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Animal Farm: Author, Characters, and History George Orwell  Born Eric Arthur Blair in Motihari, India in 1903, Other works:  Down and Out in London.

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Presentation on theme: "Animal Farm: Author, Characters, and History George Orwell  Born Eric Arthur Blair in Motihari, India in 1903, Other works:  Down and Out in London."— Presentation transcript:


2 Animal Farm: Author, Characters, and History

3 George Orwell  Born Eric Arthur Blair in Motihari, India in 1903, Other works:  Down and Out in London and Paris  Burmese Days  1984

4 The Life of Orwell ( )  Eric Blair (pen name is George Orwell)  He thought Eric sounded too snobbish  Totally opposed to the way the government operated and how the poor was always inferior to the rich.

5 Wrote Animal Farm in 1943  Was convinced that Stalin betrayed the revolution  Saw Stalin as power-hungry assassin with a lack of respect for the truth  Wrote AF to remind people of history and to show how false the notion was that Russia was a socialists state but proved it was actually a communist state

6 Where did Animal Farm come from? George Orwell got the idea for his story when he saw small boy driving a horse and whipping it whenever it tried to turn in another direction.

7 Orwell then began to create his fable about the animals of Manor Farm— He tried to fuse political purpose with artistic purpose in one novel.

8 What is a Novel? A long fictional story, whose length is normally somewhere between 100 and 500 book pages which use all of the elements of storytelling: plot, character, setting, theme and point of view.

9 Novels…  Embrace many conflicts and multiple themes.  Entertain us and tell us something about the world we live in.  Take an enormous amount of time to write.  Are written out of a writer’s belief in a private vision, is a gift of knowledge about what is going on between people here on earth.

10 The Form of Animal Farm 1. Beast Fable (brief and humorous stories in which animals speak and act like humans) 2. Allegory- has two different levels a. Each character stands for something or someone else b. Writer uses these characters to convey a moral message.

11 The Form Cont. 3. Satire- form of literature that uses ridicule to make specific people look foolish a. dramatic irony b. situational irony

12 Themes in Animal Farm 1. Freedom and individual dignity must be guarded carefully. 2. Language is a very powerful tool; if used incorrectly, it can enslave and confuse us.

13 Themes in Animal Farm Cont. 3. Weakness can be dominated by strength, trickery and fear. 4. Hope and vision must be kept alive, or we might live like the animals of Manor Farm.

14 Historical Theme  Russian Revolution was not about the proletariat (the working class) ruling themselves, but was simply tyranny under a dictator

15 Terms to Know  Allegory  Fable  Satire  ANIMAL FARM is both an allegorical and a satirical novel.

16 What is an Allegory?  The characters, setting, and events make sense on the literal level, but are designed to represent OTHER characters, settings and events.  There is a story within another meaning underneath the surface story. Example: Hans Christian Anderson’s Ugly Duckling tells the story of his life.

17 Allegory  A narrative that acts as an extended metaphor.  Events and people symbolize things not mentioned in the narrative.

18 Fable  A story usually about animals that have human powers and faults. They usually have the power to talk. The tale is told to teach a moral. The characters teach lessons that can be used in everyday life.

19 Beast Fable  A brief, humorous story, animals speak and act like human beings.  Its purpose is to expose human weakness and teach a moral lesson.

20 What is Satire?  The intentional degrading of a subject or subjects for comic or dramatic effect  Uses laughter as a weapon  It is a allegorical retelling of the Russian Revolution and the rise of Josef Stalin  It is a satire on communism and human nature

21 SATIRE  Combines humor and criticism (ridicule) to suggest change and reform.  Criticism is constructive rather than destructive - design to inspire correction

22 More on Satire  Animal Farm ridicules communism. Orwell’s aim is to destroy the justification for totalitarianism (control under one political group) government. He wants people to see the fate of those who allow themselves to be led into the totalitarian state. He believed that it was the destruction of free will and reasoning.

23 Devices of Satire  Hyperbole - exaggeration or overstatement  Paradox - statement or idea which self-contradiction is true

24 Devices (Contd.)  Irony - author says the opposite of what he/she means  Understatement - an intentional lack of emphasis in expression

25 Propaganda: The use of persuasion to further one’s own cause. 1. Slogans - “catchy phrases”  2. Loaded words - emotional words like peace and patriot.

26 Propaganda (Contd.)  3. Powerful images - images created through references to beauty, happiness, fear and terror 4. Appeal to fears - suggestions that something terrible will happen if one doesn’t follow certain instructions

27 Propaganda (Contd.)  5. Appeal to basic desires and needs - fulfills the desire for survival (food, clothing, shelter) but also the need for love, belonging and human dignity. 6. Band Wagon - everyone else is doing it, so you should too.

28 Other Symbols  “Beasts of England” – represents the “Communist Internationale,” a real song penned by supporters of communism in the early 1900’s.  Windmill – stands for Russian industry. (Soviet leaders focused on making Russia industrially modern after the Revolution of 1917.)

29 Characters In Animal Farm

30 The Pigs: Communist Party Loyalists

31 Squealer  Short, fat, twinkle-eyed and nimble pig  “brilliant talker”  Very persuasive  He is the propaganda apparatus that spreads the “big lie” and makes people believe it

32 Old Major  The wise old pig whose stirring speech to the animals helps set the Rebellion in motion  Role in novel compares to Karl Marx, whose ideas set the Communist Revolution in motion

33 Napoleon  A “large, rather fierce-looking Berkshire boar”, not much of a talker  reputation for getting his own way  Has more power than ideas  His name…think of the other Napoleon (Bonaparte) who took over the French Revolution and turned it into a personal empire.  Compare to Stalin and other dictators

34 Snowball  Energetic, brilliant leader  Successfully organizes the defense of the Farm (like Trotsky with the Red Army)  Eloquent speaker with original ideas  Struggles for leadership with Napoleon after Major’s death

35 Minimus  A pig who composes songs and poems honoring Napoleon

36 The Horses: Uneducated Labor Class

37 Boxer  Believes in the Rebellion and in its leader  Two favorite sayings “Napoleon is always right” and “I will work harder.”  Huge size and strength and untiring labor saves the Farm again and again  Finally collapses from age and being overworked

38 Clover  Is a hard working mare  Is not very intelligent  Is loving and maternal towards other animals  Is the only animal whose thoughts are revealed

39 Mollie  Is a vain white mare  Enjoys pretty ribbons, sugar, and human attention  Is the only animal who leaves the farm willingly  May symbolize the White Russians (opposed the Red Army during the Civil War)

40 Other Animals

41 The Dogs  Vicious killers who protect the pigs and do their bidding  Represent Stalin’s secret police

42 The Sheep  Bleat whatever slogan they are taught by the pigs  Represent unthinking masses

43 Muriel  The goat that reads better than Clover  Often reads things (such as the Commandments) aloud to her

44 Benjamin  Donkey  Worst-tempered and oldest animal on the farm  A loner who keeps his opinions to himself  Skeptical of change  Never laughs  A hard worker who never shirks his duties but never volunteers  Is devoted to Boxer

45 The Pigeons  Spread the word of the Rebellion beyond the farm, much like the Communists spread the doctrine of the revolution beyond the boundaries of the Soviet Union

46 Moses  A raven  Was Mr. Jones’ pet  Flees with Jones but is later welcomed back by the pigs  Is given beer by the pigs event though he does not work  Soothes the animals with his story of Sugarcandy Mountain  Represents the Russian Orthodox Church and religious institutions in general)

47 The Humans: Capitalists who exploit the Weak

48 Farmer Jones  The drunk  Represents the Czar Nicholas II  Stands for any government that declines through its own corruption and mismanagement

49 Mr. Pilkington  Owns the neighborhood Foxwood Farm  Spends too much time fishing and hunting to run his farm  Represents England and Allies

50 Mr. Frederick  Owns the neighborhood Pinchfield Farm  Cheats Napoleon and leads the disastrous attack on the farm  Represents Germany

51 Mr. Whymper  Is a lawyer who serves as an intermediary between Napoleon and the outside world  Is sly and self serving

52 Background to Animal Farm  Published in 1945  In the previous 4 months: Pres. Roosevelt, Mussolini and Hitler had died; Churchill had been voted out of office.  Germany had surrendered, and the U.S. dropped atomic bombs over Japan.  Of the big three Allied leaders, only Stalin survived.

53 More Background  During WWII, Russia had been an ally of the U.S. and England.  After the Battle of Normandy (1944) Western nations had a feeling of solidarity with the Russian people. The Russian Army helped protect England from a German invasion.  As a result of the pro-Russian atmosphere, Orwell had a hard time finding a publisher for his novel.

54 Events  Battle of the Cowshed – anti- revolutionary invasion by the West  Battle of the Windmill – German invasion of Russia during WWII  Rebuilding attempts – Stalin’s 5 yr. Plan  Drunken party – Teheran Conference (Stalin sat down for the first time with the west)

55 Utopia  The perfect place.  The animals believe that they have created heaven on Earth  Soon that hope is destroyed and replace by something worse than the original  Animal Farm is an anti-utopian novel.  Look at the character Benjamin to understand Orwell’s views on utopias.

56  Great unrest among the people grew against the Czar.  One opposition group were the Bolsheviks led by Lenin and Trotsky LENIN Trotsky The coming of the revolution

57 “Bloody Sunday” *January 22, 1905 *Thousands of unarmed striking workers marched to the Czar’s palace to ask for reforms *Soldiers fired into the crowd and killed/wounded hundreds of marchers  A series of strikes and unrest followed

58 In 1914, Russia joined England and France against Germany in World War One.  They suffered tremendous losses  The Czar was fatally weakened at home Tsar Nicolas II

59 The Revolution of 1917  The Revolutionaries overthrew the Czar in March of 1917 and, after another revolution in October, the Bolsheviks-led by Lenin-took control of the Russian Government.  The Bolsheviks spent the next few years fighting a civil war  Lenin was the leader and Trotsky was his top military man

60 Revolutionary Results * Peasants forced to give everything to government * Government took control of Russian industry * Secret police force set up (KGB) * Russia withdrew from World War I

61  During this time another man was quietly gaining power behind the scenes. His name was Josef Stalin. Stalin in 1917

62  While Lenin and Trotsky concentrated on the War, Stalin began to take over the complex machinery of the Communist Party  Stalin knew that Trotsky had made many enemies and he used this knowledge to form alliances to serve him in the future.

63 Power Struggle between Stalin and Trotsky * Stalin won-he worked against Trotsky behind the scenes * Stalin took control and became a dictator

64 Comparing Stalin and Trotsky  TROTSKY  Charismatic-Great Communicator  Idealist-Believed in “True Marxism”  Conceited  Bored by Politics, Interested in “Philosophical”  STALIN  Quiet, “Brooding”  “Hands-On” Worker, Excellent at Organization  “Gruff”, “Lower- Class”  Great at Politics- Knew how to Manipulate System

65 Stalin’s Five Year Plan * Small peasant farms combined into collective farms controlled by government  Rapid expansion of heavy industry  Peasants who opposed communal farming were punished - sent to prison labor camps in Siberia

66 TRANSITION OF POWER  The Bolsheviks won the war in 1921, but Lenin had become fatally ill and it was soon apparent that he would die  Lenin had seen how powerful Stalin had become and put it in his will that Stalin was not to have a “leadership role” after his death.

67 Lenin Dies in 1923  Stalin and his allies have his will thrown out  Stalin uses his alliances to defeat Trotsky

68  Stalin ridiculed Trotsky’s policies including his ideas of “permanent revolution” and “collectivization” of agriculture  Stalin would later incorporate these ideas and claim credit for himself  Eventually Trotsky was forced into exile and in 1940 he was assassinated in Mexico at Stalin’s command.  Stalin assumed complete, totalitarian control and immediately began to “purge” his former allies.

69  Stalin would have thousands of his political “enemies” murdered, and his policies would kill millions of Russians  In 1938, Stalin entered into a Non- Aggression Pact with Adolf Hitler in order to stay out of World War Two.  In 1940, both countries invaded Poland. PACT SIGNING 1938

70 The USSR in World War Two  Hitler betrayed Stalin and invaded The USSR in 1941  Stalin’s purges on the military enabled the Nazis to almost conquer the USSR  Stalin joined the allies at the Tehran Conference of 1943 Churchill, Roosevelt and Stalin at Yalta in 1945


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