, cultural, and historical circumstances and setting at which the author is writing. Therefore, context refers to the background information surrounding a subject.
Context can also be referred to the circumstances forming the background of an event, idea or statement, in a such a way as to enable the audience (readers, listeners, spectators) understand the narrative or a literary piece. Generally, context refers to the whole situation, background or environment relevant to a literary work.
The types of context include:
It refers to the immediate physical and social setting in which people live or in which something happens or develops. It is also the reflection of how the characters’ actions and attitudes are affected by events occurring around the time and place where they live. It involves the characters’ interactions in all levels of life.
It refers to the moods, attitudes and conditions that existed in a certain time. Historical context is also the time period in which a story occurs. Both historical events (like wars) can influence the story.
It is an aspect of setting that pertains to when events and when characters live and interact.
It can be described as the sustained conditions, collective expectations and prevailing norms among a group of people or a social network. It includes the values of a society, their beliefs social and moral norms as well as the meanings people give to the human actions and behaviours. It looks at the society in which characters live in and how their culture can affect their behaviours and their opportunities.
This deals with the leadership characteristics and dynamics of a society. It includes the types of leadership (like democracy, monarchy, kingdom, chiefdom), the role of people in determining their leadership, freedoms and rights. It is also referred to the disposition of decision makers surrounding an event or idea.
A novella: ANIMAL FARM by George Orwell
About the author
Eric Arthur Blair (25 June 1903-21st January 1950), better known by his pen name George Orwell, was an English novelist, essayist, journalist and critic.
George Orwell was born in Motihari (India) and died of tuberculosis in University College Hospital (London/England) when he was 46 years old.
Orwell was a man of strong opinions who addressed some of the major political movements of his times including imperialism, fascism and communism. His work is marked by lucid prose, awareness of social injustice, opposition to totalitarianism and outspoken support of democratic socialism.
His notable (main) works include:
- Animal Farm (1945) allegorical novella.
- Nineteen Eighty-Four (1949) dystopian novel.
- The Road to Wigan Pier (1937) documenting his experience of working-class life in the North of England.
- Homage to Catalonia (1938): an account of his experiences in the Spanish Civil War.
- Down and Out in Paris and London (1933)
His essays are “Politics and the English Language” published in April 1946 in the British literary magazine called “Horizon” and “Shooting an Elephant” published n the literary magazine “New Writing” in 1936 which discusses his time as a police officer in Burma (Myanmar).
About the book
Animal Farm by George Orwell is a short novel or novella published in 1945. It is an allegory and satire about the Russian revolution from its roots in the theories of Karl Marx to actualization by Leon Trotsky and Stalin.
On the surface it is an animal story about animal freeing themselves from the dictatorship of human beings. After gaining the freedom that they were fighting for, that freedom changed to no freedom due to greed, corruption and myopia.
In other words, Animal Farm is a condemnation of Stalin and all other Soviet Union leaders who betrayed what everyone was fighting for-Socialism. After seizing power, those leaders (especially Stalin=Napoleon) monopolized power and thus introduced a ‘totalitarian’ system in which they killed anyone who did not follow their way.
After Mr. Jones, the owner of Manor Farm, falls asleep in a drunken stupor, all of his animals meet in the big barn at the request of old Major, a 12-year-old pig. Major tells the animals that humans are their enemies as they exploit them for their own interests only. He adds that they must overthrow the human race. Old Major mentions a strange dream of his in which he saw a vision of the Earth without humans. He then teaches the animals a song (Beasts of England) which they sing repeatedly until they awaken Mr Jones, who fires his gun from his bedroom window to the barn’s wall thinking there is a fox in the yard. Frightened by the shot, the animals disperse and go to sleep.
Three nights after his speech, Old Major dies in his sleep. Animals spend their days secretly planning the rebellion, although they are unsure when it will occur. Because of their intelligence Napoleon, Snowball and Squealer come up with a philosophy of “Animalism” which is a complete system of thoughts from Old Major’s teachings. Despite Mollie’s concern with ribbons and Moses’ tales of a place called Sugarcandy Mountain, the pigs are successful in conveying the principles of Animalism to the others.
One night when Mr Jones was drunk and had forgot to feed the animals, they broke into the store-shed in search of a meal. When Jones and his men arrive, they begin whipping the animals but soon find themselves being attacked and chased off the farm. The triumphant animals then destroy all traces of Jones but leave his house as a museum. Snowball then changes the sign reading “Manor Farm” to “Animal Farm” and paints the Seven Commandments of Animalism on the wall of the barn. The cows then give five buckets of milk, which Napoleon steals.
Despite the initial difficulties of using human farming tools, the animals cooperate to finish with a great harvest, and do so in less time than it had taken Jones and his men to do the same. Boxer distinguishes himself as a hard worker with his motto “I will work hard”. The pigs become the supervisors and directors of other animals and every Sunday the animals meet in the big barn to listen to Snowball and Napoleon debate a number of topics on which they seem never to agree. Snowball forms a number of Animal Committees, all of which fail except one which was about bringing literacy to the animals. He also reduces the Seven Commandments to a single slogan: “Four legs good, two legs bad.”
Napoleon, meanwhile, focuses his energy on educating the youth and takes the infant pups of Jessie and Bluebell away from their mothers, presumably for educational purposes. The animals learn that the cows’ milk and windfallen apples are mixed every day into the pigs’ mash by which Squealer explains that the pigs need the milk and apples to sustain themselves as they work for the benefit of all the other animals.
As summer ends and news of the rebellion has spread to other farms by way of pigeons released by Snowball and Napoleon. They also tell those pigeons to urge those animals to do the same. Mr Jones spends most of his time in Red Lion Pub, complaining about his troubles to two neighbouring farmers: Mr Pilkington and Mr Frederick.
In October, Mr Jones and a group of men come back at Animal Farm and attempt to seize control of it. Snowball with extraordinary tactics and, with the help of the other animals, drives Jones and his men away. The animals then celebrate their victory and call that battle “The Battle of the Cowshed.”
Winter comes, and Mollie works less and less. Eventually, Clover discovers that Mollie is being bribed off Animal Farm by one of Pilkington’s men, who eventually wins her loyalties. Mollie disappears, and the pigeons report seeing her standing outside a pub, sporting one of the ribbons that she always coveted.
Snowball and Napoleon continue their debates. Snowball proposes to build a windmill by which Napoleon opposes. Napoleon then sends nine dogs to chase Snowball off the farm. Three weeks after Snowball’s escape, Napoleon announces that the windmill will be built and Squealer explains that it was Napoleon’s idea but stolen by Snowball.
During the following year, the animals work harder than before. and Boxer proves himself a model of physical strength. and dedication. Napoleon announces that Animal Farm will begin trading with neighbouring farms and hires Mr. Whymper, a solicitor, to act as his agent. Other humans meet in pubs and discuss their theories that the windmill will collapse and that Animal Farm will go bankrupt. Mr. Jones moves to another part of the county and the pigs move into the farmhouse and begin sleeping in beds which Squealer excuses on the grounds that the pigs need their rest after the daily strain of running the farm.
One morning in November, they awoke and find the almost finished windmill in ruins. Even though there had been a violent windstorm the night before, Napoleon blames it on Snowball. He also says that he will reward any animal who kills Snowball or brings him back alive and then declares that the windmill be built that very morning till it is finished.
Despite the bitter winter the animals work hard to rebuild the windmill. In January there was food shortage and Napoleon made a deal with Mr. Whymper that he would give him four hundred eggs in exchange of grain and food until summer came. The animals are led to believe that Snowball snuck into the farm at night and cause mischief on the farm
One day in spring, Napoleon calls a meeting of all the animals, in which he forces confessions from all questioned animals. These ones include four pigs and three hens. After confessing to crimes that they claim were instigated by Snowball, the dogs kill them. Minimus, Napoleon’s pig-poet composes a new song to replace “Beasts of England”.
The following year brings more work on the windmill and less food for the workers, despite Squealer’s false lists proving that food production has increased dramatically under Napoleon’s rule. As Napoleon grows more powerful, he is seen in public less often. More executions occur while Napoleon schemes to sell a pile of timber to Frederick.
After the completion of the new windmill in August, Napoleon sells the pile of timber to Frederick, who tries to pay with a check. Napoleon, however, demands cash, which he receives and then later Whymper learns that those banknotes are forgeries, and Napoleon pronounces the death sentence to Mr. Frederick.
The next morning, Mr. Frederick and his men come at Animal Farm and destroy the windmill. This enrages the animals and drive the men from the farm. They call the battle “The Battle of the Windmill” and the pigs get drunk which make them change the fifth commandment from “No animal shall drink alcohol to “No animal shall drink alcohol to excess.”
After celebrating their so-called victory against Frederick, the animals begin building a new windmill. Despite Boxer’s hoof problem, he insists on working harder and getting the windmill started before he retires. Animals rations are reduced while the pigs continue to grow fatter. Animal Farm is proclaimed as a Republic, and Napoleon is elected as a president.
Boxer falls down due to the lung that was bothering him and instead of being taken to the hospital; the van takes him to a knacker, or glue boiler and dies there which Squealer explains that Boxer was taken to the veterinarian. The grocer’s van delivers a crate of whisky to the pigs, who drink it all and do not arise until after noon the following day.
Many years pass, and the only remaining animals from the Rebellion are Clover, Benjamin, Moses and a number of pigs. All the animals continue their hardworking with little food except of course, for the pigs. One evening the pigs emerge walking on hind legs, led by Napoleon with a whip in his trotter. The seventh commandment is replaced by “All animals are equal but some animals are more equal than others.”
Neighbouring farmers are given a tour of the farm after which they meet in a dining-room with Napoleon and other pigs. Humans share a drink with pigs while playing cards. Napoleon announces that the flag will be changed, and Sunday meetings are also suppressed. He also declares that Animal Farm will again be called Manor Farm. They continue playing cards in which Napoleon and Pilkington each try to play the ace of spades which make them quarrel violently. As the other animals watch them through the dining-room window, they are unable to differentiate the humans from the pigs.
Characters and characterization
There are many characters in the book who are based on real people. They are grouped into pigs, horses, humans and other animals.
Old Major: A prize-winning pig who inspires all the animals to rebel against the humans. He is 12 years old. The character is based on Karl Marx and Vladimir Lenin, the communist leader of the Russian Revolution. Lenin died during the Soviet Union’s early years, leaving Trotsky (Snowball) and Stalin (Napoleon) to vie for his leadership position.
Napoleon: A large boar who becomes the leader of Animal Farm after the Rebellion. Napoleon expelled Snowball from the farm and takes over. He modifies his opinions and policies and rewrites history continually to benefit the pigs. He is the main villain of the story who secures his power through fear. This character proves more treacherous than his counterpart, Snowball. Napoleon represents the type of dictator/tyrant with greed for power. Orwell reflects Napoleon’s greed for power with a name that invokes Napoleon Bonaparte, the very successful French leader who became “Emperor”. But Napoleon the pig more directly represents Stalin in his constantly changing policies and actions, his secret activities, his intentional deception and manipulation of the populace, and his use of fear tactics and atrocities.
Snowball: He is the pig who challenges Napoleon for controlling Animal Farm after the Rebellion. He easily wins the loyalty of most of the animals. He is mainly based on Leon Trotsky, but also has some characteristics taken from Lenin. He is intelligent, passionate than his counterpart, Napoleon He is later framed of doing false crimes, and is banned from the farm.
Squealer: A small white fat porker who serves as Napoleon’s second in command and minister of propaganda. He is also “a brilliant talker” who is talented in the art of argument. He twists the truth and abuses language to excuse and justify Napoleon’s actions. He is based on Vyacheslav Molotov.
Minimus: A poet who writes the second and third national anthems of Animal Farm, after “Beasts of England” is banned. He also creates poems and songs praising Napoleon. he represents the Soviet Union’s artists, who were forced to use their talents to glorify communism rather than express their personal feelings or beliefs.
The young pigs: Four pigs who complain about Napoleon’s takeover of the farm but are quickly silenced and later executed (Grigori Zinoviev, Lev Kamenev…)
The piglets: Hinted to be the children of Napoleon and are the first generation of animals subjugated to the idea of animal inequality.
Pinkeye: A minor pig who is mentioned once as the pig that tastes Napoleon’s food.
Horses and donkeys
Boxer: A loyal, kind and dedicated, extremely strong, respectable and hardworking cart-horse. He is quite gullible as he believes naively the pigs to make all decisions for him. His two mottos are “I will work harder “and “Napoleon is always right”. He and his companion Clover represent the working class during the Russian Revolution. He gets weak towards the end and is sent to the slaughter house by Napoleon who fooled the other animals into believing that he is getting sent to the hospital.
Clover: A motherly mare approaching middle age. She is Boxer’s companion, and she takes care of him. Like Boxer, she works as a cart-horse on Manor Farm. During the book she has doubts about the pigs’ behaviour, but repeatedly blames herself for not remembering correctly the commandments. Clover represents those people who remember a time before the Revolution and therefore half-realize that the government is lying about its success and adherence to its principles, but are helpless to change anything.
Mollie: A foolish, pretty and vain young white mare. She likes sugar so much that when eating of sugar is banned, she smuggles some into the farm. When it is discovered, she leaves the farm to go to another farm. She is last seen being caressed by a man. The character represents the class of nobles who were happy with their life under the rule of Tsar Nicholas II, unwilling to conform to the new regime, and left Russia a year after the Revolution.
Benjamin: An old donkey one of the oldest and also one of the smartest animals on the farm. He can read properly. He is also a very loyal friend of Boxer and him and Clover look after Boxer. He believes that life will remain unpleasant no matter who is in charge. He is thought to represent the older generation wise enough to see through the lies of Stalin, but keeps silent and do nothing to try to stop them.
Mr. Jones: The owner of Manor Farm and a drunkard. His animals revolt against him because he does not feed them, take care of them, and whips them. They overthrow him in the Rebellion and when he tries to recapture his property, they defeat him, steal his gun, and drive him off again. Mr. Jones dies in a home for alcoholics in another part of the country. He represents the kind of corrupt and fatally flawed government that results in discontent and revolution among the populace. Mr. Jones represents the latter days of imperial Russia and its last leader, the wealthy but ineffective Czar Nicholas II.
Mr. Pilkington: The farmer of Foxwood, a large unkempt neighbouring farm to Manor Farm. He is a wealthier man who prefers pursuing his hobbies to maintaining his land. At the book’s end, Mr. Pilkington offers a toast to the future cooperation between human farmers and Animal Farm. He also says he plans to imitate Animal Farm’s low rations and long work hours. Pilkington can be seen to represent the allied countries (capitalists) explored the possibility of trade with the Soviet Union towards World War II but kept a watchful distance. Pilkington’s unwillingness to save Animal Farm from Frederick and his men parodies the Allies’ initial hesitance to enter the War. Napoleon’s and Pilkington’s poker game at the end of the book suggests the beginning of a power struggle that would later become the Cold War.
Mr. Frederick: The tough owner of Pinchfield, a small but well-kept neighbouring farm. He briefly enters into an alliance with Napoleon. He cheats the animals out of their timber by paying for it with fake banknotes. Animals of Animal Farm are terrified of him as he is thought to abuse and entertains with cockfighting-the horror stories emerging from Nazi Germany. He symbolises Adolf Hitler. Frederick’s agreement to buy the timber represents the Nazi-Soviet non-aggression treaty, and his subsequent betrayal of the agreement and invasion of Animal Farm represents the Nazi’s invasion of the Soviet Union.
Mr. Whymper: A solicitor in Willingdon who acts as Animal Farm’s intermediary to the human world. He is “a sly-looking little man with side whiskers” who visits the farm every Monday to get his orders and is paid in commissions. Mr. Whymper’s business-minded attitude towards Animal Farm, which allows him to ignore the injustices and extreme cruelties committed there, make him a parody of nations that conducted business with the Soviet Union while turning a blind eye to its internal affairs.
Muriel: A wise old white goat who is a friend with all of the animals on the farm. Muriel can read fairly well and helps Clover decipher the alterations to the Seven Commandments. Muriel is not opinionated, but she represents a subtle, revelatory influence because of her willingness to help bring things to light (as opposed to Benjamin).
Moses: A tame raven that is Mr. Jones’s special pet. He is a spy, a gossip, and a “clever talker” He is also the only animal not present for Old Major’s meeting. Moses disappears for several years during Napoleon’s rule and when he returns, he still insists on the existence of Sugarcandy Mountain, where all animals go when they die. He represents religion, which gives people hope of a better life in heaven. The pigs dislike his stories, just as the Soviet government opposed religion, not wanting its people to subscribe to a system of belief outside of communism. Though the Soviet government suppressed religion aggressively, the pigs on Animal Farm let Moses come and go as he pleases and even give him a ration of beer when he returns from his long absence.
Bluebell and Jessie: A mated pair of dogs whose children are taken away from them by Napoleon at birth and raised by Napoleon to be his fierce, elitist bodyguards.
The Dogs: Nine puppies, which Napoleon confiscates and secludes in a loft. Napoleon rears them into fierce, elitist dogs that act as his security guards. The dogs are the only animals other than the pigs that are given special privileges. They also act as executioners, tearing out the throats of animals that confess to treachery. They represent the NKVD and more specifically the KGB, agencies Joseph Stalin fostered and used to terrorize and commit atrocities upon the Soviet Union’s populace.
The Sheep: The sheep are loyal to the tenets of Animal Farm, often breaking into a chorus of “Four legs good, two legs bad” and later, “Four legs good, two legs better!” The sheep-true to the typical symbolic meaning of “sheep”-represent those people who have little understanding of their situation and thus are willing to follow their government blindly.
The Cows: In the Revolution, cows were promised that their milk will not be taken away but raise their calves. That milk is then stolen by the pigs, that learn to milk them. It is also stirred into the pigs’ food every day while the other animals are not allowed to have any.
The Hens: The hens are among the first to rebel against Napoleon who asked them through Squealer to give their eggs. After denying that request, they were starved till nine among them die.
The Cat: The cat is the animal that never does any work, but she is forgiven because her excuses are so convincing. She has no interest in the politics of the farm. She is lazy and indifferent.
Manor Farm is a small farm in England run by the harsh and often drunk Mr. Jones. One night, a boar named Old Major gathers all the animals of Manor Farm together. Knowing that he will soon die, Old Major gives a speech in which he reveals to the animals that men cause all the misery that animals endure. Old Major says that all animals are equal and urges them to join together to rebel. He teaches them a revolutionary song called “Beasts of England.” Old Major dies soon after, but two pigs named Snowball and Napoleon adapt his ideas into the philosophy of Animalism. Three months later, the animals defeat Jones in an unplanned uprising. The farm is renamed “Animal Farm.”
The ingenuity of the pigs, the immense strength of a horse named Boxer, and the absence of parasitical humans makes Animal Farm prosperous. The animals post the Seven Commandments of Animalism on the side of the barn. The commandments state that all animals are equal and no animal may act like a human by sleeping in a bed, walking on two legs, killing other animals, drinking alcohol, and so on.
A fight for power soon develops between the two pigs Snowball and Napoleon. The rivalry comes to a head over Snowball’s idea to build a windmill. At the final debate about the windmill, Napoleon summons dogs he has secretly reared to be his own vicious servants and has them chase Snowball from Animal Farm. Napoleon tells the other animals that Snowball was a “bad influence,” eliminates the animals’ right to vote, and takes “the burden” of leadership on himself. He sends around a pig named Squealer, who persuades the animals that Napoleon has their best interests at heart.
Three weeks later Napoleon decides they should build the windmill after all. The animals set to work, with Boxer leading. Focusing on the windmill reduces the productivity of the farm, and all the animals but the pigs get less to eat. The pigs begin to trade with other farms, move into Mr. Jones’s farmhouse, and start to sleep in beds. This confuses the animals who considered this forbidden behaviour. But when they check the Commandment about beds, it reads: “No animal shall sleep in a bed with sheets.”
Over the next few years, Animal Farm battles with its human neighbours. The windmill gets destroyed first by a storm and then by a human attack. Napoleon blames all catastrophes on the “traitor” Snowball, and uses fear tactics, information control, and deadly purges of anyone he considers an enemy to strengthen his power over the farm. Meanwhile, the pigs secretly continue to rewrite the Commandments and all of Animal Farm’s history to support their lies. They give the animals less food and demand more work, while eating more and working less themselves. The other animals, duped by the pigs’ misinformation, continue to consider themselves part of a great revolution. When Boxer, the most devoted worker on the farm, is no longer able to work, the pigs sell him to a glue factory and use the proceeds to buy whiskey.
Years pass. Now only a few of the remaining animals on the farm experienced the revolution. Even fewer remember its goals. The pigs teach themselves to walk on two legs and begin carrying whips. When the animals look at the Seven Commandments, they have been replaced by the statement: “All animals are equal. But some animals are more equal than others.” The pigs make peace with their human neighbours and have a feast. The other animals are shocked to discover that they can no longer tell the pigs from the humans.
As is the case of most fables, Animal Farm is set in an unspecified time period and largely free from historical references that would the reader date the action precisely. Orwell means the fable to be contemporaneous with the object of its satire, The Russian Revolution (1917-1945). This story is also set in an imaginary farm in England.
The corruption of socialist ideals in the Soviet Union
Animal Farm which criticizes the Russian Revolution, retells the story of the emergence and development of Soviet communism in the form of an animal fable. It allegorizes the rise to power of the dictator Joseph Stalin.
In the novella, the overthrow of the human oppressor Mr. Jones/Nicholas II gives way to the consolidation of power among the pigs/Soviet intelligentsia. After gaining power, the rivalry emerges between Trotsky and Stalin (Snowball and Napoleon), and then Trotsky is expelled from the revolutionary state. From then, many purges, show trials, executions take place so as to solidify Stalin/Napoleon’s power. He with his government abandon the founding principles of the Russian Revolution and turn to a violent government and adopt the traits and behaviours of their original oppressors.
The societal tendency toward class stratification
Animal Farm offers commentary on the development of class tyranny and the human tendency to maintain and re-establish class structures even in societies that allegedly stand for total equality. The novella illustrates how classes that are initially unified in the face of a common enemy, as the animals are against the humans, may become internally divided when that enemy is eliminated. From when the animals have overthrown Mr Jones, the pigs have elevated above as the leaders of other animals. They start to control and supervise others. Under the leadership of Napoleon, this gap becomes big as the pigs consider themselves as brainworkers while other animals are considered as workers who must be exploited for the benefits of the pigs.
The danger of a naïve working class
Animal Farm not only portrays the figures in power but also the oppressed ones. The story is not told from the perspective of any particular animal but, from the perspective of the common animals as a whole. Gullible, loyal, and hardworking, these animals are not only oppressed by their bad leaders but also by their naïvety. Some are uneducated while others lack critical thinking and portray the inability or unwillingness to question authority which results in their suffering. For instance, Boxer who is the most hardworking among others sacrificed everything for the good of the farm doesn’t get a reward of his deeds. Despite being loyal and always believing that Napoleon is always right, he is betrayed by Napoleon.
The abuse of language as instrumental to the abuse of power
One of Orwell’s central concerns in Animal Farm, is the way in which language can be manipulated as an instrument of control. In this book, the pigs gradually twist and distort a rhetoric of socialist revolution to justify their behaviours and to keep the other animals in the dark. The animals heartily embrace Major’s visionary ideal of socialism, but after Major dies, the pigs gradually twist the meaning of his words especially through Squealer. As a result, the other animals seem unable to oppose the pigs without also opposing the ideals of the Rebellion.
Totalitarianism is a form of government in which the state seeks to control every facet of life, from economics and politics to each individual’s ideas and beliefs. For instance, Mr. Jones runs Manor Farm based on the idea that human domination of animals is the natural order of things, while Napoleon and the pigs run Animal Farm with the claim that they are fighting for animals against evil humans.
Orwell’s underlying point is that all totalitarian regimes are the same, whether communist, fascist, or capitalist, is founded on oppression of the individual and the lower class. Those who hold power in totalitarian regimes care only about maintaining their power by any means necessary.
Broadly speaking, Animal Farm satirizes politicians, specifically their rhetoric, ability to manipulate others, and their lust for power. In this novella, Napoleon is presented as the epitome of a power-hungry individual who masks all of his actions with the excuse that they are doing for the betterment of the farm. He runs Snowball off the farm calling him a traitor, he kills several animals by saying that they collaborate with traitors and also blames every farm failure on Snowball.
Allegiance refers to the loyalty to some cause, nation or ruler. It is also fidelity. This theme is portrayed in the way through which people proclaim their allegiance to each other, and later betray what they agreed upon.
Firstly, the pigs betrayed the ideals of Animalism. Mr. Pilkington and Mr. Frederick were only listening to Mr. Jones in the Red Lion because they secretly hope to gain something from his misery. Similarly, Frederick’s buying the timber from Napoleon seems to form an alliance that is shattered when the pig learns of Frederick’s forged banknotes.
At the novella’s final scene, despite all the friendly talk and flattery that passes between Mr. Pilkington and Napoleon, each is still trying to cheat the other.
In the beginning, they tell us how the animals are forced to work and slaughtered. After the violent rebellion under Napoleon rule, more executions took place. This theme is also portrayed to the The Battle of the Windmill which took more lives of animals.
Role of the populace
Orwell, however, does not imply that Napoleon is the only cause for Animal Farm’s decline. He also satirizes the different kinds of people whose attitudes allow rulers like Napoleon to succeed. Mollie who is materialistic, Boxer who is the most hardworking and the sheep which are ignorant lack any political sense or understanding of what is happening around them.
Satire is defined as art that ridicules a specific topic in order to provoke readers into changing their opinion of it. By attacking what they see as human folly, satirists usually imply their own opinions on how the thing being attacked can be remedied. Animal Farm is a satirical novel in which Orwell attacks what he saw as some of the prominent follies of his time, like communism in Russian.
Abuse of power and ideas
In the novella, Napoleon abused his own power and put it into the wrong use. He used his power to command the animals to work for his own benefit, rather than the whole group. Later on, Napoleon twisted the system of power from a communism to a dictatorship. He exiled Snowball using his power of the dogs. Throughout the story, Napoleon changes Old Major’s Commandments to his own profits, and gradually changed Old Major’s vision . If any other animals at the time would have rebelled, it would seem like they went against Old Major’s teachings. Napoleon did this to make the animals agree with what he is doing, claiming it to be Old Major’s ideas.
Other themes include: Abuse of Religion, the leadership and corruption, lies and deceit, dreams and hopes….
George Orwell’s message in the novel Animal Farm is about power that corrupts. When it is absolute, it corrupts absolutely. His message was about the problem resulting from Russian revolution. This is not far from how power leads to corruption and oppression. He talks also about the ways that may the government use ruling or oppressing its citizens and how it brainwashes them. The book also teaches people how to make propaganda. Napoleon and Squealer changed the rules in order to increase their power. To sum up, Napoleons’ regime gained power and privileges whereas corruption paced. He wanted to criticize communism and to show people how it was implemented in the Soviet Union.
Point of view
The story is told from the point of the common animals of Animal Farm. The point of view is third person omniscient. It refers to them as “they”, “he” or “she”.
The narrator is third person omniscient because with third person omniscient storytelling, the reader is informed to the thoughts and feelings of several characters. The narrator moves from one character to another and is able to see into the heads of multiple characters.
There are a number of conflicts:
- The animals versus Mr. Jones
- Snowball vs. Napoleon
- The common animals vs. the pigs.
- Animals Farm vs. the neighbouring humans.
Allegory is a representation of abstract principles by characters or figures. It is also a symbolic representation which can be interpreted to reveal a hidden meaning. Animal Farm is an allegorical novella as it reflects the events leading up to Russian Revolution. Every character represents a real person in the Russian Revolution.
In the novella, “Animal Farm”, the animals have human characteristics like talking, working as humans do.
Satire is a literary device of writing which principally ridicules its subject often as an intended means of provoking or preventing change. Orwell described Animal Farm as a satirical tale against Stalin.
It is the author’s attempt to create a mental picture (reference point) in the reader’s mind. In Animal Farm, Moses the crow tells the animals about Sugarcandy Mountain and just give a vivid description of the fictional place.
It is a form of stating one thing and meaning another.
Dramatic Irony: It is when the reader knows something important about the story that one or more characters in the story do not know. In the novella Animal Farm, the reader knows that the pigs are up to no good when they take extra rations, but the common animals believe that the pigs are trying to do good.
Situational Irony: It is when the author surprises every one by creating the perfect opposite of what everyone would expect. In Animal Farm, the reader may suspect that the second time the animals build the windmill will be successful, but in the end, it was destroyed by humans.
Symbolism is a representation f an idea or something through objects. It is also a representation of a concept through symbols or underlying meanings of objects. Symbols are used to represent abstract ideas and concepts.
- Animal Farm: It symbolizes Russia and Soviet Union under Communist Party rule.
- The pigs symbolize the government
- The dogs symbolize security force (police and army)
- Other animals symbolize the working class.
- Old Major’s dream stands for Karl Marx’s Communist Manifesto.
- The barn: The barn symbolizes the collective memory of a modern nation as its walls carry seven commandments, and later, their revisions.
- The farmhouse: It symbolizes power. It was Mr. Jones house and later used by the pigs while leading other animals.
- The Windmill: It symbolizes the pigs’ manipulation of the other animals for their own gain. It also symbolizes (industrialization) the development.
- The fall of Mr. Jones represents the overthrow of Russian Tsar Nicolas II.
- The Battle of the Cowshed represents Russian Civil War.
- The Battle of the Windmill represents World War II, specifically Stalingrad Battle.
- Hen’s rebellion represents Stalin’s purge.
- Boxer’s death is an allegory within allegory for Stalin betrayal on the proletariat.
- The flag: The flag represents the animals’ nationalism.
- The 7 commandments symbolize the Soviet government’ s revisions of history in order to control society ‘ s personal and political views. They illustrate both manipulation of in Animal Farm and the difference between the pigs and working class.
- Napoleon initiative represent Stalin’s five years plans.
- Final Feast: (The meeting between pigs and humans at the end) alludes to the Tehran conference at the beginning of 1943 and the beginning of Cold War.
- Old Major: Karl Marx, with a little bit of Vladimir Lenin thrown in
- Snowball: Leon Trotsky
- Napoleon: Joseph Stalin, with a big fat allusion to Napoleon. (Bonaparte.)
- Squealer: Propaganda in general; media; also, possibly Vyacheslav Molotov in particular.
- Moses: the Russian Orthodox Church
- Boxer: Russian laborers and workers
- Clover: Russian labourers and workers, of the female kind.
- Mollie: She represents the class of nobles who were happy with their life under the rule of Tsar Nicholas II
- Benjamin: Possibly intellectuals in general.
- Mr. and Mrs. Jones: Tsar Nicholas II and his family; also, capitalists in general
- Mr. Pilkington: the U.S. and U.K.
- Mr. Frederick: Hitler
- Mr. Whymper: Gullible westerners and intellectuals.
A motif can be seen as an image, sound, action or other figure that has a symbolic significance, and contributes toward the development of a theme.
Animal Farm is filled with songs, poems, and slogans, including Major’s stirring “Beasts of England,” Minimus’s ode to Napoleon, the sheep’s chants, and Minimus’s revised anthem. All of these songs serve as propaganda.
As the pigs work to consolidate power, they institute rituals such as awards, parades, and songs for the purpose of creating loyalty to the state. As the rituals grow in number, the working animals become more and more vulnerable and reliant on the state to define their cultural values.
Songs throughout the novella such as the sheep’ s chants, ” The Beasts of England”, the Animal Farm Anthem and The Ode to Napoleon each served as propaganda which were major factors of social control throughout the Russian Revolution. By being forced to recite the words in the songs, the animals lost their individuality.
The animal farm is a representation of human society. To be more specific, Manor Farm represents Russia and the Soviet Union under communist rule. The different species of animals represent the different classes in the Soviet Union and their roles in the society.
George Orwell is clever in showing the movement of power in Animal Farm. The pigs evolve into dictators that set rules that don’t apply to them.
Other motifs include: Continuous betrayal of principles, continuous denial of betrayal, the tyranny of those in power, …
Russian society in the early 20th century was composed by a tiny minority that controlled most of the country’s wealth, while the vast majority of the country’s people were impoverished and oppressed peasants. Communism arose in Russian when the nation’s workers and peasants, assisted by a class of concerned intellectuals (intelligentsia) rebelled against and overwhelmed the wealthy and powerful class of capitalists and aristocrats. They hoped to establish a socialist utopia based on the principles of the German economic and political philosophers Karl Marx.
It started in 1917, when two successive revolutions happened in Russia. The first revolution overthrew the Russian monarchy (the Tsar) and the second established the USSR, the world’s first Communist state. Over the next 30 years, the Soviet government descended into a totalitarian regime that used and manipulated socialist ideas of equality among the working class to oppress its people and maintain power. Animal Farm is an allegory of the Russian Revolution and the Communist Soviet Union. Many of the animal characters in Animal Farm have direct correlations to figures or institutions in the Soviet Union.
The book analysis
The pigs (Snowball, Napoleon & Squealer) adopted Old Major’s ideas into “a complete system of thought”, which they formally name Animalism. It is an allegoric reference to communism. Soon after, Napoleon and Squealer partake in activities associated with the humans (drinking alcohol, sleeping in beds, trading…) which were prohibited by Seven Commandments.
Squealer was then used to alter these commandments to account for this humanisation, an allusion to Soviet Government’s revising of history in order to exercise control of people’s beliefs about themselves and their history.
These are the original commandments laid down by the pigs.
- Whatever goes upon two legs is an enemy.
- Whatever goes upon four legs, or has wings, is a friend.
- No animal shall wear clothes.
- No animal shall sleep in a bed.
- No animal shall drink alcohol.
- No animal shall kill any other animal.
- All animals are equal.
These commandments were changed into the maxim “Four legs good, two legs bad.” which later changed to ” Four legs good, two legs better.” They were mostly used by sheep to disrupt discussions and disagreement between animals on the nature of Animalism.
Later, Napoleon and his pigs secretly revised some commandments to clear themselves of accusations of law-breaking.
They changed the commandments as follows:
- No animal shall sleep in a bed with sheets.
- No animal shall drink alcohol to excess.
- No animal shall kill any other animal without cause.
Eventually, these are replaced by the maxims “All Animals are equal but some animals are more equal than others” and ” Four legs good, two legs better.” As pigs become more human. This is contrary to the original purpose of the 7 commandments which were supposed to keep order and unity among the animals of Animal Farm, being against humans and preventing animals from following the humans’ evil habits. Orwell demonstrates through the revision of the commandments, how simply the political belief can be turned into malleable propaganda.