Animal Farm was written as a fable that allegorically exposes the nature of all totalitarian regimes. Discuss.
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Animal Farm is a fable written for adults. In bold terms, Orwell intended to lay bare the warning of communist revolution being used for the purpose of creating a totalitarian regime. In thinly disguising his disgust for the Russian Revolution, Orwell gave us a clever and timeless story. This book has now moved beyond the historical significance of one revolution. It is a lesson for the ages, as we have watched similar revolutions happen again and again.
Orwell is clearly concerned with the unthinking acceptance of many for what they perceive as comfort afforded them by their government. After the last election, there were those who cheerfully exclaimed, "Oh, now someone will take care of us!" These people want a Big Brother government, despite the prophetic words of Jefferson: "That government governs best that governs least." The gleeful acceptance of tyranny is a threat to the Western World as much as it is to other areas.
I agree with the first post -- I think it is a very good statement of how the book can apply to forms of government other than totalitarian regimes. To state this in different words, Orwell is talking not just about the nature of totalitarian regimes, but also about how these regimes can come into existence.
This is an important point -- Orwell is not just saying "this is what totalitarian regimes are like." If that were all he was saying, the book would not have as much of a message for people like us in the US who do not live in such a regime. But the book is important because it is a warning -- "here is how any society could fall under tyranny."
So this means that the book is more than just a fable about the nature of totalitarian regimes -- it is a warning to the rest of us as to what we must do or not do (in Orwell's mind) in order to avoid becoming the subjects of a totalitarian government.
I think that the statement is very accurate. I might step outside of it a bit and suggest that the work applies to all governments. Part of what makes Orwell's work so great is that it explores the tendencies behind all rulers and structures of power that seek to legitimize themselves through control. While Orwell was fairly direct at his target to Soviet Russia with his characters, I think that there are many elements that apply to the so- called "democracies" of the West. The consolidation of power through control of the media and ensuring that history is taught and written through the lens of validating the political order is something about which Orwell was very conscious in his writing. Throughout his life, Orwell was dreadfully concerned with the freedom of the individual being threatened by government as an institution. Communist Russia was one domain, but there is much to indicate that Orwell was fairly concerned with the same condition in the West, as well. With a growing dependence on technology and thought control, something that is more fully developed in 1984, Orwell became skeptical of all governments. I think that we can see Animal Farm speak to this idea that when individuals lose control or sight of their governments, the results can be disastrous. One need only think of Orwell's characters like Mollie, Benjamin, or even Boxer as an example of this. I think Orwell's writing of Animal Farm might confirm the idea that if individuals don't get turned on to politics, politics will be turned on to them.
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