Animal Farm

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1. Of all of the characters in Animal Farm, are there any who seem to represent the point of view of the author? Which of the animals or people do you think come(s) closest to achieving Orwell’s perspective on Animal Farm?

2. What régime or political movement is being criticised in this novel? Similarly, could this apply to any other form of governance? Give some background about George Orwell that could shed some light on this situation.

3. In what way in the setting a dystopia? Does the revolution endeavour to establish a utopia? How effective is it?

4. Napoleon is a controversial figure. How does he ascend to power? Describe. Is it clever or by mistake?

5. Explain the various animal disappearances. Who are they? Why are they "disappearing"? Are they necessary? Who is responsible? Is this information provided or is it inferred?

6a. Before and after. How do the lives of the animals change from before the revolution and after. Is their situation improved? Described in detail.

6b. Compare the lives of the animals when they live under Jones and under Napoleon. In what ways has Napoleon proven himself a similar tyrant?

7. Why did George Orwell cast this tale as a fable, as opposed to writing a direct essay critique of his intended target? Why have writers from across the world and from every century ever done this?

8. HOW and WHY to the tenets / 7 commandments of animalism once written on the wall change over the course of time. What is the result of this change? How do the pigs under Napoleon get away with it?

9. Discuss Boxer. What role does he play on the farm? Why does Napoleon seem to feel threatened by him? In what ways might one view the betrayal of Boxer as an alternative climax of the novel (if we consider Napoleon’s banishment of Snowball and the pigs’ initial consolidation of power as the true climax)?

10. Based upon Animal Farm, what deductions can a reader make about the kind of political system of which Orwell would approve?

11. What is the role or Squealer? Explain why he is an essential element of the Napoleon régime.

12. We "read" two texts; one written and one told. Which did you prefer? Why? Were both the same? If not, in what ways did they differ?

13. How is the novel a general critique of society? What does the author think society and citizens ought to do? think? act?

14. Benjamin is a curious character, an old donkey; someone who has been around and "seen" a lot. What is his role? Why is he so important? What is meant by his repeating the saying "donkeys live a long time"?

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1. I think that Snowball and Boxer represent what Orwell saw as positive characters that could make socialism work. Unfortunately there are too many other characters that destroy the idea of an animal utopia.

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