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Wednesday, December 17, 2008

13th December- Allegories in Animal Farm-presentations

1. Definition of Allegory
2.Why is George Orwell's novel 'Animal Farm' an allegory?
3.What is it an allegory of?
A: It is an allegory of the Bolshevik Revolution in Russia.
Presentation summaries-
1. Siddharth Venkatasubramaniam spoke about how Squealer is an allegory of Stalin.

  • Squealer was the propaganda chief for Napolean
  • He tries to change the negative attitude of people towards Napolean
  • His role in the novel is similar to that of the KGB in the revolution.

2. Joshi spoke about how Moses the raven is an allegory of the Russian Orthodox Church

  • Moses the raven represents the Russian Orthodox church
  • It is an analogy of how Stalin was against the Russian Orthodox Church
  • The Soviet Government suppressed religion

Discussion that followed the presentation-

1. Possible significance of the name-

  • The name is criticizing a particular class of the society. It satirizes the orthodox church and the religious group who had false consciousness
  • It criticizes the niche of Christianity which potrays two types of Christ

3. Hima Mammen spoke about Mollie the horse which is a representation of the class of aristocrats to whom the political situation makes no difference

  • Mollie is the pet of the human beings
  • She is very feminine in her characteristics
  • She is dependent and materialistic
  • She gives away her freedom for small things that make a huge difference to her (ribbon)
  • She is indifferent to the troubles of the farm and represents the class of society whch remained unaffected by the revolution and the political situation prevelant at that time.
  • She represents the class of society that have found another world (the old order and the new order) that they cannot give up.
  • Extra information discussed- 'The Autobiography of an Unknown Indian' by Nirad C. Chaudhuri talks about an Indian who cannot get over the fact that India is no more ruled by the British. A man who believes that during the British rule, there was a class, order, sophistication, discipline etc.Finally, not being able to handle it anymore, the man goes and settles down in England which is similar to the situation Mollie undergoes in Animal Farm. She runs away!
  • The character of Mollie is similar to that of Marie Antoinnette in the French Revolution.

4. Abhishek Chaudhari spoke about how Snowball is an allegory of Trotsky-

  • Trotsky formed the South Russian Labur Party
  • Ideas of Stalin and Trotsky were always in conflict and similarly in the novel, the ideas of Napolean and Snowball are always contradicting.
  • Trotsky was sent into exile and in the novel Snowball escapes
  • Extra information- In the actual revolution, Stalin sent the KGB to murder Trotsky but this detail is not mentioned in the novel. This shows that no writing can be a perfect representation of reality. It has the style, creativity, angle and ideas of the writer who moulds the characters and incidents.In writing, a real life character is moulded in such a way that it has some relation with the other characters.
  • Question raised after this discussion-(a)Is there anything in the revolution that is a representation of the windmill incident?(b) Is there anything in the novel that is a representation of the South Russian Labour Party?

5. Titto spoke about Boxer and Clover-

  • Represent the working class of society.
  • In Animal Farm, Snowball and Benjamin can be said to represent the Intelligensia while Bozer and Clover represent the ignorant and unaware working class.
  • Question raised by Alan Polson- Why was education necessary? A:- To raise awareness and to unite them for revolution.
  • Mr. Pinto's question- Is working class equal to the peasants? A:- Anybody who works for a wage is part of the 'working class'.
  • Generally the working class is aware of the political situation but in the novel, though Boxer and Clover are part of the working class, they are oblivious to the conditions.

6. Shalini Chandy spoke about Benjamin the donkey-

  • Benjamin represents the older population of Russia.
  • There is a possibility that Benjamin represents the Jewish people as he has the same intelligence as the pigs but is not a leader as one would expect a charactr of equal calibre to be.
  • Benjamin neither adviced nor criticized. He represents those people who had no expectations from the revolution.
  • Question raised by Alan Polson- Could Benjami be some sort of an advisor to the Czar? A:- He couldn't be because as mentioned earlier, the characterof Benjamin neither advised nor criticised.
  • Point discussed with regard to the above question- Mr.Jones represents the Czar, so if Mr. Jones was dependent on Benjamin in any way, he could be considered an advisor to the Czar.
  • Discussion/ Point to be verified- Why is Benjamin compared to a donkey and not any other animal? The doubt arises because a donkey is generally an animal of slavery, so why the donkey?


Pinto,Anil.Class discussions and presentations.Animal Farm.Owell,George.Christ University,Bangalore,India.13 Dec 2009


Abey Jose said...

Good Job Vani. keep it up!!

Anonymous said...

Thanks Abey...:)

Anonymous said...
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