Why is Animal Farm still relevent to the modern day world?Why is Animal Farm still relevant to the modern day world?

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accessteacher eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Well, I think there are a number of answers that could be given to this question, and you might want to think about transferring this question to the discussion board so that you can gain a wide range of opinions. However, for me, in spite of the allegory of the Russian Revolution, this novel is timeless because it discusses explicitly the nature of tyrants.

Generally, this novel is a satire of politicians, particularly focussing on their rhetoric and their ability to manipulate others and the way that once they gain some power they have a compulsive tendency to gain more. Note how Napoleon is overtly presented as having altruistic motives, yet it is clear he is a power-hungry individual who manages to cover up his self-serving actions with the excuse that he is only doing them for the sake of the farm as a whole. Just one example is when he steals milk and apples and then says that pigs need the nutrients contained in these foods to carry out their managerial work. Note how the removal of Snowball is explained by the revelation that Snowball was a traitor. The Seven Commandments are regularly transgressed by a manipulation of language, and whenever the farm suffers a setback, it is Snowball who becomes public enemy number one and is always blamed. Clearly the ending of the story, when Napoleon becomes to all intents and purposes like just another human, reveals the tendency for those who ostensibly espouse the most virtuous ideas to become the worst enemies of the people whose lives they are claiming to improve. You only have to look at any number of dictators around the world to see that this is true, unfortunately.

e-martin eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The abuse of language perpetrated by Napoleon's regime in Animal Farmis a danger that is alive and well today. 

All over the world, political speech is strategized, honed, and refined in such a way as to rob language of its "natural" meaning. Of course, this is not true everywhere and not true all the time, but there is a distinct tendency to take ownership of language (in commerce and politics) in a way that can be called abusive and which leads to confusion and dishonesty while facilitating potential corruption. 

This isn't a conspiracy theory. It's a view of language wherein we see, as in Animal Farm, that language can be used to hide as well as it can be used to explain or uncover. 

kiwi eNotes educator| Certified Educator

 I agree, but the corruption of politicians is not limited to those in a dictatorship. We are constantly surrounded by scandals iternationally to do with misappropriation of funds, abuse of power, manipulation of language and semantics to suit the situation: think Bill Clinton 'I did not have sex with that woman'.

The novel remains relevant to today's society as we still see how some cannot hold power without the temptation to abuse it, however virtuous their original motives may be. We are reminded of the famous line.

Power corrupts. Absolute power corrupts absolutely.

litteacher8 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

This fable is still relevant today.  Just because we live safely in democracies does not mean there aren't plenty of totalitarian regimes throughout the world.  We should keep in mind that just because these countries have revolutions does not mean they they will set up democracies or governmental structures that protect human rights.  They are just as likely to replace one totalitarian regime with another in a bloody process.

mwestwood eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Orwell's allegory that is a pointed criticism of the Stalin regime in the U.S.S.R. is relevant today since there are still countries in which dictators exist as the rather recent overthrow of Sadaam Hussein evinces.  Even in democracies there are leaders who are power-hungry.  Certainly, watching the current world news revives memories of what Orwell criticized.