Essay Question: Describe at least one challenging setting in the text.
Explain how this setting helped you understand an important idea in the text.
Text: Animal Farm
Dystopian literature illustrates a bleak image of what happens when power is abused and corrupted. Totalitarian governments have been able to takeover towns, cites and even countries by using a dangerous tool, fear. The challenging setting of “Animal Farm” helps the reader understand the important idea of abuse & corruption of power and how it is used as a prominent basis to gain power and control others, exploit society and create inequality among the population.
George Orwell’s Animal Farm is a allegory of the Russian revolution and the characters are symbolic of different people that contributed to the Russian revolution. The animals become sick and tired of the way they are being treated, overthrowing the farmer (Mr jones) then try to create a society where everyone does the same amount of work and each get a fair share of what they had worked for.
The challenging setting of the Animal Farm helps the reader understand the important idea of abuse and corruption of power and how it is a way to gain power and control others . When the animals on the farm are questioning the building of the windmill the narrator states, “Squealer spoke so pervasively and the dogs who were with him growled so aggressively it silenced their questioning.” The adverb “aggressively” shows how fear was a primary tool used by squealer in order for him to silence the crowd and maintain his authority against them; he is able to control what the animals say or do because no one would dare to speak against him. If the animals try to argue agasint the pigs, they have the dogs who will devour and kill the animals. George Orwell uses the challenging setting of the farm to warn readers about the dangers of totalitarianism- how dictators are able to create fear in the population to gain power and control the society. A great example of this is Adolf Hitler, he was able to create so much fear that no one would dare try rebel against him. If they did try not only would they suffer but their relatives would suffer as a result of one person’s wrong doing. Dictators will do whatever they possibly can to maintain their power because we as humans love the feeling of being in command and telling others to do what they are told, it is this that leads people to becoming greedy and selfish for power.
Addtionally, the challenging setting of the Animal Farm helps the reader understand the important idea of abuse and corruption of power and how it can be used to exploit the society . When the pigs get caught stealing the extra milk and apples from the farm, it causes tension between the pigs and the other animals. To clear the tension squealer remarks “it is for your sake that we drink the milk and eat those apples, do you know what would happen if we pigs failed our duties? Jones would come back!” The pronoun your suggests that the pigs eat the milk and apples for the benefit of the other animals because the pigs will protect them from Mr Jones but, it is ironic as the pigs become the very thing that they overthrew in the first place. Furthermore, squealer’s dialogue highlights how the pigs are able to exploit the nativity and lack of knowable of the animals on the farm. The animals do not know how to read and write as well as the pigs, this allows the pigs to deceive the animals and exploit their lack of knowledge forcing them into harsh labour. The challenging setting of the Animal Farm symbolises the society and Orwell uses this to highlight how easily totaritarinin governments such as WW2 Germany are able to fool and brain wash their naive people in the population and why knowledge is a important for humans as a whole. Germany understood that knowledge is a powerful weapon, if people learnt more and more about what was truely going on the whole country would protest. But, they limited the populations knowledge by using propaganda and fear as a tool of suppression so no one would try to fight against the Nazi’s beliefs . Furthermore, they taught kids about the Nazi beliefs in schools and burnt books so kids would not learn but instead serve their country at war. Knowledge allows humans to create deeper connections and ideas, once you take away that knowledge people are merely pawns under the ruling of the king.
Lastly, the challenging setting of the Animal Farm helps the reader understand the important idea of abuse and corruption of power and how it creates inequality in the population. When the pigs first move into the farm house, Squealer remarks " We pigs, who are the brains of the farm, need a quiet place to work in." The use of the noun “brains” highlights how the pigs naturally gained leadership since the beginning of the revolution because they are smarter than the other animals. It created a imaginary hierarchy where the pigs were above all the other animals on the farm and the commandment “all animals are equal” was broken before the revolution even began. Additionally, Squealer’s dialogue suggests that the pigs believe they are significantly more important than the other animals and that they should have access to a more comfortable life style. The challenging setting of the Animal Farm allows Orwell to teach us how we as humans will never be able to create a utopian society where everyone is equal. Many people believe that we are all equal but we all have a natural superiority against others, which will lead people to become jealous go what others have. Once they are jealous they want to become better than others and will indirectly be chasing power, once people get a taste of what it is like to have power they will sacrifice what they have in order to become powerful.
In conclusion, the challenging setting of “Animal Farm” helps the reader understand the important idea of abuse & corruption of power and how it is used as a prominent basis to gain power and control others, exploit society and create inequality among the population. George Orwell’s allegory of the Russian Revolution highlights how communism seemed like a remarkable and life-changing idea where everyone would be equal but, the reality of this was that it could never be attained, this is because power corrupts and changes people. The more powerful leaders get the more they install fear and control the society to the point where no one else can compete with them. In 1917 Russian revolution where they wanted to create the ideal society, parts seem great at first but started to spiral out of control; Joseph Starlin rose to power and stopped anyone who tried to overthrow him. These past events have been a stepping stool for authors such as George Orwell to warn us about the dangers of totalitarianism and how we need to unite together to defeat unfair, selfish leaders.