Friday, April 30, 2010

Animals in Animal Farm

In George Orwell's Animal Farm, farm animals represent the people of Russia during the period immediately following World War I. His use of this representation increases the effectiveness of the novel perhaps ten-fold, for under this guise, he could write against the Soviet Union, as he did, without having to worry about his life suddenly ending in a Soviet execution. This opaque shield also may have allowed the book to circulate inside Russia, without a second glance from the KGB. However, the use of animals also makes this novel reminiscent of Aesop's fables. Such connection attract fans of Aesop in droves. Another attractant lies in George Orwell's characterization. He always kept the fact that the animals were just animals painfully apparent. Despite his personification of every farm animal, he still acknowledges the fact that they are, in some cases, unintelligent, not bipedal, and unable to manufacture certain products. This unique methodology could possibly appeal to some readers. All in all, Orwell's choice to use animals instead of humans as the main characters in Animal Farm probably attracted far more readers than simply casting humans into the roles would have.