How does George Orwell use a 'fairy story' to criticize the Russian Revolution and its subsequent developments

Essay by crunchieHigh School, 10th grade June 2004

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'Animal Farm' is a novella by George Orwell that was written during Russia's height of communism power. Orwell cleverly disguises the true meaning and message of his novel 'Animal Farm' behind a fairy story. Writers such as Orwell often use social criticism in their books to show corruptness or weak points of a group in society. Underneath everything, the story is really an allegory whose deeper meaning concerns the Russian Revolution and rule under Josef Stalin. Orwell uses many ways to link his fairy story to historical events of the Russian Revolution. As Orwell himself explained, Animal Farm "is the history of a revolution that went wrong". Who ever would of that that a fairy story about farmyard animals is really a critical satire on the Russian Revolution? Orwell had to get his message across discreetly, and what better to do this than to do it in the form of a children's story? Through Orwell's general approach to the presentation of the novel, he creates a way in which to explore and criticize the events of the Revolution, while at the same time, creating a completely individual train of events.

Orwell uses the innocence of a fairy story to get his point of view across. He did not dare to voice his opinion freely, as this would surely mean a price on his head, and definite persecution from the communists. The structure of the novel is skillfully organised, and the careful reader may detect the allegory of the novel even from the first chapter. Fairy stories are always usually filled with humour and entertainment, and Orwell combines some great humour into this symbolic story to criticize the Russian Revolution and to make a mockery of Totalitarean rule, the "working class" ideas and developments for the future.