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Thread: My Thoughts and Questions

  1. #1
    The Poetic Warrior Dark Muse's Avatar
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    My Thoughts and Questions

    I just finnished reading Animal Farm and it was pretty good, particuarly after the 3rd chapter. When I first started reading I was a bit concenred at first as the begining of the book and the 1st chapter in particular, seemed as if Orwell just took the Communist Manifesto and put it into story form, there were parts of the book that seemed almost word for word from the Manifesto, and though I can understand why he set it up like this, it would be a bit wearisome of the whole book was just a rewrite of the Manifesto, but the story did in fact get much better along the way.

    One of the things I could not help but to notice was the simillarites to 1984 so many of the same elments were incoperated into Animal Farm. In particular the way in which, once the pigs began to gain more power, they began rewriting history, or altering the rules, while convincing the other animals that such is the way it had always been from the start, and any was mistaken if they thought otherwise. The other thing was the conflict between the Pitchfield and Foxwood farms, and how Animal Farm always seemed to go back and forth between the two, while Napoloan convinved them they were always from the beginning with just one side or the other. This reminded me of the war in 1984 in which they were always changing sides and yet insisting it was the same enemey they faught all the time.

    Though there were a couple of questions which were raised in my mind of a few things which somewaht confussed me or I did not fully understand within the book.

    The first was, I did not completely understand why certain animals, had voluentarily made confessions of their so called crimes, after they already knew that the consequences for such would be death.

    The other thing, if the pigs were all suppose to be so intelligent, then how come none of them ever tried to challenge Napolean? I would think if they were indeed so intelligent, they would start to grow ambitions of thier own and not be content to just follow and obey him, but they would start to have thier own ideas of want power for themselves. I would think they would be able to see the way there was growing unease among the other animals and rally them against Napoloean.

    Deep into that darkness peering, long I stood there, wondering, fearing, doubting, dreaming dreams no mortal ever dared to dream before. ~ Edgar Allan Poe

  2. #2
    Orwellian The Atheist's Avatar
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    As people found in the USSR, it isn't easy to topple an incumbent, and the penalty for even thinking about it is death.

    Animals confessed to crimes they hadn't committed because the climate of fear and mistrust meant that animals would think they might have committed a crime and then project that into reality.

    I recommend reading the sticky thread at the top of the page - the AF homework thread - to get a full run through of what all the little bits of the book mean.
    Go to work, get married, have some kids, pay your taxes, pay your bills, watch your tv, follow fashion, act normal, obey the law and repeat after me: "I am free."

    Anon

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    The Poetic Warrior Dark Muse's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Atheist View Post
    Animals confessed to crimes they hadn't committed because the climate of fear and mistrust meant that animals would think they might have committed a crime and then project that into reality.
    Yes I had considered the fear/intimidation factor as playing a role in the confessions, but it seems to me if they knew they were going to die anyway, it would be the best to just take thier chances and not say anything, but then when one is in fear, it is true they do nto always think rationally as well.

    Deep into that darkness peering, long I stood there, wondering, fearing, doubting, dreaming dreams no mortal ever dared to dream before. ~ Edgar Allan Poe

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    Registered User cactus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dark Muse View Post

    The first was, I did not completely understand why certain animals, had voluentarily made confessions of their so called crimes, after they already knew that the consequences for such would be death.

    The other thing, if the pigs were all suppose to be so intelligent, then how come none of them ever tried to challenge Napolean? I would think if they were indeed so intelligent, they would start to grow ambitions of thier own and not be content to just follow and obey him, but they would start to have thier own ideas of want power for themselves. I would think they would be able to see the way there was growing unease among the other animals and rally them against Napoloean.
    There are worse things than death. Orwell still amazes me with the depth of the human experience/nature he so successfully portrays in Animal Farm and 1984. If you read about some of the reforms in China and Vietnam during the early years of the respective regimes, you would not be surprised to learn that after being subjected to the worst kind of torture, people are more than willing to admit to any crime which they have not commit. Death is their salvation. Winston was completely brainwashed by the end because what he was subjected to was far worst than death itself.
    Last edited by cactus; 01-11-2008 at 01:28 AM.

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    The Poetic Warrior Dark Muse's Avatar
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    Yes I do agree that there can be things that are worse then death itself, and in some situations death can seem like a slavation, a freedom, as life can be made unberable. Particuarly if there is no hope for improvement or does not appear to be any hope for such.

    Deep into that darkness peering, long I stood there, wondering, fearing, doubting, dreaming dreams no mortal ever dared to dream before. ~ Edgar Allan Poe

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    Registered User cactus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dark Muse View Post
    I
    The other thing, if the pigs were all suppose to be so intelligent, then how come none of them ever tried to challenge Napolean? I would think if they were indeed so intelligent, they would start to grow ambitions of thier own and not be content to just follow and obey him, but they would start to have thier own ideas of want power for themselves. I would think they would be able to see the way there was growing unease among the other animals and rally them against Napoloean.
    You raised an interesting thing here and I forgot to respond.

    Anyway, here is my 2 cents worth of input. People are willing to share power even though they may hold differing opinions or even hate one another if privileges and to a certain degree control is shared. As long as each person has their share, in accordance to their position and status, they are likely to stick together (work together). The other pigs did not revolt against Napolean because not only is he stronger than them (he holds the military might) but because they also get to reap the rewards by being in alliance with him.

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    The bit about the false confessions comes straight from history. During Stalin's "Great Purge," many people were executed after making forced confessions. The NKVD (represented by the dogs in the story) would torture people until, as Cactus mentioned, they would rather confess and die than face another beating.

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