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Comparison Between Swifts Gullivers Travels And Orwells

Comparison Between Swift?s ?Gulliver?s Travels? And Orwell?s ?Animal Farm Essay, Research Paper


Orwell (1903-1950), or Eric Arthur Blair as he was formerly known, was born in

Bengal, India.? His father was a minor

British official in the Indian Civil Service; his mother was the daughter of an

unsuccessful teak merchant in Burma.? ??????? Orwell?s

family returned to England in 1911, and lived at Shiplake in Oxfordshire.? At the age of eight, Orwell attended St

Cyprian?s, a prep school where he was distinguished by his intellect and

poverty.? ??????? Orwell

realised his urge for writing from a very early age and wrote many poems and

stories, two of which were printed in the local newspaper.? However, he

did not have any siblings of a similar age in his childhood and became lonely;

he developed ?disagreeable mannerisms?, that made him an unpopular child at his

school.? Orwell described this miserable

period in an essay ?Such Such were the Joys? The essay was written as a

suggestion by his school friend Cyril Connolly who was also destined to pursue

a literary career and became one of Orwell?s most useful contacts.?? From 1917

to 1921, Orwell attended Eton, one of England?s leading schools, where he

published his first writings as college periodicals.? Authors he read included Jonathan Swift, whose satire would be a

key element in Orwell?s style.? Like Swift,

Orwell moved countries several times and during his enlistment with the Indian

Burma Police he realised how much against their will, the Burmese were being

ruled by the British.? Later he

was to recount his experiences and his reactions to Imperial rule in his novel

?Burmese days? (1934) and in two autobiographical sketches ?Shooting an

elephant? and ?A Hanging?.? After being

injured, Orwell resigned from the Imperial Police and declaring himself an

anarchist, took cheap lodgings in London?s East end, living among the poor

labourers. He spent

some time in Paris, and then in 1931 he went back to England, moving around the

country eventually settling at a farm.?

All these experiences provided the material of Orwell?s first book,? ?Down and Out in London?.? Through the

years, Orwell wrote many more novels and his anarchism settled into a more

mature socialism.? He made a tour in

order to gather material for a book on the social conditions in the

industrialised cities and improvised mining communities in the North of

England.? He also

kept a diary during February and March 1936 that would form the basis of this

book ?The Road to Wigan Pier?. ??????? In

1936, Orwell rented the small general store in Wallington, which he ran as a

business with his wife.?? Although they

left Wallington in 1940, Orwell visited often and the village?s most enduring

legacy was its Manor farm; this would form the basis for ?Animal Farm?.? Like

Gulliver?s Travels, Animal Farm can be enjoyed on more than one level, as

readers who have no intellectual experience of the political parallels will

still receive the raw emotional jolt.?

Regardless of whether you know a lot about Russia and the revolution,

?Animal Farm? has an absorbing story which adults and children should find

enjoyable. However,

knowledge of the political comparisons helps bring about a better overall

understanding of the book and help you to appreciate Orwell?s motivation for

writing.? Orwell?s original intention

for writing was to ?expose some lie? and his initial concern was to ?get a

hearing?. He realised, like Swift that the world held many political problems

which needed to be brought to the attention of the public, and found writing to

be the most effective and ?aesthetically pleasing? way.? Fortunately

for Orwell, he did not need to use the same level of subtlety in his writings

to avoid government intervention although he realised the power of satire and

employed it throughout the whole of ?Animal Farm?.? Both Orwell and Swift?s works are attacks on humanity in general

and both satirised certain individuals.?

In ?Animal Farm?, Orwell?s characters

are a representation of historical people who were involved in the Russian

revolution of 1917.? For example

Napoleon, the large fierce looking Berkshire boar is a satire of Joseph

Stalin.? ?Snowball was a more vivacious

pig than Napoleon, quicker in speech and more intelligent?.? In this passage Orwell is comparing Stalin

to Leon Trotsky, another leader of the October revolution.? ??????? Napoleon

uses Squealer the pig as his propagandist because of Squealer?s excellent

persuasion skills.? Joseph Stalin also

used propaganda and this kept him on top of the Russian government.? Napoleon?s main advantage over controlling

the animals of the farm is his exploitation of the dogs.? Orwell uses them to represent the KGB or

perhaps more accurately, the bodyguards of Stalin.? Orwell almost speaks of the dogs as ?mindless robots? so

dedicated to Napoleon that they cannot really speak for themselves.? This is supported by Napoleon?s early and

suspicious removal of six puppies from their mother.? Orwell?s

satirisation of characters in his book goes into such detail that even

characters as frivolous as the pigeons represent important parts of the Russian

revolution. Early on in

the book, the pigs create seven commandments for all animals to abide by but

gradually; they change over time as the pigs become increasingly dominant.? The pigs prey on the weaknesses and

forgetfulness of the animals and slowly each commandment is altered in some

way.? For example, the commandment, No

animal shall drink alcohol, is changed to No animal shall drink alcohol to

excess after Napoleon gets drunk and subsequently has a hangover. Although the

animals generally do not realise it, the pigs are exploiting the animals into

living a life worse than how it was before the pigs took over. Another

example of Orwell?s satire is when the most powerful and perhaps gullible

animal, Boxer falls after the strains of building the windmill, and is taken

away in a glue cart much to the animals despair.? Squealer then goes on to tell them that the cart was for a

hospital and once again the animals are tricked.? The ironic fact is revealed when a crate of whisky arrives for

the pigs and the reader realises what they have done. After the

removal of Snowball by Napoleon at the beginning, Napoleon has acquired himself

a scapegoat for all the bad things that happen on the farm by blaming them on

Snowball.? For example, Napoleon

explains to the animals that the food shortages are because of Snowball

sneaking in at night.? At a gathering in

the barn, many animals come forward to explain that Snowball has been telling

them to cause trouble amongst the farm and Napoleon?s dogs kill them in front

of the other animals.? This is a most

likely to be a tactic of Napoleon to get the animals to say that, to reinforce

Snowball?s existence and act as a deadly warning of Napoleon?s power and authority. Like Swift,

Orwell uses humour as a part of satire in certain places to make a point.? Orwell?s humour is much more subtle, he

shows the pigs difficulty in getting to grips with human tools in a comical way

?it is not easy for a pig to balance on a ladder?.? Whereas Swift blatantly uses ?toilet humour? throughout which

caused much offence to certain people.?

Orwell?s writing style is similar to Swift?s in that it is clear, strong

and precise.? These qualities are vital

for a book where it is important for the reader to understand the message they

are trying to convey.? It also increases

the impact and can be very influential ?There was a deadly silence. Amazed,

terrified, huddling?. ??????? On

a personal level, I enjoyed ?Animal Farm? more because of its simple persuasive

style, which I found absorbing and kept me interested right to the very

end.? However, I also enjoyed

?Gulliver?s Travels? because it is so different to any book I have read and its

subtle, yet provocative satirical points enhanced the pleasure of reading it.