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Animal Farm by George Orwell Allegory ~ Satire ~ Fable

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Animal Farm
by George Orwell
Allegory ~ Fable
“All animals are equal, but some are more equal than others.”
George Orwell
British Author and Journalist
• Born in India
• Novelist and Political Commentator
• Orwell said, “Every line of serious work that I have written since 1936
has been … against totalitarianism.”
• Totalitarianism is a form of government where the state wants to
control all aspects of life.
• Known for two novels: Animal Farm and Nineteen Eighty Four ~ Both
critical of Totalitarianism
Why a Book about Animals?
• In explaining how he came to write Animal Farm,
Orwell says he once saw a little boy whipping a horse
and later he wrote,
“It struck me that if only such animals became aware of their strength we
should have no power over them, and that men exploit animals in much the
same way as the rich exploit the worker.”
Animal Farm is like a Fable
Fables are usually:
• Short
• Give a clear message or moral
• Use animals that are symbolic of human traits
– A fox might be clever
– A snake might be sly
(also called an extended metaphor)
• Most fables have two levels of meaning: the
animal story and then a message for the
• The way the animals interact and the way the
plot unfolds says something about the nature
of people.
• Fiction that has multiple levels of meaning are
an allegory.
• Animal Farm in an allegory.
Animal Farm as an Allegory
• Animal Farm is a nice story about animals. We
will find it interesting.
• HOWEVER~ each of the animals is a symbol
for something. Each animal is symbolic, and
they come together to represent the Soviet
Russian Revolution.
• The story is also metaphorically more broad,
and it may be symbolic of tyranny (an absolute
ruler who is VERY mean)
Who is Who in Animal Farm
• Each animal is symbolic of a figure in the
Russian Revolution.
• The following website outlines all of the
characters and who they represent
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