In Animal Farm, how does Orwell use specific literary devices to develop a particular dystopian theme?

Personification, symbolism, irony, and allusion are all major literary devices used by Orwell in Animal Farm, and they all work toward immersing the reader in a dystopia modeled after and critical of Soviet Russia.

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Orwell's Animal Farm is a masterwork as a political allegory. First and foremost, you could refer to the novella's broad use of personification, in particular the personification of human classes via barnyard animal species. The fact that Orwell uses pigs, for example, as the ruling class, is of deep thematic significance (inviting the numerous apt comparisons between pigs and the capitalist ruling class). By employing the characteristics of certain animals (loyal and hard working dogs, sheep who follow, etc.) to represent classes of people within a political/economic system, Orwell uses personification very well.

Similarly, Orwell uses quite a lot of symbolism in the novella. One particularly good example is the windmill. The windmill symbolizes industrial enslavement of working classes. The pigs make the lower-class animals build the windmill for their own selfish gain, arguing (half truthfully) all the while that the windmill will be beneficial to the animals building it. As Orwell was trying to criticize Soviet Russia, he uses the windmill to represent a broad economic task that is ostensibly there to benefit the masses but which really benefits the people at the top. Later, the windmill also symbolizes humanity and human-centric farm craft, which the animals first united against but wound up subsequently engaging in themselves.

This brings us to a third literary device that Orwell uses well in the novella, which is irony. The behavior of the farm animals, from the start, was to revolt against tyranny and to establish a system in which the workers control their own production and profits. But in working towards this ideal, the animals (particularly the pigs) dig themselves into an even worse manifestation of the same system. The very tools they chose to secure their freedom are exactly what seals their continued wage-enslavement.

One further literary device that is well used in the novella is allusion. As one of Orwell's primary goals with the work is to criticize Soviet Russia, Orwell alludes frequently to Carl Marx and Friedrich Engels's Communist Manifesto. As this was among the primary texts motivating the Soviets, Orwell also creates a situation where many of the exact same ideas are used by the pigs to galvanize the other animals into working towards the revolutionary goal.

All of these literary devices amount, in the novella, to a dystopian theme where the ruling class forces the lower classes into a form of wage-slavery while simultaneously forcing them to believe that the whole thing is for their own good. All of these devices have in common the fact that they are used for the benefit of the pigs (the bourgeoisie, if you will) and for the domination of the other animals (the proletariat). In this way, these devices work towards a dystopia that is particularly akin to Soviet Russia.

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