George Orwell is one of the most famous authors of dystopian fiction. He skillfully incorporates many literary devices, symbols and themes in a unique blend that is all his own; this demonstrates his style. As a satirist he attempts to convey his feelings about many issues using his unique style. One can find a reoccurring style in two of his most famous books: Animal Farm and 1984. Orwell’s style is one that is used frequently throughout his literature.
Authors often utilize these types of literary devices in their writing to ridicule or satire the society around them, or to provide a warning against what could potentially happen to the world. In each of these two novels he attempts to accomplish a certain goal. In 1984 Orwell warns against leaders who are hungry for power. These people would not hesitate to deprive individuals of everyday freedom if it meant prolonging their control, he also warns against excessive censorship. Similarly, George Orwell uses Animal Farm to warn against the deceitfulness that accompanies communism, fascism, socialism and Marxism.Order now
George Orwell’s techniques are plentiful and he uses his genius to express his message. Political purpose is his main reason and theme that reoccurs within both Animal Farm and 1984. Although his intent is to influence people, he disguises his thoughts and opinions in his incredible stories. He uses Animal Farm as a cute little story in which there is a much deeper meaning and he uses Winston Smith as a representative of himself and his ideology. Understanding the ideology behind such symbolic works are the first steps to grasping the style of George Orwell’s work and thus symbolism becomes his greatest asset in his quest to inform the world.
George Orwell’s use of political purpose, although a very broad term, plays a huge role in both Animal Farm as well as 1984. Orwell”s political views, especially his distrust of mass media, are characterized through Winston Smith in 1984. Spending time working for the British Broadcasting Company BBC, Orwell was exposed to a lot of stretched truths and negative propaganda. This led to a huge distrust for those in power aa well as the distrust in the information distributed to and received by the general public from them. Orwell discusses how history is changed by whoever is in power.
Orwell hated totalitarianism, mainly because of its lies, and so he saw it as the enemy. If any person or powerful group finds a fact damaging or conflicting with their goal, that person can easily change it by the way in which it is reported. “A certain degree of truthfulness was possible so long as it was admitted that a fact may be true even if you don”t like it. ” “Revising history”. He is supporting his ideas with an example familiar to most. Orwell”s own distrust is apparent in his creation of the Ministry of Truth.
It is here where Winston, the main character, is employed forming propaganda and changing past facts to comply with whatever lies Big Brother, the government, is telling the people. Orwell”s political opinions are voiced in Winston”s role in the government. Orwell”s characteristic thoughts, opinions and political views are also expressed through Winston Smith’s own views and writings, serving as an almost direct representation. Although Orwell published his opinions in books and essays and Winston wrote in a diary, they both believed strongly in their opinions and views.
Orwell was against totalitarianism and used Winston to reflect that stance when he wrote against INGSOC English Socialism. INGSOC is the policy by which the government of Oceania, where Winston lived, was run. Although both Winston and Orwell recognize their objective is hopeless, they still cling to the hope that maybe through their words and descriptions, they might, even for a moment alter another”s thinking. Orwell writes: “Every line of serious work that I have written since 1936 has been written directly or indirectly against totalitarianism and for democratic socialism, as I understand it””Why I write”.
Orwell wanted to expose the truth. Winston and Orwell both seem to be understood. Winston writes in his diary, “Until they become conscious they will never rebel, and until after they have rebelled they cannot become conscious” 1984 61. Orwell’s motive was not to create some wonderful, entertaining work, instead, he seeks to reveal lies and make his views known by exposing them to the public Why I write. In his essay entitled “Why I Write” Orwell explains one of his main reasons for writing with political purpose.
He has a desire to alter people’s political opinions and to change the world. Orwell needed to have a purpose in life, as did Winston. A boring, redundant lifestyle was not enough for Winston; he felt the need to make a difference. He became obsessed with the government, politics and his rebellion against them. Orwell”s opinions, and goal to expose the truth to the public was voiced constantly through Winston Smith”s character. Another device that Orwell uses is historical impulse, or a desire to see things as they are, to find out true facts and store them up for the use of posterity. … In a peaceful age I might have written ornate or merely descriptive books, and might have remained almost unaware of my political loyalties. As it is I have been forced into becoming a sort of pamphleteerâ€¦ Then came Hitler, the Spanish Civil War, etc. By the end of 1935 I had still failed to reach a firm decision. The Spanish war and other events in 1936-37 turned the scale and thereafter I knew where I stood. Every line of serious work that I have written since 1936 has been written, directly or indirectly, against totalitarianism and for democratic socialism, as I understand it.
It seems to me nonsense, in a period like our own, to think that one can avoid writing of such subjects. Everyone writes of them in one guise or another. It is simply a question of which side one takes and what approach one follows. And the more one is conscious of one”s political bias, the more chance one has of acting politically without sacrificing one”s aesthetic and intellectual integrity. “”Why I write” As Orwell himself stated in his essay Why I Write, the influence of history and the present has an inevitable influence on a writer of any time.
Orwell is placing Winston Smith in the situation of instances and events that he has personally witnessed. These obvious institutions of his comparisons throughout these works are truly a reflection of the current events occurring at some point in his life and his approval or disapproval concurrent with them. Animal Farm begins by introducing Mr. Jones, the master of the farm, who is too drunk to shut the portal in the henhouse. The owner of Manor Farm also forgets to milk the cows, a physically serious mistake, and is irresponsible toward the rest of his animals. One of the cows breaks into the store shed and Mr.
Jones and his helpers try to fight off the hungry animals. “A minute later all five of them were in full flight down the cart track that led to the main road, with the animals pursuing them in triumph. ” Then, “almost before they knew what was happening, the Rebellion had been successfully carried through – Jones was overthrown, and the Manor Farm was theirs. “Animal Farm 13 Yet with the revolution successful, there are greater dangers than the threat of invasion and counter-revolution. The ultimate corruption of the revolution is foreshadowed. “They raced back to the farm building to wipe out the last traces of Jones” hated reign… he reins, the halters, the degrading nosebags, were thrown onto the rubbish fire which was burning in the yard. So were the whips. ” Animal Farm 21 Although it resembles the Russian Revolution and the rise of Stalin, it is more meaningfully a representation of all political revolutions, where the revolutionary ideas of justice, equality, and alliance shatter in the event. Orwell paints a harsh picture of the political 20th century, a time he believed marked the end of human freedom. To avoid such a government, the pigs establish a set a regulations by which all were to abide by. The Seven Commandments:
Whatever goes upon two legs is an enemy. Whatever goes upon four legs, or has wings, is a friend. No animal shall wear clothes. No animal shall sleep in a bed. No animal shall drink alcohol. No animal shall kill any other animal. All animals are equal. The struggle for supremacy between Leon Trotsky and Stalin emerges in the rivalry between the pigs Snowball and Napoleon. In both the historical and fictional cases, the idealistic but politically less powerful figure Trotsky and Snowball is expelled from the revolutionary state by the malicious and violent beholder of power Stalin and Napoleon.
The removal and trials with which Stalin eliminated his enemies and secured his political state, find expression in Animal Farm as the false confessions and executions of animals whom Napoleon distrusts following the collapse of the windmill. Stalin’s tyrannical rule and eventual neglect of the founding principles of the Russian Revolution are represented by the pigs’ turn to violent government and the adoption of human traits and behaviors, the trappings of their original oppressors. Although Orwell believed strongly in socialist ideas, he felt that the Soviet Union realized these ideas in a terribly perverse form.
His novella creates its most powerful ironies in the moments in which Orwell depicts the corruption of Animalist ideas by those in power. Animal Farm serves not so much to condemn dictatorship or tyranny as to chastise the horrifying hypocrisy of tyrannies that base themselves on, and owe their initial power to, ideologies of liberation and equality. The gradual disintegration and perversion of the Seven Commandments illustrates this hypocrisy with vivid force, as do Squealer’s elaborate philosophical reason for the pigs’ deliberately unprincipled actions.
Thus, the novella critiques the violence of the Stalinist regime against the human beings it ruled, and also points to Soviet communism’s violence against human logic, language, and ideas. Animal Farm is the story of a revolution gone wrong. Animalism, Communism, and Fascism are all references that are used by the pigs as a means of satisfying their gluttony and desire for power. So long as the animals cannot remember the past, because it is being continually altered, they will have no control over the present and hence over the future.
This story illustrates the crucial disgust of the human condition. There are always pigs in every society, and they will always desire power. It is the “human nature” of the animals that defeats them. Understanding the ideology behind such symbolic works are the first steps to grasping the style of George Orwell’s work in Animal Farm and 1984. As discussed earlier, Orwell’s main goal is to affect one in their opinions with his usage of political purpose. The untrained reader frequently misunderstands his intentions, they mistake it as an entertaining story solely existing for the sake of literature.
These mistakes are common because of the pleasant nature of the book as a fictional story. If one were to read these novels and not perceive the opinions and information that George Orwell wishes to portray, it would simply be a waste of effort on his part. He uses several different literary devices that, in compilation, provide a framework for his writing style. Symbolism is a major device used in both 1984 as well as Animal Farm. Throughout London, Winston sees posters showing a man gazing down over the words “BIG BROTHER IS WATCHING YOU” 1984 2 everywhere he goes.
Big Brother is the representative of the Party. The citizens are told that he is the leader of the nation and the head of the Party. Winston can never determine whether or not he actually exists. The face of Big Brother symbolizes the Party in its public expression and is a reassurance to most people, but he is also an open threat one cannot escape his gaze. Big Brother also symbolizes the ambiguity with which the higher ranks of the Party present; it is impossible to know who really rules Oceania, what life is like for the rulers, or why they act as they do.
Winston thinks he remembers that Big Brother emerged around 1960, but the Party’s official records date Big Brother’s existence back to 1930, before Winston was even born. By deliberately weakening people’s memories and flooding their minds with propaganda, the Party is able to replace individuals’ memories with its own version of the truth. It becomes nearly impossible for people to question the Party’s power in the present when they accept what the Party tells them about the pastâ€”that the Party arose to protect them from bloated, oppressive capitalists, and that the world was far uglier and harsher before the Party came to power.
Winston vaguely understands this principle. He struggles to recover his own memories and formulate a larger picture of what has happened to the world. Winston buys a paperweight in an antique store in the prole district that comes to symbolize his attempt to reconnect with the past. Symbolically, when the Thought Police arrest Winston at last, the paperweight shatters on the floor. The old picture of St. Clement’s Church in the room that Winston rents above Mr. Charrington’s shop is another representation of the lost past.
Winston associates a song with the picture that ends with the words “Here comes the chopper to chop off your head! “1984 5 This is an important act of foreshadowing, the telescreen hidden behind the picture that ultimately leads the Thought Police to Winston, this certainly symbolizes the Party’s corrupt control of all history. Throughout the novel Winston imagines meeting O’Brien, an inner party member, in “the place where there is no darkness. “1984 55 The words first come to him in a dream, and he ponders them for the rest of the novel.
Eventually, Winston does meet O’Brien in the place where there is no darkness, instead of being the paradise Winston imagined, it is merely a prison cell in which the light is never turned off. The idea of “the place where there is no darkness”1984 36 symbolizes Winston’s approach to the future, possibly because of his intense fatalism he believes that his fate is inevitable, he foolishly allows himself to trust O’Brien, even though inwardly he senses that O’Brien might be a Party operative. The ubiquitous telescreens are the book’s most visible symbol of the Party’s constant monitoring of its people.
In their dual capability to blast constant propaganda in the face citizens and observe them as well, the telescreens also symbolize how totalitarian government abuses technology for its own benefit instead of utilizing its knowledge to improve civilization. The red-armed prole woman that Winston hears singing through the window represents Winston’s one legitimate hope for the long-term future; he hope in the possibility that the proles will eventually come to recognize their troubles and rebel against the Party. Winston sees the prole woman as a prime example of reproductive fertility.
He often imagines her giving birth to the future generations that will finally challenge the Party’s authority. Symbolism is also very prevalent throughout George Orwell’s other novel, Animal Farm. The Animal Farm, also referred to as Manor Farm, symbolizes Russia and the Soviet Union under Communist Party rule. In a general sense, Animal Farm stands for any human society, whether it is capitalist, socialist, fascist, or communist. It possesses the internal structure of a nation, with a government the pigs, a police force or army the dogs, a working class the other animals, and rituals and holidays.
Its location, among a several of hostile neighboring farms, supports its symbolism as a political body with diplomatic concerns. The barn at Animal Farm, on whose outside walls the pigs paint the Seven Commandments and, later, their revisions, represents the collective memory of a modern nation. The many scenes in which the ruling-class pigs alter the principles of Animalism and in which the working-class animals puzzle over but accept these changes represent the way an institution in power can revise a community’s concept of history to bolster its control.
If the working class believes history to lie on the side of their oppressors, they are less likely to question oppressive practices. Also, the oppressors, by revising their nation’s conception of its origins and development, gain control of the nation’s very identity, and the oppressed soon come to depend upon the authorities for their communal sense of self. The great windmill symbolizes the pigs’ manipulation of the other animals for their own gain.
Despite the priority in the necessity for food and warmth, the pigs exploit Boxer and the other common animals by making them take on backbreaking labor to build the windmill, which will ultimately earn the pigs more money and therefore increase their power. The pigs’ declaration that Snowball is responsible for the windmill’s first collapse represents psychological manipulation, because it prevents the common animals from doubting the pigs’ abilities and unites them against a theoretical enemy. The ultimate conversion of the windmill to commercial use is one more sign of the pigs’ betrayal of their fellow animals.
From a symbolic point of view, the windmill represents the enormous modernization projects undertaken in Soviet Russia after the Russian Revolution. The main purpose of satire is to attack, assault, harass, intensely criticize, and otherwise demean the specific subject. This plays a huge role in the technique that George Orwell uses in his novels. Satire becomes intertwined with irony in his attempt to portray his disapproval of the fascist and communist nations. This is brilliantly carried out in the classic piece of satire, Animal Farm.
The main targets at the focus of this political satire are the society that was created in Russia after the Bolshevik Revolution of 1917, and the leaders involved in it. George Orwell successfully denounces these targets through satirical techniques such as irony, fable, and allegory. The immediate object of attack in Orwell”s political satire is the society that was created in Russia after the Bolshevik Revolution of 1917. The events portrayed in Animal Farm obviously and continuously refer to events in another story, the history of the Russian Revolution.
In other words, Animal Farm is not only a charming fable and a bitter political satire; it is also an allegory. The main subject of this allegory is Stalin, represented by Napoleon the pig. He represents the human weakness of any revolution. Orwell believed that although socialism is a ideal, it could never be successfully adopted due to uncontrollable sins of human nature. For example, although Napoleon seems at first to be a good leader, he is eventually overcome by greed and soon becomes power-hungry.
Of course Stalin also did this in Russia by leaving the original equality of socialism behind, this gave him all the power and luxurious living while the common pheasant suffered. Orwell explains: “Somehow it seemed as though the farm had grown richer without making the animals themselves any richer – except of course for the pigs and the dogs. “Animal Farm 68 The constant topic of satire is to point out the frailties of the human condition, and this is one of Orwell’s central themes in Animal Farm. This shows that it is not necessarily the system that is corrupt or faulty, but the individuals in power.
Old Major, with all his good intentions, took no note of the crucial fact that even though his ideas were legitimate and moral, corrupt individuals found ways and opportunities to take advantage those ideas to suit their own selfish desires. So, Orwell successfully points out the weakness of his satirical targets by using the technique of allegory. Another main satirical technique used to condemn these targets is the use of fable, or storytelling. A fable is a story, usually having a moral in which beasts talk and act like men and women. Orwell’s characters are both animal and human.
The pigs, for example eat mash, real pig food, but with milk in it that they have grabbed and persuaded the other animals to let them keep a human action. The dogs growl and bite the way real dogs do, but to support Napoleon”s drive for political power. Orwell never forgets the delicate balances between how real animals actually behave and what human qualities his animals are supposed to represent. Hypothetically speaking, if Orwell hadn’t used the technique of storytelling, and had deliberately painted an objective picture of the evils he describes, the real picture would probably be very depressing and extremely boring.
As an alternative, he offers us a parody of the situation. The primary reason for this abstraction was to move readers from the concrete reality. So even as he entertains one through a cute setting, he provides readers with a serious image of his intended targets. It is written for entertainment, but contains harsh and important comments on the Russian revolution and it’s leaders, offering a false setting with real people. Part of the story’s humor lies in the straightforwardness with which the characters are drawn. Each animal character is a type, with one human trait, or two at most.
He usually associates the traits with a particular kind of animal. Using animals as types is also Orwell”s way of keeping his hatred and anger against exploiters under control. He keeps his sense of humor by reporting calmly “In future, all questions relating to the working of the farm would be settled by a special committee of pigs. “Animal Farm 45 The story of Animal Farm is told in a plain, basic style. The sentences are often very concise and sparse “Old Major cleared his throat and began to sing. It was a bitter winter. Animal Farm 78 The story follows a single line of action, calmly told, with no digressions. “Orwell”s style,” said one critic, “has relentless simplicity and pathetic tenacity of the animals themselves. ” There is a kind of tension in Animal Farm between the sad story the author has to tell and the lucid, almost light way he tells it. This is very ironic, because the content of the story is very different from the style. One expects the story to be like every other fable you’ve read, complete with cute characters, predictable plotline, and happy ending.
But because of the nature of the content in Animal farm, the content is completely incongruent to the style. Another irony that occurs in Animal Farm is when pig becomes man. In that Old Major at the beginning assumes that man is the only enemy of the animals. He emphasizes that animals must never imitate man, especially his vices. Gradually in their life-style and their indifference to the animals, the pigs exploit the animals much more than Jones ever did. This irony particularly depicts how low the pigs had actually become, and how Stalin had made things much worse than it had originally been under the Czar’s rule.
This further enhances the satirical aim of condemning the target. Through satirical techniques such as irony, fable, and metaphor, George Orwell paints a brilliant picture of the evils in Communist Russia in his book Animal Farm. He is very effective in doing so and condemns his targets through every thread of his book including the characters, the themes, and even the style. He does so simply, yet expressively, and is very successful in achieving the satirical aim of condemning his targets.
George Orwell’s themes and styles are evident by his use of political purpose, concise syntax, symbolism and general appeal. He skillfully incorporates many literary devices, symbols and themes in a unique blend that is all his own, or his style. Understanding Orwell’s ideology behind such symbolic works are the first steps to grasping the style of George Orwell’s work and thus symbolism becomes his greatest asset in his quest to inform the world. Each of the above characteristics can be seen profoundly in the famous dystopian novels Animal Farm and 1984.
George Orwell presents a warning for all who read his works by presenting his opinion. He strongly believes that the direction the world is heading is by no means beneficial to anyone, save the individuals in power. Every piece of literature has a purpose and George Orwell’s purpose is strictly political. The overruling statement his attempt to arouse the people who sit around accepting the injustice played upon them. His goal is to prevent the world from making a horrible mistake by sacrificing our God-given human rights in return for authority, control and power.