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A Comparison Between Swifts Gullivers Travels And

A Comparison Between Swift s Gulliver s Travels And Orwell s Animal Farm Essay Research Paper In many ways Gulliver s Travels is a unique work There is little to compare it to in world literature and at first glance Animal Farm appears to be a Comparison Between Swifts Gullivers Travels And Orwells Animal Farm Essay Research Paper In many ways Gullivers.

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

????????? In many ways ?Gulliver?s Travels? is a

unique work. There is little to compare it to in world literature and at first

glance, ?Animal Farm? appears to be a very different kind of book.? The authors are separated by over two

centuries, yet there are a surprising number of similarities between ?Animal

Farm? and ?Gulliver?s Travels?. Some of the most intriguing similarities can be found when you examine

the two authors, George Orwell and Jonathan Swift.? They are perhaps the most prolific political writers of their

time and? share likenesses that occur

throughout their upbringing, to the publication of their books. Orwell, like Swift, felt a deep sense of isolation throughout his

childhood especially in 1911, at a preparatory boarding school.? There he was distinguished among the other

boys for his poverty and intellectual brilliance.? Orwell grew up a morose, withdrawn, eccentric boy, and told of

the miseries of these years in his autobiographical essay, ?Such, Such Were The

Joys? (1953). ????????? Orwell and Swift both received an

excellent education, Orwell at Eton and Swift at Trinity College, and found

themselves as editors later in their lives.?

In 1943-45, Orwell became the literary editor of the Tribune, having

contributed several articles to the Observer and Manchester Evening News.? Swift (as noted in ?Swift and his Satire In

?Gulliver?s Travels? And ?A Modest Proposal??), had been editor of The Examiner

two hundred and fifty years earlier. The authors? backgrounds heavily influenced their purpose for writing

their novels.? Jonathan Swift was Irish

and, in ?Gulliver?s Travels?, satirised George I?s court and the English

landowners in Ireland.? George Orwell

was English and satirised political power including Communism, in the Russian

revolution and its aftermath. ?Animal Farm? is also an attack and analysis of

the search for power and the ways in which corrupt figures can gain and

manipulate power for their own purposes.?

Lord Acton observed that: ?Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts

absolutely?. Orwell stated that ?Totalitarianism has abolished freedom of

thought to an extent unheard of in any previous age?.? He believed that this was achieved not only by preventing or

forbidding certain thoughts or ideas but also by telling people exactly what to

think.? This is demonstrated from the beginning of ?Animal Farm? when Snowball

simplifies Major?s ideas into slogans, in an effort to make the less

intelligent animals understand the principals of animalism.? For example, Major?s statement that

?Whatever goes upon two legs is an enemy? is reduced to the slogan ?Four legs

good.? Two legs bad?.? This simplification can lead to a loss of

meaning and become dangerous as we see when the sheep use the chant to drown

any opposition to Napoleon in the meetings.?

Both Orwell and Swift made their intentions in writing their novels

clear in the preface, which created great difficulties for their publication

namely because of the controversial satire within them.? ?Animal Farm?, for instance, was veiled a

criticism of the regime in the Soviet Union at a time when the regime was

Britain?s ally.? In order to avoid any further delays in the publication of the two

books, they were subtitled ?fairy stories? to obscure the true purposes behind

the writing of the two books.? In

?Animal Farm?, however, this also drew the readers? attention to the artificial

nature of the story line.? ?Animal Farm? and ?Gulliver?s Travels? are both political allegories and

can be read on different levels.?

?Gulliver?s Travels? can be read as a travel book, diary, fantasy and

satire of the time.? ?Animal Farm,

however, can be read on fewer levels: as a fable and a satire of general human

nature and the Russian Revolution. Besides satire, ?Gulliver?s Travels? can be considered as having many

genres whereas ?Animal Farm? has been classed as a fable.? These works (such as Aesop?s Fables) utilise

animal characters to make serious moral points.? Characters do not behave in a naturalistic or realistic way but

are symbolic of certain attitudes or view points e.g. Anthropomorphism as seen

in ?Animal Farm? and ?Gulliver?s Travels?. ?George Orwell?s novel satirises

ways in which power can be abused by individuals, whereas Jonathan Swift

targets all human foibles and institutions. ?I have ever hated all nations,

professions and communities, and all of my love is towards individuals: for

instance I hate the tribe of lawyers, but I love councilor such a one, judge

such a one? but principally I hate and detest that animal called man, although

I heartily love John, Peter Thomas and so forth?. This is one of the principal

differences between the two authors and the two novels. The structure of

?Animal Farm? helps to clarify the theme of the betrayed revolution through

repetition of certain key images or phrases.?

It follows a conventional narrative structure, written in the third

person in contrast to ?Gulliver?s Travels? which is written in the first

person. The story is

divided into ten chapters, which have the decline of the high ideals of the

animalistic revolution.? The book is

also structured in a more subtle way.?

Once the revolution had happened, several chapters open by referring to

the suffering of the animals or the harsh winters (Chapters 5,6 and 7 all open

in this way) and end with the gradual perversion of one of the commandments. The repetition of

various ideas and images forms a pattern in the text and links events

together.? In particular, Major?s speech

at the start of the novel is echoed and referred throughout the novel, to

provide a standard by which the pigs? actions are judged. ????????? The recurrent appearance of the

menacing dogs ensures that the reader never forgets the terror and violence

that underpins Napoleon?s rule: the sheep?s mindless and repetitive bleating is

used in a similar way. ????????? The repeated breaking of the

commandments and the animals? continual checking of the wall, makes clear to

the reader, the gradual distortion of Major?s ideals.? This reaches a shocking climax, when all pretence of following

the commandments is abandoned by the pigs, in favour of open terror and

oppression, signified by the whips. In contrast to

?Animal Farm?, the structure of ?Gulliver?s Travels? has often been

criticised.? It has been suggested that

the neat balance between Lilliput and Brobdingnag is not maintained in Books 3

and 4.? Book 3 lacks a single

imaginative design such as links the opening Books together and returns in the

4th.? Book 3 was written

last, and it seems to consist of many loose ideas that Swift wanted to squeeze

in without spoiling the climax.?? ?Gulliver?s

Travels? consists of long sentences, which are heavily punctuated and full of

intricate descriptions. ?His features are strong and masculine, with an Austrian

lip, and arched nose, his complexion olive, his countenance erect, his body and

limbs well proportioned, all his motions graceful, and his deportment

majestic?.? This quote, taken from

?Gulliver?s Travels?, represents only a very small portion of the description

of the Emperor. ?Animal Farm? has

a simplistic style composed of a simple storyline and straightforward

characters. ?He was twelve years old and had lately grown rather stout, but was

still a majestic-looking pig, with a wise and benevolent appearance in spite of

the fact that his tushes had never been cut?.?

This quote, taken from ?Animal Farm?, describes Old Major. We see the

pigs make use of the word ?equality to mean its opposite. The style of writing

has enabled Orwell?s comments to be transmitted to the widest audience in its

most readable form.? Orwell suggested

that writers simplify their words, use straightforward language rather than

foreign or technical words, which could mislead the reader and fail to make the

meaning clear.? Orwell also suggested

that language had to try, as far as possible, to reflect the truth of an issue

rather than be distorted or relay false sentiments or feelings.? In ?Animal Farm?, language is used to cover

up meaning.? ????????? Despite the large time span separating

the two authors, it has been possible to find many similarities and contrasts

in the two novels.? However, the main

factor that has ensured the novels? success over the years, is their appeal and

popularity among adults and children alike.?

Chancie Knights April 1998

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