Places Discussed

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Last Updated on June 4, 2020, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 647

Manor Farm

Manor Farm. English farm at which the entire novel is set. When the novel opens, it is called Manor Farm and is run by a farmer named Jones. These names indicate that this farm stands for any farm, or any place, and that the entire novel should be read as an allegory. However, since Orwell wrote in the introduction to the Ukrainian edition that he wanted to expose the Soviet myth, Animal Farm also stands for the Soviet Union in particular. When the animals take over the farm, they rename it Animal Farm; when the pigs revert to the name Manor Farm in the final pages of the book, the complete failure of the animals’ revolution is indicated. No animal leaves the farm unless it is a traitor (Molly), declared an enemy of the state (Snowball), or sold to the enemy to be killed (Boxer). When they do leave, the animals rewrite history. Animal Farm is like the Soviet Union in having its own official history that serves the purposes of its rulers.

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Orwell’s love of animals and his practice of raising his own vegetables and animals are clear in his loving description of the farm; his socialist politics come through in his sympathies with the animals as real workers and in his descriptions of the barn.

Farmhouse

Farmhouse. House in which Jones originally lived. Like the farm, the farmhouse is perfectly ordinary, until the animals drive the humans from what the humans see as their rightful place. The farmhouse symbolizes the seat of government; no real work is done there. When the pigs move into the farmhouse, it is a sign that the revolution will fail. The novel closes with the other animals, the workers, watching through the windows of the farmhouse as the pigs meet with Mr. Pilkington to toast the renaming of Animal Farm as Manor Farm. This symbolizes the tendency of rulers to ignore the abuses suffered by the common people in all countries, British socialism’s betrayal of the worker in particular, and how the animals/workers are always excluded from gatherings of their leaders.

Barn

Barn. Originally an ordinary barn used for work, shelter, and storage. Under the rule of the animals, the barn becomes a meeting place, a place to resolve disputes, and the place where all legitimate political decisions are made. The barn is where all the real work is done, and it is where the revolution is born. The laws of Animal Farm are painted on the side of the barn.

Foxwood

Foxwood. One of farms bordering Manor Farm. Foxwood is described as large and neglected, with run-down hedges. It represents England, with its substandard military and ill-kept borders. Its clumsy but easygoing owner Mr. Pilkington symbolizes British politicians.

Pinchfield

Pinchfield. Another of the neighboring farms. Pinchfield is described as smaller and better kept than Foxwood. It symbolizes Germany; its owner, Mr. Frederick, stands for Hitler. Pinchfield and Foxwood put pressure on the animals’ revolution, are threatened by it, and threaten it in turn. Jones asks for help after the animals’ rebellion, and the farmers reject his plea, as the nations of Europe rejected the pleas from the displaced czars. The business deals between farms symbolize the political deals in which the Soviet Communists sold out their own people.

Sugarcandy Mountain

Sugarcandy Mountain. Imaginary utopia in the preachings of Moses, the raven. Sugarcandy Mountain is animal heaven. Moses is useful to Jones because he preaches a dream beyond this life and keeps the animals pacified, but Moses leaves when the animals actually try to establish a utopia on earth. At the end of the book, he is not only back, but actively supported by the pigs. This indicates that the idea of heaven is threatening to real revolutionaries, but that tyrants find it useful for their subjects to have another realm about which to dream.

Setting

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Last Updated on May 5, 2015, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 175

The novel takes place on Manor Farm, which is renamed Animal Farm after the animals expel Mr. Jones, the farmer, from its grounds. It is a typical barnyard, except that the animals have assumed the farmer's tasks. Their aspirations are high; they write seven commandments on the wall of the bam, including "All animals are created equal," and "Whatever goes upon two legs is an enemy," and thus stake their claim. They build a windmill—an object of much contention—that is rebuilt several times after being destroyed by a storm and then by a band of farmers with dynamite. Originally, the animals pledge to preserve the manor house as a museum, but as the power structure becomes more unbalanced, the pigs move into the house, which becomes their domain. The farmhouse symbolizes the new totalitarian rule of the pigs and is indeed indicative of the "revised" commandment: "All animals are created equal but some animals are more equal than others." Orwell, by restricting all the action to the farmyard, creates a microcosm of society.

Literary Techniques

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Throughout his career, Orwell is generally considered to have matured both creatively and perceptively as a writer, yet he never warranted nor received critical recognition as a literary innovator. His personalized blend of moral commitment and social commentary distinguished Orwell as a major spokesperson for his generation; however, his body of work is remarkably similar in structure and temperament. An extremely disciplined writer, Orwell consistently utilized language to enhance the development of plot while providing insight into thematic concerns. This is especially true in Animal Farm, an imaginative examination of the interaction of language and political method.

Written in a pure, subtle, and simplistic form of narrative, Animal Farm evokes both descriptive imagery and stunning clarity of purpose. As political allegory, Animal Farm was conceived as a beast fable, the ideal form for Orwell to communicate his highly sensitive and unorthodox message. In so doing Orwell was able to employ irony as the most effective means to articulate the embodiment of human traits in the animals of the farm. Interspersed with religious overtones, the novel begins with a relatively light tone before depreciating into a menacing and debilitating void. Coming full circle, the novel ends with a tremendous sense of futility and loss as even the memory of the revolution fades into quiet and passive oblivion. oLiterary Precedents

Created as an allegorical beast fable, Animal Farm stems from an artistic tradition attributed to Aesop and dating from the seventh century B.C. Popular in almost every literary period, the beast fable is most often designed to satirize human folly as well as to provide moral instruction. An avid reader, Orwell was undoubtedly influenced by the work of the seventeenth-century French writer La Fontaine and in his own century by Rudyard Kipling's Jungle Books and Just So Stories.

Of additional importance, Orwell clearly descends from an impressive lineage of English satirists, particularly those of the eighteenth century, including Dryden, Swift, and Pope. Animal Farm is consistently and appropriately compared to Swift's Gulliver's Travels as having the capacity to simultaneously delight while pointing an accusing finger at the limitations of human kindness and decency. In the twentieth century, satire is generally utilized in the fictional narrative as it is in Animal Farm to criticize with the ultimate goal of improvement. In this capacity, Orwell joins company with such diverse writers as Evelyn Waugh, Mark Twain, Sinclair Lewis, and Aldous Huxley.

Literary Qualities

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Last Updated on May 5, 2015, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 310

An extremely disciplined writer, Orwell consistently used language to enhance the development of plot while providing insight into thematic concerns. This is especially true in Animal Farm, an imaginative examination of the interaction of language and political method. Written in a pure, subtle, and simplistic style, Animal Farm evokes descriptive imagery and stunning clarity of purpose. Although the novel begins with a relatively light tone, it gradually evolves into a menacing and debilitating void. Coming full circle, the novel ends with a tremendous sense of futility and loss as even the memory of the revolution fades into quiet and passive oblivion.

Orwell conceived of Animal Farm as an allegorical beast fable, drawing on a literary convention attributed to Aesop and dating from the seventh century B.C. Popular in almost every literary period, the beast fable is most often designed to satirize human folly as well as to provide moral instruction. An avid reader, Orwell was undoubtedly influenced by the work of the seventeenth-century French writer La Fontaine and in his own century by Rudyard Kipling's Jungle Book and Just So Stories.

Orwell clearly descends from an impressive lineage of English satirists, particularly those of the eighteenth century including Dryden, Swift, and Pope. Animal Farm is consistently and appropriately compared to Swift's Gulliver's Travels as having the capacity to simultaneously delight while pointing an accusing finger at the limitations of human kindness and decency. In the twentieth century, satire is generally utilized in the fictional narrative as it is in Animal Farm to criticize with the ultimate goal of improvement. In this capacity, Orwell joins company with such diverse writers as Evelyn Waugh, Mark Twain, Sinclair Lewis, and Aldous Huxley. Integrating political and artistic purpose, Orwell's beast fable proved a radical departure from his previous work but an extremely successful literary vehicle and quite possible his most distinguished creative achievement.

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