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Extra info for Animal Farm by George Orwell

Sample text

The growing gap between the pigs' way of life and that of the animals represents the growing hierarchical structure of soviet life. Boxer's death probably represents the death or exile of so many ordinary people during the Terror - many were taken off to concentration camps. The van Boxer is taken away in also suggests the gas vans of 46 Hitler. The return of Moses to the farm represents Stalin's attempt to reconcile the church, an attempt which brought him world-wide contempt and ridicule. The use of language to pervert the truth is satirised here in Squealer's substitution of 'readjustment' for 'reduction'.

In Squealer's 'ugly look at Boxer' lies Boxer's future, for he has shown himself to be inconveniently resistant to reconstructing the past as directed. When the dogs attack him we are not too surprised although the action amazes the animals who view him as their hero. When Squealer's speeches on the dignity oflabour failed to move them, they found inspiration in Boxer's strength and resolution. In the previous chapter we saw how lies were being used to control the animals and in this chapter we see that not only what the animals thought is to be distorted but also what they actually saw.

Once again the animals are satisfied but this now irritates the reader. After the pathos of the animals' position at the close of the previous chapter (the horrors they have witnessed and the disillusion they have suffered), we expect something more of them but they accept that there was 'good reason' for executing the traitors and are satisfied. The admiration we felt for Boxer when he was so upset about the stable boy, the enemy he thought he had killed, can be brought to mind here to contrast with this rather glib acceptance of mass murder.

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