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Examine the veracity of the following statement: "Animal Farm was interesting when it...

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user9593388 | Student, Grade 10 | eNotes Newbie

Posted November 3, 2013 at 4:37 PM via web

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Examine the veracity of the following statement: "Animal Farm was interesting when it was first released but it holds no real relevance to today's society."

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Ashley Kannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted November 3, 2013 at 5:29 PM (Answer #1)

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I think that the statement of how Animal Farm is not relevant to the modern setting can be debated.  Even though the original target of the work as Stalinist Communism is gone, the reality is that Orwell wrote a book about power in the modern political predicament.  Napoleon and the pigs wish to consolidate their power by keeping their body politic in check and limited from knowing the truth of what is happening.  We still see governments do that today.  Lack of information and being able to "spin" information in a way that benefits those in the position of power is universal in modern politics.  Orwell was simply ahead of his time in being able to show how government benefits when the people are uninformed, confused, and apathetic to the conditions around them.  The pigs are able to benefit from being able to control their message and ensuring that nothing contrary is spread amongst the animals.

Another reason why Animal Farmis relevant today is that it shows the danger of a society refusing to be politically active.  For example, Boxer is a wonderful character. Yet, his tragic flaw, like other animals on the farm, is that he is too trusting of those in the position of power.  Boxer does not raise questions or actively engage in dissent.  He is no different than most of the other animals.  Animal Farmshows the dangers of a society that does not question its government.  Modern political orders have to be held accountable in order for the people's needs to be met.  Animal Farm is relevant today because it demonstrates the power of this message.

Finally, Animal Farm is relevant to today's society because it displays the political dynamic of insider and outsider at work.  For example, consider the last scene.  The animals are staring at the card game in which they can no longer tell the difference between the pigs and the humans.  In this scene, there are only political insiders and those on the outside.  While the humans and pigs might claim to be different, they are the same. The only real difference is those who have power and those who do not.  The animals do not have power and they realize it in the final scene.  This is relevant to the modern setting in that wealth and material interests have clouded political participation so much that even competing parties really don't have much difference between them.  For example, the pervading influence of money in the Democrat and Republican parties in America have really made them quite similar with the only real outsiders as poor Americans who are struggling to find which party truly understands them.  This condition is emphasized in the last scene of the book, a statement that is both relevant and interesting about the nature of power in the modern political setting.

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