In Animal Farm, how successfully has Orwell used the"beast fable" to present his political ideology?

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ecofan74 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In Animal Farm, Orwell employs the beast fable rather effectively.  The most important aspect of a beast fable is that the audience understands the connection between the character and the beast representing him/her.

The pigs in Animal Farm clearly exhibit characteristics consistent with use of "pigs" in relation to people.  "Pigs," often used to describe someone who is excessively greedy or pushy.  The pigs in Animal Farm greedily pursue power over the other animals on Manor Farm, and they are aggressive in their efforts to set themselves up at the top of the power structure.  Likewise,the name "Old Major," who some would argue represents either Marx or Lenin, indicates a member of the old guard - someone from a previous generation when things were done differently, in a purer way. By extension, it would seem to the reader that the current situation is a corruption of the system.

The other characters in Animal Farm also correspond fairly successfully to the idea of a "beast fable."  Their names and/or natures are reflected in the way they are depicted, making Orwell's criticisms and concerns all the more powerful.