Animal Farm is based on the Russian Revolution in the early Nineteenth Century. George Orwell wanted to get across to people what around the world that Russia was hiding the truth from the rest of the world and he wanted to reveal the truth! Modest Proposal by Jonathan Swift is based on the late 18th Century, when English landlords ruled Ireland. They wanted an extortionate amount of Money from the poor people of Ireland who lived on the their land. Jonathan Swift wants to change all this by making up a proposal which will make everyone think about what they were doing!
In this Essay I will be talking about the purpose of Satire and the Language the authors use to get their views across.
George Orwell produced the story of Animal Farm to tell the world what was really happening in Russia after the Revolution, but instead of using the real people who were involved, in this book he uses animals and humans to get his point across.
In this story you can work out who the animals are supposed to represent by the similarities with the people in Russia.
Old Major ‘Prize White Boar (ancient pig)’ who dies just before the rebellion (revolution), is considered, like ‘Starx’ a powerful helper who helped Lenin (a Russian leader who died before the Russian Revolution). Lenin the Russian Communist and Bolsheviks seized power from Tsar and set up a Dictatorship of the Proletariat. It represented a new and free world for the ordinary people just as the animals had expelled Mr.
Jones in Animal Farm. Capitalism was replaced with Socialism. Though really in Russia the Bolshevik party became dictators just as in Animal Farm the pigs ruled the animals.
Old Major’s speech is similar to Lenin’s, as they both know the future and what to expect of it e. g. Old Major and his speech of the Rebellion in the future ‘Why, work night and day, body and soul, for the overthrow of the Human race! This is my message to you comrades: Rebellion. ‘ He also tells the Animal how to make the Rebellion work. This shows that Old Major, like Lenin wanted freedom for his land and people, but knew that there would have to be a Rebellion for this to take place! After the death of Lenin there was a battle to gain the power of the Communist Russia between two men, Stalin and Trotsky.
So in Animal Farm there is a power struggle between two pigs Napoleon and Snowball (the two leading pigs). Orwell chose their names with significant purpose, which also tells about the allegorical role they have in the novel. Napoleon represents the Russian Tyrant Stalin, who comes to dominate the novel. Orwell gave Napoleon his name from the French Emperor, who started a revolution but ended an autocrat. Napoleon became a tyrant like Stalin. The Russian Leader Stalin betrayed his country by setting up a Communist Revolution and then changing it to a place of Liberty and Justice, The tyranny of a one-man state.
Snowball is Orwell’s representation of Trotsky, Stalin’s enemy. Snowball’s name is of symbolic meaning as snow melts away and is no more. Just as Snowball is eventually driven off the farm by Napoleon and never seen again. Napoleon and Snowball played against each other claiming that each other had ‘All equal Rights’. Really they were each seeking power for themselves. Stalin promised to strengthen the Soviet economy, strengthen Communism and to strengthen the Soviet Forces. He said this to his people that he was stronger than his enemy Trotsky!
Moses was Mr. Jone’s tame raven, and the pig’s third enemy. He represents the Russian Orthodox Church. He was constantly talking about a land called ‘Sugarcandy Mountain’ a place of freedom and joy that animals will go to after their death. Orwell was suggesting that the Russian church tried to persuade people that after their hard working lives they would go to heaven. The Bolsheviks were atheists and saw such talks as dangerous. Stalin and Trotsky also disagreed. Orwell used the arguments between the pigs to represent this.
Snowball believed in Industrial progress (the Windmill idea) and the conversion of the other Farms to ‘Animalism’ would help them alot in the future stages. We are told that Snowball is a more lively pig than Napoleon. He is also a faster talker and more inventive. We can see this in the early chapters where he throws himself into the Animal’s Revolt with great energy and imagination. Orwell uses the word ‘Animalism’ instead of Communism. Snowball seems to be the more interesting of the two leading pigs. It is him who criticises Mollie for her weakness and organises the destruction of Farmer Jones, Farm equipment.
The next morning the excited animals run all over the place with their new found Freedom and when they return to the farm house it is only Snowball and Napoleon who are not afraid to enter. The pigs then show themselves to be born leaders and barge their way in. Like Stalin, Napoleon had argued to increase food production and rearming the farm could help them to endure in an attack, which comes later on in the book. He tried to persuade the animals that time wasted on the windmill would mean they would starve to death. Also Snowball and Napoleon disagreed over the defence of the farm after the Battle of the Cowshed.
Napoleon said the animals should procure firearms and train themselves to use them. Just like Stalin. But not all Soviets wanted this, so in Chapter 4 when every thing is calm and the Animals where enjoying the liberty of their new country. The Humans attack the Farm hoping for the opportunity to rule once again. This was a comparison to the ‘White Russians’ in the Soviet when the Politicians fought against each other, but in the book this event is titled ‘The Battle of the Cowshed’. This forces a Counterpoise against the Bolsheviks. In Russia the Bolsheviks won and Stalin forced Trotsky into the exile forever.
In Animals farm, the comparison is when Snowball is forced to leave the farm as Napoleon starts a rumour about him. So Napoleon too rules on his own as Stalin had done. The Dictatorship of the proletariat was far from happening. Th e rule that ‘all Animals are equal’ was changing with the dictatorship of Napoleon, and Russia was falling into the hands of Stalin. A terror reign began in Animal Farm over Napoleon’s three main rules; again this is Orwells comparison to the tree main aspects of Stalin’s rule. In Russia the million people are killed due to their conspiracies over Stalin and were alleged to be working with Trotsky.
Secondly, Napoleon’s negotiations with Mr. Frederick and Mr Pilkington to trade with the humans. Stalin was signing a Nonagreesion pact with Hitler; Napoleon sold a pile of wood to Mr. Frederick and was paid with counterfeit money. This represents the phoney non-aggression pact signed between Stalin and Hitler. Also Germany’s invasion of Russia caused vast destruction. The comparison was Frederick’s invasion and destruction of the windmill that the animals had built. Mr Pilkington on the other hand is an old fashioned farmer and represents Britain and directly Winston Churchill.
Pilkington refuses to help Napoleon just as Churchill had refused to help Stalin. Then Mr. Frederick invades the Farm. He is very cruel to the animals and represents Hitler; he tortures the animals just as Hitler treated the Jews. Although Mr. Frederick is expelled from the Farm and Hitler too was expelled at the Battle of Stalingrad when he invaded Eastern Europe. The building of the Windmill is the Final Third rule, which was called ‘The Five-year plan’ by Animal Farm and it was when Russia went through tremendous Labour and enormous suffering just as they did in Animal Farm.
As Stalin became increasingly obsessed with his power, so did Napoleon. Napoleon gave himself medals, various titles and when he appears around the farm, he has dogs and other pigs to help him. Even worse as Napoleon and Stalin rise in power they both break one of the ‘Seven Commandments of Animalism’ and ‘Communist rules’, which they had created. In Stalin’s rise to power he overturns all his original aim, he does this by lying to the world using Propaganda and he shows the grip that he had on the Russian people. In Animal Farm ‘Squealer’ represents a propaganda agent.
When Napoleon starts breaking the Seven Commandments, it is Squealer that manages to keep the opposition silence with his restless, agile and brilliant talking that he can persuade anyone. He shows his devious side and unstable character. He also changes the Seven commandments as Napoleon breaks them, to make sure that his master is always right. When he is confronted by the other animals asked about the changes he tells them they must be mistaken, He uses lies, phoney arguments, threats surrounding himself by the dogs to cause fear. Indeed anything that justifies his master actions.
He is indifferent to the truth. Orwell uses Squealer’s propaganda thoughout ‘Animal Farm’ to shows the effects of lies and propaganda on the lives of Ordinary Working People. Squealer names imply his corrupt nature. The comparison is shown at the end in the last Chapter when Napoleon is shown conferring with the Humans. The arguments between the Humans and Napoleon show the start of the cold war. George Orwell shows at the end of his book that Stalin betrayed the original principles of communism. As did the hatred between Russia and the West. Animal Farm is a true dipictionial but put into a Fairy Tale Story.
The reason that George Orwell used Satire to make his point was because he couldn’t speak out publicly against communist Russia. At the time Russia was a powerful country and no one could criticise the communist system. He does this by using his own opinion but with factual evidence to back his claims. He also uses very strong emotive language and passionate tone to try to persuade you. Mr Jones represents the force of corrupt capitalism. He starts drinking more and neglecting the farm. He gets so drunk he does not return to feed the animals.
The starving animals kick down the doors and help themselves to the food. Just as the Russian people had done in 1917, when they were forced with starvation. They rise up against the Tsar. What happened in Communist Russia was about to happen on a smaller scale in Animal Farm. The pigs had to work considerably to make the animals aware of the true nature of the revolution, just as the Bolshevik’s in the Russia. The pigs failed to persuade Mollie that the Rebellion would be to her advantage. As the Bolsheviks had also failed to convert the White Russians.
Mollie is the first animal to side with humans; she’s a sympathetic to Capitalists. When the animals invaded the farmhouse they were amazed of the luxury of Mr and Mrs Jones once used to live in. In just the same way as the Bolsheviks were amazed of the wealth they saw when the stormed the Russian Tsar Palace. The pigs were more successful in converting the Animals to Major’s reviews. Boxer and Clover became their devoted followers. Boxer represents the ordinary working man. He is the most cruelly betrayed of all the animals in Animal Farm. He was hard working and utterly loyal.
His strength was used in the fields and rebuilding the windmill. In the first chapter he is described as a gentle and stupid creature, which makes us even more angry when he is betrayed by his master. He never learns to read, write or think for himself. He had two mottoes, one was “Napoleon is always right” and the second is “I must work harder! ” and he is the victim of his own blind loyalty. He was the hardest working animal on the farm and the pigs promised him that he would have lavish retirement benefits. But when he works too a hard and finally collapses in chapter 9.
Napoleon and Squealer pretend to send him to a nearby Animal Hospital, but infact he is being sold to the knackers yard and the cash is spent on the pig’s Whisky. This is the most tragic scene in the whole book. Boxers wife, ‘Clover’. Who was also strong, patient and utterly loyal too. She is more intelligent than Boxer and it is her that leads the Animals to the Farm house in Chapter 10, where they see the utter betrayal of Napoleon who is seen playing cards with the humans. Modest Proposal by Jonathan Swift is about the exploration of the children of Ireland.
It was written to the Politicians of England and Ireland to inform them, that the underprivileged people of Ireland. Who were living on opulent people’s property could hardly afford to pay the outrageous rental payments. The weathly used their money to buy unwanted furniture and garments just to be fashionable. Swifts, idea was to kill the one year olds for food and sell it to the rich or even use the carcass or skin to make gloves or boot for ‘Ladies’ and ‘Gentlemen. Even the killing of young Lads and Maidens for a replacement to deer and venison. It makes it sound like the second idea seems only cruel.
This would help the poor people living in Ireland. He tries to use age, diseased or saying that these people are mained as a reason. He is only sacrificing these people for the nation. By killing the babies he believes that it would decrease the population and homeless making the wealthy even wealthier. Take away all their money problems they have when asking for their rent from their tenants. The poor could gain money by producing babies and selling them to the shopkeepers. Then the shopkeepers could sell these babies for an enormous amount of money to the wealthy. In this process he claims that it benefits the poor.
They can pay their rent and buy food. This Story is a ridiculous his idea is, but also he uses it to inform the people of Ireland that they had to do something about how the Government was running the country and how they needed to improve the living conditions. “Many Families had half the land of what the English had and had to pay more rent! ” This was aimed at the Government and the wealthy. This was also aimed at Shopkeepers and absentee Landlords. His ideas and technique of making people appear foolish, vein and idle etc, and to highlight the plight of the indigenous was to inform people how ridiculous they had been.
He is claiming that in England the undeveloped people who were living on the rich people’s property paid less for their rental payments and have larger property. So should Ireland, as it too also help benefit the poor in many ways. The opening sentences are very descriptive bad gives the reader a vivid depiction of how bad the situation was. He also uses the Pattern of Three, three times in the first paragraph in the sentences to build up tension. ‘The streets, the roads and the cabin doors’ crowded with beggars of the female sex’.
Again he says “three, four, or six children all in rags’ and who as they grow up either turn thieves for want of work, or leave their dear native country to fight for the Pretender in Spain, or sell themselves to the Barbados. ” He cleverly begins a lot of his paragraphs with persuasive sentences to force his own opinions on the reader ‘I think it is agreed’, ‘But my intention’, ‘As to my own part’, ‘There is likewise another great advantage in my scheme’ etc… He uses very emotive words in the opening paragraphs such as ‘crowded, forced, deplorable, scraps, begging, murdering, sacrificing, savage’.
The reader is left thinking that something must be done to help these people. The Satire in this story is used to inform you (the outside world) that even though his ideas are totally ridiculous, the Irish and the British Government have to do something about the ‘Living Conditions of Ireland! ‘ I feel that he couldn’t speak out loud because no one would even consider (that is the wealthy) or believe what he is trying to say is the ‘Truth’. So by writing such an outrageous story he would be able to gain everyone’s attention.
They could think that ‘Yes’ he is right and we, as a nation should do something to improve this. With every idea he has, he tries to back it up using rich people’, merchants and eminent ‘French physicians’, ‘a very knowing American’. Trying to make it sound acceptable. In his last paragraph he introduces questions aimed at his ‘audience’ to get them to think how they are going to solve the problem of food and population and tries to place guilt on the Landlords by suggesting that the poor would think his ideas better than to suffer as they do under the present situation.
Even though they are so horrific. Both Authors have researched their claims to make an intellectual story! Both use reference to animals. Orwells is to hide the true people’s identities. Swift’s refers to the children as ‘roasting pigs’. Swift keeps referring to women as ‘breeders’. A word used with animals. Calls them ‘mares in foal’,’ cows in calf’,’ sows ready to farrow’. To get their factual evidence across they both have to find their audience e. g. Orwell’s audience is the everyday people in the world and their Governments.
While, Swift’s audience is the Government, Landlord’s and Shopkeeper’s of Ireland. They both persuade you by using their own opinion and emotive language in their stories. Swift’s styles of language was more passionate as he used his opinions and choice of emotive words to arouse emotion. Orwell’s style of language is more factual than emotional. Orwell uses facts to inform you and Swift uses facts to persuade you. In my opinion Swift’s method of persuasion was too extreme but perhaps he thought he needed to do this so that he would be taken notice of.
While, Orwell’s method was very clever and informative to expose the truth of what was happening in Russia. We accept everything Orwell says as the truth. It also makes the reader look at their own political ideas and what we are doing to the world we live in. Swift’s last paragraph is trying to say he is objective and having nothing to gain from it: ‘I profess, in the sincerity of my heart, that I have not the least personal interest in endeavouring, in to promote this nessary work,’
Orwell seems to be suggesting that all revolutions begin in Idealism and in tyranny. But he thought that all Revolutionaries were swindles and their dreams off freedom soon changed into nightmares. Once all the people were supposed to be equal some became more equal than others did. Nothing really changes after revolutions and everything had been for nothing. In Animal Farm Majors dreams were just like that in which Stalin’s Russia had become. While Swift is suggesting that Ireland should have a revolution for the better in some sort of way.