How does Animal Farm relate to the government in 1984?

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belarafon's profile pic

belarafon | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Educator Emeritus

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By the end of Animal Farm, Napoleon has set himself up as a dictator, controlling all the other animals through force, trading with their "enemies," and keeping all the profit from the farm for himself and his selected elite. 1984 shows one eventual path from this dictatorship, with a government that censors and controls all its citizens, not allowing any opposing points of view, and killing or brainwashing anyone who begins to think differently.

It might be that their lives were hard and that not all of their hopes had been fulfilled; but they were conscious that they were not as other animals. If they went hungry, it was not from feeding tyrannical human beings; if they worked hard, at least they worked for themselves. No creature among them went upon two legs. No creature called any other creature ‘Master.’ All animals were equal.
(Orwell, Animal Farm, msxnet.org)

The future path of 1984 is a conclusion, a world where the "Napoleons" have taken full control of society and refuse to allow any dissenting views. The "equality" of citizens is assumed in both works, but obviously false when viewed objectively. The animals on the farm and the citizens in the city are equal to each other, and inferior to the elites. Even by the end of Animal Farm, dissent was punished with death; in 1984, dissent is punished with brainwashing, which is in some ways worse, as the dissenter now acts as a propaganda machine for the government. In both cases, the corruption of leadership is shown as almost inevitable, and the use of government power to control the citizenry is simply a byproduct of the ruling class keeping their power.

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kaitlynrenae's profile pic

kaitlynrenae | Student, Grade 11 | eNotes Newbie

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It represents the government by showing the dictatorship that unfortunately took place in 1984. Napoleon didn't care about what the community of animals wanted, instead he was only concerned with his own wants. The animals behavior towards Napoleon and his dictatorship represents the bahavior of the people living under the dictatorship in 1984. The end of the novel should help some with this question when the pigs and humans are all sitting together at the table.

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