How does the book Animal Farm represent Socialist Realism?

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

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I think that this one might be a bit complicated.  On one hand, Socialist Realism art is usually seen as an element that would be sanctioned and approved by a government.  Orwell's work would not meet this standard, as it is a fairly open and direct satire of Communist Russia.  However, when examining the some of the conditions that fulfill the idea of work that represents Socialist Realism, one sees some interesting elements:

1. Proletarian- art relevant to the workers and understandable to them.

2. Typical- scenes of every day life of the people.

3. Realistic - in the representational sense.

4. Partisan - supportive of the aims of the State and the Party.

The work does center on the struggles of the Proletariat, as the reader understands the events on the farm from "the bottom up."  The examination of Boxer and other animals who don't possess political power does hold a great deal of political relevance is a significant part of the novel.  At the same time, there is little "fantastic" elements present in the novel.  Outside of the idea of the animals talking, the animals are presented in a realistic and non- fantasy element to the narrative.

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