Satirical Traits in Animal Farm Key Terms for Animal Farm п‚— Terms п‚— Utopia: the perfect society п‚— п‚— Communism was supposed to be Utopia The United States was considered at one point to be an experiment in the perfect society, of course this didnвЂ™t include minorities, women, and people who did not have their own land. п‚— Distopia: the opposite of a perfect society (Dis is an ancient name for hell or Hades) п‚— Satire: art that ridicules people and society п‚— Allegory: a story that has more than one level п‚— Communism/Totalitarianism: Communism is rule by everyone while totalitarianism is rule by one so they are by definition opposites Satire п‚— Animal Farm is a satire in many ways п‚— It ridicules society and those who try to make society better through the implementation of ideas п‚— п‚— п‚— Old MajorвЂ™s ideas are too naГЇve and create suffering even though they are meant to help (irony) SnowballвЂ™s attempts to improve life are also brought to ruin, even though he is more clever than Napoleon and clearly a better leader Napoleon only succeeds at making life better for the pigs, at the expense of the other animals Satire п‚— Animal Farm is a satire because п‚— It exaggerates and ridicules Joseph StalinвЂ™s reign of power п‚— It portrays Stalin and his government as evil pigs (literally and figuratively) п‚— It shows that people can be animals in the way that they treat, exploit, and manipulate each other for their own gain Satire п‚— Animal Farm is a satire because п‚— It shows how a lack of literacy, reading, and education makes people easy targets for tyrants, dictators, and those who would use propaganda to manipulate the masses п‚— It shows how rhetoric, the art of persuasive writing and speaking, and propaganda are more important to maintaining power than goodness, competence, fairness, and other virtues Propaganda п‚— Examples of propaganda in the novel include: п‚— Old Major's speech. п‚— "Vote for Snowball and the three-day work week!" п‚— "Vote for Napoleon and the full manger!" п‚— Squealer is full of propaganda! He runs around explaining Napoleon's actions, and praising him. He can justify anything Napoleon does, and usually places all blame and hardships on Snowball. п‚— Boxer's maxims: вЂњNapoleon is always right!вЂќ and вЂњI must work harderвЂќ п‚— The hens' "duty." п‚— There are several examples of propaganda when the pigs are trying to convince the farm that everything is fine, when they are really running out of food, making announcements about productivity and such when the animals are starving Character п‚— Animalism is a satirical twist on Communism as practiced by the Soviets, for exampleвЂ¦ п‚— Napoleon is clearly a satirical portrayal of Joseph Stalin. п‚— Old Major is satirical portrayal of Karl Marx, whose work, the Communist Manifesto, was the basis for Vladimir LeninвЂ™s ideas. п‚— Snowball represents Leon Trotsky and those members of the Soviet Communist party that really wanted Communism to work for the people. There can be no mistaking why Snowball is chased off the farm. For Communism to work and all to be equal, there can be no evil and greed (hence, nobody like Napoleon or Squealer) п‚— Boxer represents the masses of Soviet workers and peasants who were betrayed by Joseph Stalin and whose dreams were turned into nightmares. Irony п‚— There are some important ironies in the story such asвЂ¦ п‚— The animals on Animal Farm trade one kind of tyrant for another, despite their best effort to get rid of tyrants forever. п‚— In working for the good of all, the animals have only succeeded in making things worse for themselves. п‚— In trying to prove that the animals can rule themselves, they have proven that they really cannot govern themselves, mostly because most of them are too stupid or slow or cowardly to stand up to those who are trying to exploit everyone else. Themes п‚— While the subject of the story is Animalism, and the underlying, allegorical subject is Communism in Russia, the theme of the story can be stated asвЂ¦. п‚— A perfect society is only as perfect as the members that make it up. п‚— No society will ever have real equality as long as some people take advantage of others. Come up with some themes of your own.