Animal Farm-Context

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The background to the novel

George Orwell was the pen name of Eric Blair (1903-1950), a prolific writer of novels, poetry, criticism, journalism and non-fiction. He wrote the manuscript of Animal Farm after his experience of the Spanish Civil War. The book is without doubt intended to refer to the Russian Revolution and society following events of 1917. Orwell said as much in his writings. This attack on Russia is the main reason why he struggled to get the book published, as Russia had been an ally in World War Two. Nevertheless, it was published in 1945 with the subtitle "A Fairy Story", although the subtitle has not always been used. The book (considered a novella rather than a full-sized novel) is an allegory of events in Russia from just before the October Revolution in 1917 to the 1940s, and as such is a savage indictment (formal accusation) of the way the country - and Communist leader Stalin in particular - abandoned ideals. Animal Farm can also be read as a general indictment of any dictator and tyrant and is considered political literature with universal resonance.

Allegory

This literary technique works well if you want to have a satirical impact on the reader. You tell a simple tale, but the reader is able to recognise that the characters or - as is quite often the case - creatures in the story have counterparts in another story. So the Parable of the Sower and the Seed in

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