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Thread: Was Animal Farm funny?

  1. #1
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    Was Animal Farm funny?

    I finished reading Animal Farm with knowing the background of Stalinist Russia, and I didn't find it funny at all. I probably wouldn't have found it funny even if I didn't know it's historical context. I did get a small grin at the very last line where it said the pigs and humans looked exactly the same though.

    Many tell me that this novel was written with satire. The definition of satire is using humour (which I did not see) to criticize something. (In this case, Stalin/Russia).

    Was it suppose to be humourous? Am I missing something? If it was, what did Orwell do to make it funny for you? (In other words how did he manipulate the text in order to bolster satirical content?) I feel I'm truly missing something here. ;(
    Last edited by Xzero; 05-24-2010 at 12:41 AM.

  2. #2
    Registered User sh_einstein's Avatar
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    It was funny for me but the laughter was kind of sad and sarcastic...I think the remarkable thing about "animal farm" is that it kind of applies to any kind of dictatorial regime, at least I found some similarities in my countries regime and that made it funny for me, how easily they fool people, and that they're all the same, they manipulate with your thoughts and then they deny all their vows, their own laws...
    I think having read about stalinist Russia isn't enough, you should have the experience of living in such countries to really get the sarcastic humor behind it.

  3. #3
    Orwellian The Atheist's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Xzero View Post
    I finished reading Animal Farm with knowing the background of Stalinist Russia, and I didn't find it funny at all. I probably wouldn't have found it funny even if I didn't know it's historical context. I did get a small grin at the very last line where it said the pigs and humans looked exactly the same though.

    Many tell me that this novel was written with satire. The definition of satire is using humour (which I did not see) to criticize something. (In this case, Stalin/Russia).

    Was it suppose to be humourous? Am I missing something? If it was, what did Orwell do to make it funny for you? (In other words how did he manipulate the text in order to bolster satirical content?) I feel I'm truly missing something here. ;(
    Yep, the meaning of "satire". It doesn't necessarily have to be humourous.

    An accurate description of satire.

    Orwell was more into the derisive form and Animal Farm isn't meant to be funny at all. The animals are ill-treated, Boxer is even sent to the glue factory - moments of humour are few and far between.

    Orwell hated Communism with a deep passion; Animal Farm is meant to be biting, harsh criticism of his pet hatred, not funny.
    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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    Ah, I see. So satire usually has humourous content, but more accurately is used to "attack or criticize using the weapon of wit".

    I read lots of irony in the book, how the idealistic style of living at the beginning was how each and every animal was equal but ironically after the pigs take over the lifestyle they were in was much worse than of Jones'. I guess that could be humourous.

    Satirically, Orwell used a 'fairy tale' to manipulate the text as a meaningly children's story in order to cover up the darker meaning of the novel, correct?

    EDIT:

    Orwell hated Communism with a deep passion; Animal Farm is meant to be biting, harsh criticism of his pet hatred, not funny.
    I thought Stalin was a tyrant and Russia was then a totalitarian country - even portrayed in Animal Farm, where it started as Communism (right after the rebellion) but Napolean takes over as a dictator.
    Last edited by Xzero; 05-25-2010 at 12:13 AM.

  5. #5
    Orwellian The Atheist's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Xzero View Post
    I thought Stalin was a tyrant and Russia was then a totalitarian country - even portrayed in Animal Farm, where it started as Communism (right after the rebellion) but Napolean takes over as a dictator.
    Yep, that's dead right. Orwell correctly figured that Communism can only survive under totalitarian rule, thereby becoming a parody of itself.
    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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    Quote Originally Posted by The Atheist View Post
    Orwell correctly figured that Communism can only survive under totalitarian rule, thereby becoming a parody of itself.
    Sorry for being so annoying, but would you be able to explain that? I don't quite understand. ;P

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