Has the Novel changed your world view?Animal Farm is replete with subtle and not so-subtle lessons on blind conformity and the misuse of power. What are some of the lessons you've personally taken...

Has the Novel changed your world view?

Animal Farm is replete with subtle and not so-subtle lessons on blind conformity and the misuse of power. What are some of the lessons you've personally taken away from the novel regarding education of the masses, knowledge of history, idealist thought and class structure? Has the novel changed your worldview in any way?

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timbrady's profile pic

timbrady | College Teacher | (Level 1) Educator

Posted on

There are many connections between "Animal Farm" and our/my world.  I think the most important one has to do with propaganda/ media.  We live in a world where facts are not all that "real," where language is used as an instrument of propaganda rather than an instrument of communication, where we are so flooded with information that we rarely have time to verify any of it.  Orwell's "1984" sums it up well:  "Who controls the present controls the past; who controls the past controls the future."

In AF, the past is represented by the commandements.  Each of these is altered in the course of the story, but the animals don't seem to notice, or are easily convinced that they are in error ... that this is the way things have always been.  If the past is malleable, we can be made to believe almost anything.

When thinking of the "masses" (unclear what that means), I can't but think of those who do not investigate what they are told, and who are, as a result, indoctrinated more than educated.

It taught me (many years ago :)) to treasure language, to make certain that words are used correctly, to weigh what I am told is "true," (especially in politics), and to be on the alert to those who seek to manipulate me for their own purposes.

amy-lepore's profile pic

amy-lepore | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted on

This is an opinion question where you have to make a connection to the conformity and misuse of power you see in the novel to what you see in your life, our country, and our world

However, knowing what you know about the pigs negating everything they have said in the past (don't walk on two legs, don't live in the house, don't sleep in the beds, don't kill any animals...), think about a person or persons who have also said one thing and done the opposite.  Politicians are good at that.  Any time a person comes into power, the risk is that he/she will become "drunk" on that power and there is a personality change or shift.  By the end of the book the pigs and the humans are no longer distinguishable...are there any cliques in school who fit this bill?  Sororities or fraternities in college?  Secret societies?

This novel is meant to call attention to communistic governments.  What do you know about how the Nazis educated their youth?  How did they brainwash the country into ignoring the Holocaust?  What lessons do you learn about how the Jews were treated as second-class citizens?  How do these methods match up to what Orwell is spelling out in Animal Farm?

You could also look at the slave situation in the south.  What about those "white" and "colored" water fountains? Do you feel differently about prejudice after reading?  

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