English Literature GCSE Revision Notes
Animal Farm Themes: Higher Level– English Literature GCSE Study
Animal Farm was written by George Orwell and published in 1945. It was primarily written about the Stalinist Regime in Russia. The book showcases his opinions on the corruption of power and the unfair deal delivered to the working classes.
At the beginning of the novel we find that men are in charge. They exploit the animals and use them up until they are worn out, then they are killed.
The animals overthrow the humans with a dream in their hearts and idealistic socialist hopes for a more equal and democratic future.
The pigs are the most educated of the animals and quickly take on the position of leaders. Soon we see that the pigs will also use their empowered position to their own ends.
Napoleon is one of the pigs who quickly uses the dogs to enforce his will. The animals (like the Russian people) become afraid to speak up and go against the new leaders. Anyone who does ends up coming to an unpleasant end.
Like the Soviet (Russian) propaganda the Animals are fooled by the clever use of language and the communication from the Pig’s spokesman Squealer.
The animals give their hard work but get nothing different in return. Their loyalty is exploited in order to get the best out of them.
The general themes in the novel are;
Oppression of the working classes
The abuse of power
The abuse of language and violence as tools of power
Propaganda and control
For more info on the themes in Animal Farm go to ….. for the foundation notes and songs. For other English texts on the GCSE English Literature syllabus, check out our songs and revision notes at……
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