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George Orwell’s Animal Farm I NTRODUCTORY L ECTURE.

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Presentation on theme: "George Orwell’s Animal Farm I NTRODUCTORY L ECTURE."— Presentation transcript:

1 George Orwell’s Animal Farm I NTRODUCTORY L ECTURE

2 Part I: Government Economics -and-

3 “We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal…” This statement is one of the founding beliefs and principles of our country. Do you agree with it? Why or why not? How might the meaning or interpretation of this statement have changed over the course of history (e.g., from when it was first written to today)?

4 Where Do You Stand? As a general rule, it is a good idea to be distrustful of political leaders. Those who work harder than me should be paid more than me. People are generally motivated by self-interest. Power eventually corrupts those who have it. When someone is unable to work, s/he should be supported by the government.

5 What is the difference between EQUALITY and EQUITY? EQUALITY is the quality or state of being equal; sameness or equivalence in number, quantity, or measure EQUITY is the state, quality, or ideal of being just, impartial, and fair.

6 What is the definition of… Democracy government by the people the rule of the majority Socialism a society in which there is no private property a society in which the means of production are owned and controlled by the state

7 What is the definition of… Communism government in which a single authoritarian party controls state-owned means of production a system in which goods are owned in common and are available to all as needed Fascism a political philosophy that exalts nation and race above the individual usually headed by a dictatorial leader often includes forcible suppression of opposition

8 The Economics : An Overview Capitalism (+ Democracy) Market driven, encourages competition, unequal distribution of wealth Socialism State driven, private and state owned facilities Communism (+ Totalitarianism) State driven, state owns/controls everything, financial equality except for government officials Equality of Opportunity Equality of Condition

9 Where would these government systems fall on this line continuum? Fascism Democracy Capitalism Socialism Communism RadicalLiberalConservativeReactionary

10 Part II: Historical Context

11 Russia: 1914-1917 Russia lingered in past and Czar (similar to a king; also spelled Tsar) still ruled absolutely Russian citizens lived in extreme poverty and were expected to fall into place as a part of a social obligation

12 Bloody Sunday 1905 Bloody Sunday was a massacre on unarmed, peaceful demonstrators marching to present a petition to Tzar Nicholas They were gunned down by the Imperial guard as they approached the city

13 Karl Marx Wrote the Communist Manifesto and spread his beliefs throughout Europe until his death in 1883. Communism: -New social order based on the equal distributions of wealth and possessions among the nation’s citizenry. -Poverty, ignorance, and starvation would cease to exist. - Individuals would produce according to their abilities, and consume according to their needs. - No citizen would possess more than another.

14 Well-organized Communists began to dominate Russian leadership and focus on poor Hungry workers soon joined Communist groups Bolshevik Revolution (1917) was a Communist takeover lead by Vladimir Lenin New political approach introduced: “Everyone would benefit equally Russia: 1914-1917

15 Vladimir Lenin Controller of the Soviets Organizer and motivator, focused on gaining the support of the troops. Ally with Leon Trotsky and Joseph Stalin, who promised workers and soldiers food, land, and an end to Russia’s involvement in the war. Assisted in the successful revolution

16 timeline 1848: Marx publishes Communist Manifesto. 1883: Marx dies leaving the idea of revolution in the minds of the Russian people. 1914: WWI begins 1914-1917: Numerous citizen revolts occur. Feb. 1917: Soviets attack the government and Tsar Nicholas II admits defeat. Soviets take over the palace and create the Provisional Government. October 1917: Lenin, Trotsky, and Stalin, seize the palace and begin to form a Communist regime.

17 U nion of S oviet S ocialist R epublics Communist era begins lead by Lenin and his two allies, Leon Trotsky and Joseph Stalin Nation also came to be known as the Soviet Union Dilemma: how do you bring peace and equality with opposition? Answer: Campaign of Terror Formed Red Army Identified and executed suspected anti-Communists, including the Czar and his family Lenin died of a very long and involved illness in1924

18 From left: Stalin, Lenin, Trotsky

19 Power struggle erupted between Trotsky and Stalin Trotsky – Dreamer, appetite for books and ideas, intellectual giant, visionary thinker, hoped to transform Russia into an industrial powerhouse Stalin – Quick study, spoke well, focused on creating loyal bonds between himself and powerful men within the soviets. Began to attack Trotsky as a revolutionary connected with “old ways” of doing things. Stalin wins, maintained grip on power through political and social terror, silenced all opposition “Purges” – High-ranking officials systemically arrested, forced to admit to crimes they did not commit, executed Estimated 2-7 million people killed Had Trotsky exiled and assassinated him U nion of S oviet S ocialist R epublics

20 “Let’s raise a generation unconditionally loyal to the cause of communism!”

21 Part III: Novel Overview

22 Animal Farm Published in 1945 to mixed reviews, but later became one of Orwell’s most popular works Depicts the abuses of power among a group of farm animals who rebel against their human owners Orwell called the book “a fairy story”, but can also be considered a: a political tract a satire on human folly a loud hee-haw at all who yearn for Utopia an allegorical lesson a fable in the Aesop tradition (e.g., “The Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing”) a passionate sermon against the dangers of political innocence

23 George Orwell, Author Born Eric Arthur Blair (1903-1950) Attended prestigious Eton but lost interest in traditional scholastic achievements Worked for Imperial Police in Burma, became aware of fundamental difficulties of power Lived most of his life in poverty Best writing based on personal experience Ignored barriers of class; wrote about poverty with insight and dignity

24 Format and Structure (Political) Satire: Ideas or customs are ridiculed for the purpose of improving society Usually very witty, critical, or abrasive “I say censor books, censor pictures and censor sex education so that kids grow up to be like us adults.” Propaganda: Biased, one-sided communication meant to influence the thoughts and actions of an audience Methods are much stronger than persuasion Lie, distort facts, manipulative, work to gain audience's trust Allegory: A narrative that conveys a secondary meaning, meaning outside the events of the story “Ring Around the Rosy”

25 From Orwell’s Essay “Why I Write” “My starting point is always a feeling of partisanship, a sense of injustice. When I sit down to write a book, I do not say to myself, “I am going to produce a work of art.” I write it because there is some lie that I want to expose, some fact to which I want to draw attention, and my initial concern is to get a hearing. 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.”

26 Essential Questions Power What responsibility do YOU have as a leader in maintaining equality as well as equity? Identity Why is it YOUR responsibility to be well-educated?


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