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In what ways could the ending of the novel Animal Farm be considered uplifting?...

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ldecarvalho | eNotes Newbie

Posted June 14, 2013 at 12:19 PM via iOS

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In what ways could the ending of the novel Animal Farm be considered uplifting? Depressing ? Cynical?

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rrteacher | College Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted June 14, 2013 at 2:06 PM (Answer #1)

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Except for perhaps a bit of absurdist comedic value, it is difficult to see how the ending of Animal Farm could be viewed as uplifiting. At the end of the novel, the animals are witnessing a card game between the pigs and several humans. Eventually the game degenerates into an argument (hence the comedic value of pigs and humans shouting at each other) and eventually the pigs become indistinguishable from the humans:

Twelve voices were shouting in anger, and they were all alike. No question, now, what had happened to the faces of the pigs. The creatures outside looked from pig to man, and from man to pig, and from pig to man again; but already it was impossible to say which was which.

With this ending, Orwell underscores the extent to which supposedly utopian movements can degenerate into totalitarian nightmares. Orwell was a democratic socialist, and was troubled by the lack of respect given to basic human rights by Stalin's Soviet Union in particular. The leaders of Animal Farm have become no different than their oppressors. Some animals, as the revised commandments state, are "more equal than others." It could be argued that Orwell's view of human nature in Animal Farm (and even more 1984) is essentially cynical, and certainly the extent to which the society has degenerated into totalitarianism is depressing. 


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