Is this novel more authoritative than "cold, hard facts?"
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A good allegorical novel like Animal Farm can have even more impact than, as you say, "cold, hard facts." Orwell's Animal Farm is considered a classic allegory. George Orwell wrote the book during the Second World War as a cautionary fable in order to expose the seriousness of the dangers posed by Stalinism and totalitarian government. The impact of his novel has long outlasted many factual books on the same topic.