What narrative technique does Orwell use in Animal Farm?

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

George Orwell wrote the novel Animal Farm in a very interesting and fitting point of view. Authors will select a perspective to write from, either using first person, to show things through the eyes of one character, or third person, to act as an outside perspective. The third person narrator can be omniscient and know everyone’s thoughts and attitudes, or it can be limited to one individual.
What Orwell chooses to do is select several characters and portray the narrative through each of them as a third person narrator. This allows the reader to see multiple angles of the story, as well as acts as a good representation for the theme of Communism in the novel.

Approved by eNotes Editorial Team
An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

Animal Farm is narrated using a specific point of view. Writers have three points of view from which they can construct their narration. There is the first person point of view, in which the narrator is character in the story and refers to himself as “I.” There is the third-person-limited point of view in which the writer focuses on how the events affect one particular character. There is also the omniscient point of view, which means “all-knowing.” When a writer uses this point of view, he looks at how the action affects and is perceived by a number of different characters.

Animal Farm is narrated with an omniscient point of view. Orwell does not narrow his focus to only one character. We have passages that focus on the following characters: Snowball, Napoleon, Boxer, Squealer, and Benjamin. If Orwell had only told things from Boxer’s perspective, he would have been using third-person-limited. If he had made one of the characters themselves tell the story, he would have been narrating with a first-person point of view.

You could also say that the story is narrated in chronological order. That is, in the same order in which the events occur in time sequence.

Approved by eNotes Editorial Team
Soaring plane image

We’ll help your grades soar

Start your 48-hour free trial and unlock all the summaries, Q&A, and analyses you need to get better grades now.

  • 30,000+ book summaries
  • 20% study tools discount
  • Ad-free content
  • PDF downloads
  • 300,000+ answers
  • 5-star customer support
Start your 48-Hour Free Trial