English 10 Honors, Period 7
1 April 2014
Animal Farm, Dystopia at its Best
Dystopian works have been written for many years, with many interpretations of what a dystopia essentially is. A dystopia is "the opposite of utopia, depicting [an] imagine universe and [a] fictional [society] in which the living is bad and imperfect because of human misery, poverty, terror, corruption and oppression" ("Dystopia Definition", np). Dystopian characteristics can be found in many pieces of literature, and that includes Animal Farm (1946) by George Orwell. The novel features various animals in the place of what would normally be humans, as the main characters. The animals on the farm felt oppressed by their farmer, and decided, after inspiration from a dying pig, to overthrow him. Over time the pigs, specifically one names Napoleon, take leadership over the animals and become dictatorial. George Orwell's Animal Farm is a dystopian novel, in which the animals of the farm are unified under a philosophical or religious control.
The nature of the dystopian society is emphasized with the use of propaganda, a figurehead, and the banishment of the natural world to portray the theme of not letting anyone take advantage of someone else.
One of the many characteristics of a dystopia includes philosophical control, which is when the members of the society are controlled by an ideology. "Generally, it treats a future in which the society is controlled by a dangerous ideology or religion which slowly destroys everything humanity has built along the road" (Sicoe, np). The animals on the farm were captivated by Old Major's speech, and eventually listen to anything and everything the pigs say. After Old Major passes, the pigs take over the animals and it leads to the development of the Seven Commandments.