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Thread: Animal Farm by Orwell

  1. #1
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    Post Animal Farm by Orwell

    Not quite sure if this is the right place to put this thread. Just registered here today so if I'm out of line asking this here, just let me know and I apologize in advance. Anyway, I'm writing a research paper on George Orwell's novella, Animal Farm. My topic is: The vulnerability of a naive and uneducated working class (as seen in the novella with the animals on Manor Farm not being very knowledgeable of Old Major's theory and just in general not very smart creatures, leaving them to be taken over by the smarter pigs, and also in real life with the Bolsheviks taking over a Russian working class who blindly/ignorantly supported communism). I don't think it's a bad topic to research, but I'm struggling to come up with sub-topics to support my thesis. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

    My thesis: George Orwell illustrates the dangers of a naive and uneducated working class through characterization and historical allusions in Animal Farm.

    Not asking you to write my paper, I just need sub-topics to help get me started. Thank you!

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    What grade/class level is this for?

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    Existentialist Varenne Rodin's Avatar
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    Hm. Not really about communism, to my mind. That's sort of a skewed view. I'm a communist, for example, but I would never support the totalitarian sort of regime that crops up in Animal Farm. That would be in conflict with the ideals of communal living. If you drop that bit about communism, you might have an easier time developing some sub-categories. It's certainly limiting to name it as your major destructive force.

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    Hate to break it to you, but there is no example of communism that didn't lead to totalitarian rule of some sort. Makes a person wonder and draw inferences...

    To the OP, sub-topics that spring to my mind are an analysis of the specific historical situation (how your thesis is demonstrated from there), an analysis of Animal Farm (showing how it does match the historical situation, how your thesis is specifically embodied in the story) and then a more focused summary of your thesis and what implications can be drawn from it (in the abstract and perhaps concrete applications to a specific social/political situation in the present time).

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    Existentialist Varenne Rodin's Avatar
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    Governments change, Togre. Once communism isn't communism anymore, it's not communism anymore. It's like saying helping your fellow man, and working together for the good of the society as a whole, leads to a psycho being empowered to murder everyone. It's a red herring. If a maniac takes hold of what might have otherwise been a harmonious union, it's not from some failure of the ideals of the union, it's the failure of the maniac to embrace something good.

    I do agree that people can take pacifism too far, and to their detriment, but I still don't see that as a failing of communism. I think you might be overlooking some existing communist states that have been functioning quite well and with no hint of looming genocide (I am obviously not referring to China).

    Take Iceland, for example, they've got lots of socialism going on. You could make the argument that they've gone bankrupt, but it's completely irrelevant because they're so self-sustaining. Their people don't pay a cent for energy because of the country's natural resources and willingness to have energy be free. They keep secure with closed borders to anyone without a profession or skill that could GREATLY benefit the collective. I see that as one big problem with the communist states you were referring to.

    I still completely disagree that communism itself led to the problems. Communism executed poorly, or by people too unorganized and unequipped (perhaps uneducated?) to stave off takeover by overlords, sure. Red herring.

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    Varenne: Animal Farm is an allegory of Russia's 1917 communist revolution. There's tons of resources backing that up.

    It's baseless to claim that it's not about communism at all.

    Orwell himself was a democratic socialist.

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    Existentialist Varenne Rodin's Avatar
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    Haha. You're right, Jay.

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by Jay Kinetic View Post
    Varenne: Animal Farm is an allegory of Russia's 1917 communist revolution. There's tons of resources backing that up.

    It's baseless to claim that it's not about communism at all.

    Orwell himself was a democratic socialist.
    It's not about communism. It's about Stalinism, but you could honestly replace that with any other totalitarian regime and the story wouldn't change. Why would Orwell, as a socialist, denigrate socialism?

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