The Doomed Totalitarianism—An Analysis of Symbols In Animal Farm毕业论文_英语毕业论文

The Doomed Totalitarianism—An Analysis of Symbols In Animal Farm毕业论文

2021-04-07更新

摘 要

乔治·奥威尔的《动物庄园》是一部洋溢着政治批判色彩的寓言式小说。该小说通过动物的革命,阐释了权力是如何从人转移到动物,再从动物转移到动物的独裁者拿破仑这一过程。本文主要借助小说的三要素,通过揭示人物、情节、以及小说发生的背景这三者与极权主义的紧密联系,从而暗示了在当时的社会大环境下,极权主义发生的必然性。

关键词: 乔治·奥威尔,动物庄园,小说三要素,极权主义

Contents

1. Introduction………………………………………………………………………………………………….1

2. Demonstration………………………………………………………………………………………………3

2.1 Introduction of totalitarianism……………………………………………………………………….3

2.2 Totalitarianism manifested by characters………………………………………………………..4

2.2.1 Major characterization of pigs: Snowball and Napoleon……………… ……………….4

2.2.2 Major characterization of other animals: Boxer and Benjamin………………………..5

2.3 Totalitarianism manifested by plots………………………………………………………………..7

2.3.1 The Battle of the Cowshed…………………………………………………………………………7

2.3.2 The Construction of the Windmill……………………………………………………………….8

2.4 Totalitarianism manifested by settings……………………………………………………………9

2.4.1 The east side of Animal Farm……………………………………………………………………..9

2.4.2 The west side of Animal Farm…………………………………………………………………..10

3. Conclusion………………………………………………………………………………………………….11

Notes……………………………………………………………………………………………………………..12

Works Cited……………………………………………………………………………………………………13

Bibliography…………………………………………………………………………………………………..14

The Doomed Totalitarianism—An Analysis of Three Elements of Novel in Animal Farm

  1. Introduction

George Orwell (1903-1950), a British novelist, is a literary classic writer of the 20th century who enjoys great popularity in the whole world. He is also one of the political writers who gives much concern to the fate of human beings. Orwell is considered as one of “the main defenders of human responsibility and the great tradition of moral choice” (Click 67). However, in more than 50 years after his death, the author and his works have attracted enormous public attention. His early works are mostly out of his own experience, reflecting his persistence to explore life and the essence of sincerity and courage. For instance, Burmese Days (1934). For the following years, his works are devoted to culture-related criticism, and the representative works include Inside the Whale (1940) and The Lion and The Unicorn: Socialism and the English Genius (1941). In his later years, his works mainly expose the human totalitarian thought and the destruction of human life. One of them is Nineteen Eighty-Four (1948), which has been translated into 60 languages and listed in The Twentieth Century Hundred Outstanding English Novels.

Orwell’s best-selling novel Animal Farm, a short novel published in 1944, apparently shows us how totalitarianism forms under the governance of Napoleon. When animals expel Mr. Jones out of the manor, actually, they only emancipate temporarily. A few weeks later, we find that the power owned by human beings before just shifts from humans to animals, and then from animals to Napoleon, the dictator. The turning point of the story is supposed to at the moment when the pigs keep the milk and apples for themselves. We may sense some pessimistic atmospheres in this novel: dictatorship is overthrown but totalitarianism would follow hard at heel (Wang 25). Much more significantly, in terms of writing background, Animal Farm is born out of the Second World War from which many countries gain independence and justice. According to Orwell, the book records some events that happen before the Second World War in the Stalin era. At that time, he has become a socialist fighter for democracy, and decides to devote his life to the revolt against Joseph Stalin and his Moscow-directed Stalinism. “Surely the most important fictional satire to be written in twentieth-century Britain”, comments by Malcolm Bradbury, the famous novelist and reviewer.1 New York Times praises it as “A wise, compassionate, and illuminating fable for our times.” In addition, San Francisco Chronicle regards it as “Orwell’s satire here is amply broad, cleverly conceived, and delightfully written.” 2

As an important species of Orwell’s novel, the researchers on Animal Farm are various. The overseas studies of this novel for a major part devote themselves to the account of the introduction of Animal Farm associate with biography of George Orwell. In addition, the studies abroad can be classified into the following aspects: the background of the novel, narrative techniques, interpretation of characters.3 Different from abundant studies abroad, the concerns of this master and his works at home are just at its very beginning. Domestic studies on Animal Farm are still limited, which mainly focus on the writing styles and theme, or some comparative studies between Animal Farm and 1984.4 There is much room for a variety of interpretations of George Orwell whom we still know so little and of his works which affected the world so much (Li 6).

Put specifically, this thesis will focus on the exploration of totalitarianism in Animal Farm, from the perspective of three elements of Animal Farm. The first chapter is the introduction of totalitarianism, which includes its definition, origin, characteristics, and the difference between totalitarianism and authoritarianism. The second chapter deals with the connection between totalitarianism and characters of the novel, in terms of the characterization of pigs and other animals. The third chapter focuses on the links between totalitarianism and plots of the novel, including two typical events—— “the Battle of the Cowshed”, and “the Construction of the Windmill”. And the forth chapter turns to show the association between totalitarianism and settings of the novel. It is generally analyzed from two geographical locations—— the east side of “Animal Farm” and the west side of “Animal Farm”. To put it into a nutshell, all these parts aim to demonstrate the inevitability of totalitarianism.

  1. Demonstration

2.1 Introduction of totalitarianism

According to Oxford Dictionary, totalitarianism is a political system in which the state holds total authority over the society and seeks to control all aspects of public and private life wherever possible. While some people are easy to mix up the meaning of totalitarianism and authoritarianism. Actually, the term “authoritarianism” denotes a state that a dictator or a committee monopolizes the power only in politics.5 Compared with authoritarianism, in other words, totalitarianism is an extreme form of authoritarianism for its power penetrates into all the parts of the society.

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