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How is the ideal utopia in Animal Farm then converted to dystopia based on the...

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parama9000 | TA , Grade 11 | Valedictorian

Posted April 25, 2013 at 12:28 PM via web

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How is the ideal utopia in Animal Farm then converted to dystopia based on the definition of utopia and the reason why it can never actually be achieved?

 

How is a utopia defined? Why can a utopia be never achieved?

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durbanville | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted April 25, 2013 at 1:35 PM (Answer #1)

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Utopia infers a perfect existence but in an imaginary place such as envisioned by Sir Thomas More in 1516. In real life "utopia " is not achievable as no two people's ideal is ever exactly the same. The common result, as in Animal Farm, when "everyone is created equal, but some are more equal than others," is a state of totalitarianism where repression is the order of the day and oppression results, creating a dystopia.  

What appears to be approaching utopia in Animal Farm falls far short of it. The animals are led to believe that life without the humans is better and are proud to sing "Beasts of England."; that having more food is better and that the principles of Animalism will protect them from all evil. The animals are simple creatures, easily manipulated and therefore perfect prey for unscrupulous leaders to take advantage for their own gain.

Even before Old Major's speech that so inspires the animals the reader is forewarned and, although Boxer will not be disposed of by the humans when he is no longer useful, he will still be dispatched under the most suspicious circumstances at the hands of the pigs. 

Orwell was disillusioned by the outcome of the Russian Revolution and how the ordinary people were completely deceived. He maintained that average citizens could not expect protection from tyranny unless they refused

  to blindly follow the crowd (like the sheep).  

Leadership under Snowball may have been quite different has the animals supported him but Napoleon was able to dismiss his adversary. As life becomes harder for the animals they are reminded  that "in those days they had been slaves and now they were free, and that made all the difference." This was basically what kept them going, blind faith.

In other words, it doesn't seem to matter whether its hundreds of years ago, decades ago, or in the present day, the "bigger picture" is the only consideration and the daily hardships and struggles of the masses become insignificant.

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