Gearge Orwell and Ayn Rand

George Rowel’s Animal Farm and Any Rand’s Anthem were both published during a period In world history where repressive totalitarian dictatorships were Increasingly placing a stranglehold on the social, Intellectual, and political rights of people all across the world, with the rise of fascism In Europe and the absolute despotism of Stalinist Russia. Rand and Orwell sought to both deflate utopian propaganda and give a wake up call to the masses with their books. Anthem and Animal Farm were literary munitions targeted at the foundations of their chosen adversaries, electives or fascism as a whole and the Soviet union under Stalin respectively.

In Animal Farm and Anthem, Orwell and Rand both expressed the view that the tyranny that they depicted is at least partly dependent upon the ignorance and unquestioning obedience of the populace.

Orwell began writing Animal Farm during the year of 1943, In a time of great popularity for the Soviet union in the West, as they were allies against the axis powers.

Because of this popularity, Orwell was not able to find a publisher until 1945 when relations between the Soviet Union and the West had cooled down. Orwell took pleasure In deflating the fantasy-based perception of Stalinist Russia at the height of Its popularity. He saw Stalinist Russia as a perversion of socialism. Animal Farm was the story of Manor Farm, a microcosm for the Soviet union, where the animals took control of the farm from the owner. A power struggle soon ensued between the two most influential pigs, Napoleon and Snowball, in which Napoleon emerged victorious.

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After Snowball was run off, Napoleon gradually took complete control of the farm through deceitful and murderous means. Additionally, Napoleon horded food and all luxury items for the there pigs and him. In the end, the pigs became indistinguishable from the repressive humans that ran the farm before. Any Rand was undoubtedly influenced In her writing and ideology by growing up In Russia. As she once said, “this was so mystical, depraved, rotten a country that… L felt that one has to get out and find the Cleveland world. (Rand, IV) Anthem was Rand’s appeal for people to honor their own individuality. Rand had no trouble getting Anthem published in England, as it was in 1938, but she could not get it published in America until 1946. Anthem as the story of Equality 7-2521, a man who was unhappy with his predetermined life as a street sweeper.

He lived in a society in the future where people had lost the word “I” and were only concerned with what had been dictated to them as the common good. Equality 7-2521 was not able to accept his role in society so he snuck off to a tunnel every night to study and experiment. When he discovered electricity and tried to share it with society, he was immediately scorned for not accepting his role. Equality 7-2521 then left the city and settled in the uncharted Forest, where he was able to live and think how he wished. He rediscovered the word “l” and gained an appreciation of his Individuality. Orwell gave many examples of the Ignorant obedience of the animals on Manor Farm. After the animals took over the farm, the pigs basically had a monopoly on literacy and the ideology of the farm as only Benjamin Ana Muriel could read words.

Muriel was Tally slow Ana clumsy when reading and Benjamin was very stoic and quiet as, “About the Rebellion and its results he would express no opinion. “After the flight of Snowball, Napoleon had free reign to institute any measures he wished and to change the old radiation and commandments as the great majority of the animals could not read or remember what the commandments had said. This was shown when the pigs changed the commandment prohibiting animals from sleeping in beds to prohibiting animals from sleeping in beds with sheets.

After Muriel had read the tampered commandment to Clover, she couldn’t remember sheets being mentioned previously, “but as it was there on the wall, it must have done so. ” Also, whenever someone might have protested the change in procedures, “at this moment the sheep set up their usual bleating of ‘Four legs good, two legs bad,’… ND put an end to the meeting. ” The sheep represented the great multitude of ignorant subjects that were willing to obey and believe whatever they were told. Boxer most clearly represented the enormous power of the populace, which remained in servitude because of its lack of intelligence and propensity to obey.

Boxer had some misgivings about changes made on the farm, such as the outlawing of Beasts of England, but he did not have the ability to confront or disprove the propaganda espoused by Squealer. Boxer inevitably reverted to his simple, moronic lagans or his, “two favorite maxims, ‘l will work harder’ and ‘Comrade Napoleon is always right’. Boxer had the physical power to crush Napoleon and his regime at any time, but he was not mentally astute enough to see their true intentions until he was on his way to the glue factory. Only old Benjamin was smart enough to see what was happening but, he had neither the motivation nor the support of any of the other animals to do anything about it. Anthem also espoused the view that the tyranny with which the people in the book lived with was facilitated y their obedience and lack of education.

The people in the book lived in a world where your Job in life was determined for you and, your education was primarily restricted to the requirements of your Job. Knowledge was determined and consolidated in the Home of the Scholars, where the Council of Scholars communicated obsolete and backwards beliefs such as, “the earth is flat and that the sun revolves around it. ” The major ideology taught in the City was, “By the grace of our brothers are we allowed our lives. We exist through, by and for our rooters who are the State. This ideology worked beautifully as disobeying or questioning the State was seen by most of the people as turning their backs to their brothers. People in the City could not even really learn from each other through dialogue, “For all must agree with all, and they cannot know if their thoughts are the thoughts of all, and so they fear to speak. “

Obedience had been institutionalized to such an extent in the City that their version of a prison, the Palace of Corrective Detention, was made possible by the propensity f the inmates to obey as, “The locks are old on the doors and there are no guards about. There is no reason to have guards, for men have never defied the Councils so far as to escape from whatever place they were ordered to be. ” Living in this environment, Equality 7-2521 kept trying to tell himself that he was wicked and that he should conform to society but it didn’t work as, “We say to ourselves that we are a wretch Ana a tractor. But we Tell no Turned upon our spill t…. Ana In our near strange are the ways of evil! -in our heart there is the first peace we have known in went years. Once Equality 7-2521 had completely rejected the ideology of the City and decided to obey his own interests and intelligence, he was easily able to escape the oppression and started a new life in the Uncharted Forest.

This expressed the fact that people were able to extract themselves from tyranny and oppression if they were willing to trust their own intelligence and abilities rather than to blindly obey. Although I enjoyed reading both books, I would have to say that I enjoyed Animal Farm more than Anthem. I really responded to the manner in which Orwell critiqued the Soviet Union through the use of farm animals. I was especially impressed by his astuteness, with his choices of the pig to represent Stalin and his cohorts and of the sheep to represent the stupid, unquestioning public. Orwell did a masterful Job in developing his characters and in turn getting his readers to care about them and their trials and tribulations. Rand was eventually able to build an emotional connection between Equality 7-2521 and myself. But this took awhile as the beginning of the book was fairly slow and laborious.

One area where Anthem as superior to Animal Farm was in the development of a love story. The relationship between Equality 7-2521 and Liberty 5-3000 proved compelling while there was really nothing that passes for a love story in Animal Farm. Finally, both Orwell and Rand wrote Animal Farm and Anthem to criticize the forces of oppression and tyranny in the world, even though they would not have necessarily agreed on what those forces were. Rand was vehemently opposed to all forms of collectivism as she saw them as a type of slavery. Rand promoted the unrestrained development of individuality.

Orwell supported democratic socialism and believed in respecting the common good. Orwell saw Stalinist Russia as a perversion of true socialism. He believed that Stalin did not heed the common good as Stalin would resort to any measure to maintain his power and eventually became Just like the oppressive tsars that ruled Russia before the Revolution. Even though Orwell and Rand disagreed on the sources of tyranny in their books, they both expressed the notion that a lack of education or intelligence and the proclivity of humans to obey authority buttress the ability of tyranny to live on.

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Gearge Orwell and Ayn Rand
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