Archive for octubre, 2012


Posted by saformo on 15th octubre 2012

In conclusion, there is no doubt that the works of George Orwell are literary criticisim of a society and political states, and Animal Farm is not an exception but one of his most importantan political writing, because although Animal Farm is a novel with apparently fiction character, the book is a Political book from a distopiant point of view. Although he was a socialist Animal Farm criticises the consequences of political revolution, and Animal Farm, althought it can be adressed to any revolution, it seems to be addresed to the Russian Revolution, but as happened with Russian revolution, when they reach freedom another dictatorship system if going to start. For Orwell society is always corrupted and there is no revolution that can repair it, when peoples reach power they forget all their principles and they forget what they have fought for, power will be their main principle and people with power will always over-controlled the mass. Perfect society is impossible and Animal Farm is an allegory of society.

The animalism of Animal Farm resembles the Communist society, but as communism in Russia, things are not so ideal after the revolution and people are still controlled by the power of corrupted politics, and several of his characters in Animal Farm have a direct base on participants of the Russian Revolution as Stalin and Trotsky. The ideals of the Communist Manifesto are discredited beacuse proletarians can never enjoy what the representants of power promised when they still did not have power, the decadence of powers is reflected in the novel, it is the perversion of the ideas of Karl Marx and Engels in the Communist Manifesto. The idea of a perfect society  is impossible and this is also reflected in most of his works.


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Posted by saformo on 15th octubre 2012

This paper is going to be focused on the specific of how George Orwell described society and politics in his book Animal Farm, he identified himself with socialist ideas, but however he reflects in most of  his books and Animal Farm is not an exception that he was sick of society, every society becomes corrupted with power, so the perfect society seems to be impossible. George Orwell had a distopian idea of society. We´ll also develop the historical and political background to understand such a book as Animal Farm and we´ll also deal with the themes of the book amd an analys of the animal characters of the book, as every kind of animal represents someone concrete in a society, for example the blackbird in Animal seems to represent the church. Have a look through the links and you will find out that some characters even can have a specific representant, is Animal Farm describing a pessimistic point of view of revolutions such as the Russian one ?? Maybe we can understand the themes of the book through the blog.

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Posted by saformo on 15th octubre 2012

– Animal Farm historical context. Scribd. 10-10-2012

– A study guide for Animal Farm. The Glencoe literature library. 12-10-2012

– The Antagonish Review 111.Pyle, Steve. Last update 1:41 PM 23/02/99. St. Francis Xavier University. 12-10-2012

– Charles´George Orwell links. 1995 – 2012 Netcharles. 10-10-2012

George Orwell´s Animal farm and the politics of animal farm. Eissen, Paul. Charles´George Orwell links. 10-12-2012

Animal Farm character profiles. Charles´ George Orwell links. 9-10-12.

– Oxford National Bibliography.Goldman, Lawrence.First published September 2004 (ed. H. C. G. Matthew and Brian Harrison). Oxford University Press. 10-10-2012

Topics and Subjects MA English-Literature.Sunday, October 31, 2010. NEO English system. 12-10-2012

– Animal Farm historical context. Scribd. 10-10-2012



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Posted by saformo on 15th octubre 2012


As Orwell spent more and more time with the down-and-outs of England, he became convinced that the only remedy for the invidious

problem of poverty lay in socialism, a political andeconomic philosophy arguing that only when the state controlsthe means of production and distribution will all members of anation share its profits and rewards. Unlike capitalism , thephilosophy holding that a nation’s means of production anddistribution should be privately owned and controlled, socialismargues that only government regulation of a nation’s economycan close the gap between the rich and the poor. Although hewas not a virulent anti-capitalist , Orwell did think that onlywith the gradual introduction of socialist ideas and practices intoBritish life would the poor eventually come to share in the fruitsof their nation’s prosperity

As he explained in his Preface to the Ukrainian edition of Animal Farm, “I became pro-Socialist more out of disgust with the waythe poorer section of the industrial workers were oppressed and neglected than out of any theoretical admiration for a planned society.”

After fighting against fascism (an oppressive system ofgovernment in which the ruling party has complete economiccontrol) in the Spanish Civil War, Orwell dedicated himself toexploring political questions in his writing. As he explains in theessay “Why I Write,” “Every line of serious work I have writtensince 1936 has been written, directly or indirectly, against totalitarianism and for democratic socialism.” His detestation and fear of totalitarianism — an even more extreme form of fascism in which the ruling party hascomplete control over all aspects of a people’s lives — thusinformed much of his literary output.Orwell examined socialism in a number of his nonfiction works butwas prompted to write Animal Farm by what he saw as a Prevalent — and false — belief that the Russian Revolution of 1917 was a steptoward socialism for millions of poor and oppressed Russians. Orwellfelt that Stalin’s brutal rise to power was not only barbaric , but abetrayal of the socialist principles for which Lenin, Trotsky, and hehad presumably revolted.

In hindsight , this seems obvious, but in the world of World War IIEurope, such an attack on Russia was willingly stifled by manyBritish leftists who wanted to believe that Russia was indeed movingtoward a true union of socialist republics. The fact that Russia was— like England — fighting Hitler also made Orwell’s position more unpalatable to leftist thinkers. Still, he felt that Russia was notprogressing toward socialism but totalitarianism : “I was struck byclear signs of its transformation into a hierarchical society, inwhich the rulers have no more reason to give up their power thanany ruling class.” Convinced that “a destruction of the Soviet mythwas essential if we wanted a revival of the Socialist movement,”Orwell began thinking about how he could best communicate hisopinions on socialism and Stalin.

His thoughts were ignited when he happened to see a village boywhipping a cart-horse. At that moment, Orwell received theinspiration he needed to formulate his ideas into Animal Farm : “Itstruck me that if only such animals became aware of their strengthwe would have no power over them, and that men exploit animals”as the government in a totalitarian state exploits the commonpeople. Now Orwell had a plan for his novel which would both arguethe need for a true socialist government and warn the world of theways in which socialist ideas threatened the will of these in powerwho wish to control other people. His book would demonstrate theways in which — despite all of their socialist propaganda — theleaders of the Russian Revolution (especially Stalin) had created ina system even worse than its previous one and sound an alarm to all English readers about the dangers of believing in the Sovietmyth. After a number of rejections from publishers, the novel was finally accepted by the small publishing firm of Secker and Warburgand proved to be a tremendous success, both in England and theUnited States. AfterNineteen Eighty-Four, another novel thatportrays life under an oppressive government, Animal Farm Is Orwell’s most renowned work.Of course, the novel’s meaning is not rooted solely in its portrayalof the Russian Revolution. The novel asks its readers to examinethe ways in which political leaders with seemingly noble and altruistic motives can betray the very ideals in which theyOstensibly believe, as well as the ways in which certain membersof a nation can elect themselves to positions of great power andabuse their fellow citizens, all under the guise of assisting them.The novel also presents the subtle ways in which a group of citizens— of a farm or a nation — can be eventually led by the nose into aterrible life ruled by a totalitarian regime . In “Why I Write,” Orwelldescribes Animal Farm as “the first book in which I tried, with fullconsciousness of what I was doing, to fuse political purpose andartistic purpose into one whole.” His political purpose — presentinga model of socialism gone wrong — is found in the way that thenovel’s animals reflect different kinds of humans and their strugglesfor freedom and power. Orwell felt that a farm where “All AnimalsAre Equal” would solve many social and economic problems — buthe also knew that such a system would be difficult to maintain ,since some animals would act on the principle that “Some AreMore Equal Than Others.”


Animal Farm historical context. Scribd. 10-10-2012

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Posted by saformo on 15th octubre 2012



A Clergyman’s Daughter

Animal Farm

Burmese Days

Coming up for Air

Down and Out in Paris and London

Keep the Aspidistra Flying


Homage to Catalonia

The Road to Wigan Pier



The complete works of George Orwell. 12-10-2012

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Posted by saformo on 15th octubre 2012

Mr. Jones: Mr. Jones is Orwell’s chief (or at least most obvious) villain in Animal Farm. Of course Napoleon is also the major villain, however much more indirectly. Orwell says that at one time Jones was actually a decent master to his animals. At this time the farm was thriving. But in recent years the farm had fallen on harder times (symbol of the world-wide Great Depression of the 30’s) and the opportunity was seen to revolt. The world-wide depression began in the United States when the stock market crashed in October of 1929. The depression spread throughout the world because American exports were so dependent on Europe. The U.S. was also a major contributor to the world market economy. Germany along with the rest of Europe was especially hit hard. The parallels between crop failure of the farm and the depression in the 1930’s are clear. Only the leaders and the die-hard followers ate their fill during this time period.

Mr. Jones symbolizes (in addition to the evils of capitalism) Czar Nicholas II, the leader before Stalin (Napoleon). Jones represents the old government, the last of the Czars. Orwell suggests that Jones (Czar Nicholas II) was losing his “edge.” In fact, he and his men had taken up the habit of drinking. Old Major reveals his feelings about Jones and his administration when he says, “Man is the only creature that consumes without producing. He does not give milk, he does not lay eggs, he is too weak to pull the plough , he cannot run fast enough to catch rabbits. Yet he is lord of all the animals. He sets them to work, he gives back to them the bare minimum that will prevent them from starving and the rest he keeps for himself.”

So Jones and the old government are successfully uprooted by the animals. Little do they know, history will repeat itself with Napoleon and the pigs.

Old Major: Old Major is the first major character described by Orwell in Animal Farm. This “purebred” of pigs is the kind, grand fatherly philosopher of change— an obvious metaphor for Karl Marx. Old Major proposes a solution to the animals’ desperate plight under the Jones “administration” when he inspires a rebellion of sorts among the animals. Of course the actual time of the revolt is unsaid. It could be the next day or several generations down the road. But old Major’s philosophy is only an ideal.

After his death, three days after the barn-yard speech, the socialism he professes is drastically altered when Napoleon and the other pigs begin to dominate. It’s interesting that Orwell does not mention Napoleon or Snowball anytime during the great speech of old Major. This shows how distant and out-of-touch they really were; the ideals old Major proclaimed seemed to not even have been considered when they were establishing their new government after the successful revolt. It almost seemed as though the pigs fed off old Major’s inspiration and then used it to benefit themselves (a interesting twist of capitalism) instead of following through on the old Major’s honest proposal. This could be Orwell’s attempt to dig Stalin, who many consider to be someone who totally ignored Marx’s political and social theory.

Using old Major’s seeming naivety, Orwell concludes that no society is perfect, no pure socialist civilization can exist, and there is no way to escape the evil grasp of capitalism. (More on this in the Napoleon section.) Unfortunately when Napoleon and Squealer take over, old Major becomes more and more a distant fragment of the past in the minds of the farm animals.

Moses: Moses is perhaps Orwell’s most intriguing character in Animal Farm.This raven, first described as the “especial pet” of Mr. Jones, is the only animal who doesn’t work. He’s also the only character who doesn’t listen to Old Major’s speech of rebellion.

Orwell narrates, “The pigs had an even harder struggle to counteract the lies put about by Moses, the tame raven. Moses, who was Mr. Jones’s especial pet, was a spy and a tale-bearer, but he was also a clever talker. He claimed to know of the existence of a mysterious country called Sugarcandy Mountain, to which al animals went when they died. It was situated somewhere up in the sky, a little distance beyond the clouds, Moses said.In Sugarcandy Mountain it was Sunday seven days a week, clover was in season all the year round, and lump sugar and linseed cake grew on the hedges.The animals hated Moses because he told tales and did no work but some of them believed in Sugarcandy Mountain, and the pigs had to argue very hard to persuade them that there was no such place.”

Moses represents Orwell’s view of the Church.To Orwell, the Church is just used as a tool by dictatorships to keep the working class of people hopeful and productive. Orwell uses Moses to criticize Marx’s belief that the Church will just go away after the rebellion.Jones first used Moses to keep the animals working, and he was successful in many ways before the rebellion. The pigs had a real hard time getting rid of Moses, since the lies about Heaven they thought would only lead the animals away from the equality of socialism. But as the pigs led by Napoleon become more and more like Mr. Jones, Moses finds his place again. After being away for several years, he suddenly returns and picks up right where he left off. The pigs don’t mind this time because the animals have already realized that the “equality” of the revolt is a farce. So Napoleon feeds Moses with beer, and the full-circle is complete.

Orwell seems to offer a very cynical and harsh view of the Church. This proves that Animal Farm is not simply an anti-communist work meant to lead people into capitalism and Christianity. Really Orwell found loop-holes and much hypocrisy in both systems. It’s interesting that recently in Russia the government has begun to allow religion again. It almost seems that like the pigs, the Kremlin officials of today are trying to keep their people motivated, not in the ideology of communism, but in the “old-fashioned” hope of an after-life.

Snowball: Orwell describes Snowball as a pig very similar to Napoleon— at least in the early stages. Both pigs wanted a leadership position in the “new” economic and political system (which is actually contradictory to the whole supposed system of equality). But as time goes on, both eventually realize that one of them will have to step down. Orwell says that the two were always arguing. “Snowball and Napoleon were by far the most active in the debates. But it was noticed that these two were never in agreement: whatever suggestion either of them made, the other could be counted to oppose it.” Later, Orwell makes the case stronger. “These two disagreed at every point disagreement was possible.”

Soon the differences, like whether or not to build a windmill, become too great to deal with, so Napoleon decides that Snowball must be eliminated. It might seem that this was a spontaneous reaction, but a careful look tells otherwise. Napoleon was setting the stage for his own domination long before he really began “dishing it out” to Snowball. For example, he took the puppies away from their mothers in efforts to establish a private police force. These dogs would later be used to eliminate Snowball, his arch-rival.

Snowball represents Trotsky, the arch-rival of Stalin in Russia. The parallels between Trotsky and Snowball are uncanny. Trotsky too, was exiled, not from the farm, but to Mexico, where he spoke out against Stalin. Stalin was very weary of Trotsky, and feared that Trotsky supporters might try to assassinate him. The dictator of Russia tried hard to kill Trotsky, for the fear of losing leadership was very great in the crazy man’s mind. Trotsky also believed in Communism, but he thought he could run Russia better than Stalin. Trotsky was murdered in Mexico by the Russian internal police, the NKVD-the pre-organization of the KGB. Trotsky was found with a pick axe in his head at his villa in Mexico.

Napoleon: Napoleon is Orwell’s chief villain in Animal Farm. The name Napoleon is very coincidental since Napoleon, the dictator of France, was thought by many to be the Anti-Christ. Napoleon, the pig, is really the central character on the farm. Obviously a metaphor for Stalin, Comrade Napoleon represents the human frailties of any revolution. Orwell believed that although socialism is good as an ideal, it can never be successfully adopted due to uncontrollable sins of human nature. For example, although Napoleon seems as first to be a good leader, he is eventually overcome by greed and soon becomes power-hungry. Of course Stalin did too in Russia, leaving the original equality of socialism behind, giving himself all the power and living in luxury while the common peasant suffered. Thus, while his national and international status blossomed, the welfare of Russia remained unchanged. Orwell explains, “Somehow it seemed as though the farm had grown richer without making the animals themselves any richer–except, of course for the pigs and the dogs.”

The true side of Napoleon becomes evident after he slaughters so many animals for plotting against him. He even hires a pig to sample his food for him to make certain that no one is trying to poison him. Stalin, too, was a cruel dictator in Russia. After suspecting many people in his empire to be supporters of Trotsky (Orwell’s Snowball), Stalin systematically murders many.

By the end of the book, Napoleon doesn’t even pretend to lead a socialist state. After renaming it a Republic and instituting his own version of the commandments and the Beasts of England, Comrade Napoleon, he quickly becomes more or less a dictator who of course has never even been elected by the animals.

Boxer: The name Boxer is cleverly used by Orwell as a metaphor for the Boxer Rebellion in China in the early twentieth century. It was this rebellion which signalled the beginning of communism in red China. This communism, much like the distorted Stalin view of socialism, is still present today in the oppressive social government in China. Boxer and Clover are used by Orwell to represent the proletariat, or unskilled labour class in Russian society. This lower class is naturally drawn to Stalin (Napoleon) because it seems as though they will benefit most from his new system. Since Boxer and the other low animals are not accustomed to the “good life,” they can’t really compare Napoleon’s government to the life they had before under the czars (Jones). Also, since usually the lowest class has the lowest intelligence, it is not difficult to persuade them into thinking they are getting a good deal.

The proletariat is also quite good at convincing each other that communism is a good idea. Orwell supports this contention when he narrates, “Their most faithful disciples were the two carthorses, Boxer and Clover. Those two had great difficulty in thinking anything out for themselves, but having once accepted the pigs as their teachers, they absorbed everything that they were told, and passed it on to the other animals by simple arguments.”

Later, the importance of the proletariat is shown when Boxer suddenly falls and there is suddenly a drastic decrease in work productivity. But still he is taken for granted by the pigs, who send him away in a glue truck. Truly Boxer is the biggest poster-child for gullibility.

Squealer: Squealer is an intriguing character in Orwell’s Animal Farm. He’s first described as a manipulator and persuader. Orwell narrates, “He could turn black into white.”Many critics correlate Squealer with the Pravda, the Russian newspaper of the 1930’s. Propaganda was a key to many publications, and since their was no television or radio, the newspaper was the primary source of media information. So the monopoly of the Pravda was seized by Stalin and his new Bolshevik regime. In Animal Farm, Squealer, like the newspaper, is the link between Napoleon and other animals. When Squealer masks an evil intention of the pigs, the intentions of the communists can be carried out with little resistance and without political disarray. Squealer is also thought by some to represent Goebbels, who was the minister of propaganda for Germany. This would seem inconsistent with Orwell’s satire, however, which was suppose to metaphor characters in Russia.

Mollie: Mollie is one of Orwell’s minor characters, but she represents something very important. Mollie is the animal who is most opposed to the new government under Napoleon. She doesn’t care much about the politics of the whole situation; she just wants to tie her hair with ribbons and eat sugar, things her social status won’t allow. Many animals consider her a trader when she is seen being petted by a human from a neighbouring farm. Soon Mollie is confronted by the “dedicated” animals, and she quietly leaves the farm. Mollie characterizes the typical middle-class skilled worker who suffers from this new communism concept. No longer will she get her sugar (nice salary) because she is now just as low as the other animals, like Boxer and Clover.

Orwell uses Mollie to characterize the people after any rebellion who aren’t too receptive to new leaders and new economics. There are always those resistant to change. This continues to dispel the believe Orwell hated that basically all animals act the same. The naivety of Marxism is criticized— socialism is not perfect and it doesn’t work for everyone.

Benjamin: Old Benjamin, an elderly donkey, is one of Orwell’s most elusive and intriguing characters on Animal Farm. He is described as rather unchanged since the rebellion. He still does his work the same way, never becoming too exited or too disappointed about anything that has passed. Benjamin explains, “Donkeys live a long time. None of you has ever seen a dead donkey.”

Although there is no clear metaphoric relationship between Benjamin and Orwell’s critique of communism, it makes sense that during any rebellion there or those who never totally embrace the revolution— those so cynical they no longer look to their leaders for help. Benjamin symbolizes the older generation, the critics of any new rebellion. Really this old donkey is the only animal who seems as though he couldn’t care less about Napoleon and Animal Farm. It’s almost as if he can see into the future, knowing that the revolt is only a temporary change, and will flop in the end.

Benjamin is the only animal who doesn’t seem to have expected anything positive from the revolution. He almost seems on a whole different maturity lever compared to the other animals. He is not sucked in by Napoleon’s propaganda like the others. The only time he seems to care about the others at all is when Boxer is carried off in the glue truck. It’s almost as if the old donkey finally comes out of his shell, his perfectly fitted demeanour, when he tries to warn the others of Boxer’s fate. And the animals do try to rescue Boxer, but it’s too late. Benjamin seems to be finally confronting Napoleon and revealing his knowledge of the pigs’ hypocrisy, although before he had been completely independent.

After the animals have forgotten Jones and their past lives, Benjamin still remembers everything. Orwell states, “Only old Benjamin professed to remember every detail of his long life and to know that things never had been, nor ever could be much better or much worse— hunger, hardship, and disappointment being, so he said, the unalterable law of life.”

Muriel: Muriel is a knowledgeable goat who reads the commandments for Clover. Muriel represents the minority of working class people who are educated enough to decide things for themselves and find critical and hypocritical problems with their leaders. Unfortunately for the other animals, Muriel is not charismatic or inspired enough to take action and oppose Napoleon and his pigs.

Pigs: Orwell uses the pigs to surround and support Napoleon. They symbolize the communist party loyalists and the friends of Stalin. The pigs, unlike other animals, live in luxury and enjoy the benefits of the society they help control. The inequality and true hypocrisy of communism is expressed here by Orwell, who criticized Marx’s oversimplified view of a socialist, “utopian” society. Obviously George Orwell doesn’t believe such a society can exist. Toward the end of the book, Orwell emphasizes, “Somehow it seemed as though the farm had grown richer without making the animals themselves any richer— except, of course, the pigs and the dogs.

Dogs: Orwell uses the dogs in his book, Animal Farm, to represent the KGB or perhaps more accurately, the bodyguards of Stalin. The dogs are the arch-defenders of Napoleon and the pigs, and although they don’t speak, they are definitely a force the other animals have to contend with.

Orwell almost speaks of the dogs as mindless robots, so dedicated to Napoleon that they can’t really speak for themselves. This contention is supported as Orwell describes Napoleon’s early and suspicious removal of six puppies from their mother. The reader is left in the dark for a while, but later is enlightened when Orwell describes the chase of Snowball  Napoleon uses his “secret dogs” for the first time here; before Snowball has a chance to stand up and give a counter-argument to Napoleon’s disapproval of the windmill, the dogs viciously attack the pig, forcing him to flee, never to return again.

Orwell narrates, “Silent and terrified, the animals crept back into the barn. In a moment the dogs came bounding back. At first no one had been able to imagine where these creatures came from, but the problem was soon solved: they were the puppies whom Napoleon had taken away from their mothers and reared privately. Though not yet full-grown, they were huge dogs, and as fierce-looking as wolves. They kept close to Napoleon. It was noticed that they wagged their tails to him in the same way as the other dogs had been used to do to Mr. Jones.”

The use of the dogs begins the evil use of force which helps Napoleon maintain power. Later, the dogs do even more dastardly things when they are instructed to kill the animals labelled “disloyal.” Stalin, too, had his own special force of “helpers.” Really there are followers loyal to any politician or government leader, but Stalin in particular needed a special police force to eliminate his opponents. This is how Trotsky was killed.

Animals: The sheep and other animals are very similar to Boxer and Clover. Both the horses and sheep represent in many ways the proletariat, or working class of unskilled labourers. These animals depend on their backs, not their brains, to do work. Thus, they fall into the bottom of society and are the focal point of politicians’ brainwashing. The animals are stubborn and easily swayed. Orwell points out repeatedly that if it wasn’t for the bleating of the sheep, “Two legs bad, four legs good,” which was strategically inspired by the pigs, Napoleon wouldn’t have the power and control that he eventually came to enjoy and then abuse.

Frederick: The theme of the gun and flag rituals performed by the animals at the urging of Napoleon is strengthened through Orwell’s description of Mr. Frederick, the neighbour of Animal Farm. Frederick, through the course of the book, becomes an enemy and then a friend and then an enemy again to Napoleon, who makes many secret deals and treaties with him. One of the major problems the two farms have is the issue of the timber. Napoleon sells the wood to Frederick for bank notes, only to find that they are worthless. During the world wide depression, countries were forced by necessity to trade with other countries. One country would have a product or natural resource another country would not; therefore to survive, the country would trade. Many times the trades were unfair and fraudulent. This created many international problems. So you can see the parallels are clear.

Pilkington: Orwell uses Pilkington, another neighbour of Animal Farm, as a metaphor for the Allies of World War II (excluding, of course Russia). Like the Soviet Union before World War II, Animal Farm wasn’t sure who their allies would be. But after losing the relationship with Frederick (Germany), Napoleon (Stalin) decides to befriend Pilkington, and ally with him. Napoleon and the other pigs even go as far as to invite him over for dinner at the end of the book. Here Mr. Pilkington and his men congratulate Napoleon on the efficiency of Animal Farm.

Orwell narrates, “Mr. Pilkington once again congratulated the pigs on the low rations, the long working hours, and the general absence of pampering which he had observed on Animal Farm.”Russia’s allies, after the war, also admired it’s efficiency. But soon the cold war would begin between the United States and Russia. This is unbelievably also referred to in the book (published in 1946) when Orwell writes, “An uproar of voices was coming from the farmhouse…a violent quarrel was in progress. There were shouting, banging on the table, sharp suspicious glances, furious denials.” Amazingly Orwell seemed to sense the start of American-Russian tension for years to come.

Rats:Orwell’s rats (and the other wild animals, like rabbits, for that matter) represent the opposition to the Bolsheviks. They too, had to be included in the rebellion, although for the longest time they sided with the another party. The rats and rabbits symbolize other political parties. Although the communist party took off with Lenin, there were still others around. These are the wild animals.

Pigeons: The pigeons symbolize Soviet propaganda, not to Russia, but to other countries, like Germany, England, France, and even the United States. Russia had created an iron curtain even before WWII. The Communist government raved about its achievements and its advanced technology, but it never allowed experts or scientists from outside the country to check on its validity. Orwell mentions the fact that the other farmers became suspicious and worried when their animals began to sing Beasts of England. Many Western governments have gone through a similar problem with their people in this century. There was a huge “Red Scare” in the United States in the 20’s. In the 1950’s in the United States, Joseph McCarthy was a legislative member of the government from Wisconsin. He accused hundreds of people of supporting the Communist regime, from famous actors in Hollywood to middle-class common people. The fear of communism became a phobia in America and anyone speaking out against the government was a suspect.

Animal Farm character profiles. Charles´ George Orwell links. 9-10-12.

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Posted by saformo on 15th octubre 2012

Animal Farm

Animal Farm is George Orwell´s first satirical beast fable. Although people refere to Animal Farm as a political allegory of the Russian Revolution and the rise of Stalin, the truth is that can be read as a political allegory of any political revolution of the 20th century. The novel circulates around seven commandments of the animal in the farm, and the return of tyranny and cruelty of the beginning, after the fulfillment of Animalist revolution; the only notable real change they have after the revolution is the change of the head masters of the farm, but not their forms.

The novel begins with the introduction of Mr. Jones, the old owner of the Manor farm. He is a cruel owner that badtreats the animals in the farm, and he is irresponsable on the necessities the animal have in the farm: he often appears drunk, he insults and hit the animals etc… One day the pig Old Major confesses a dream he had before he died, in the dream the animals of the farm were free of human owners and they managed the farm.

One night, the animals were starving to death so they decide to break the door to eat freely. When Mr. Jones and the farm workers come in the animals leap on them and kick them out of the farm, they had carried out their revolution without notice the big stept they had done. When the owners have already gone, the animals burn everything that resembles them to Mr. Jones and humanity with an understable agresivity, an agresivity that will be the preface of what will come after the revolution.

Now the owner of the farm Mr. Jones is replaced by the pigs Snowball and Napoleon, and they write the seven commandments that condensed their ideals, although they will be soon perverted. The last os the seven commandments is ” All animals are equal ” , however while the rest of animals are working, the pigs assume the leadership and they direct and supervise the other animal´s actions, but they don´t work with the rest. This will be the first perversion of the Seven Commandments.

The Seven Commandments:

1. Whatever goes upon two legs is an enemy.
2. Whatever goes upon four legs, or has wings, is a friend.
3. No animal shall wear clothes.
4. No animal shall sleep in a bed.
5. No animal shall drink alcohol.
6. No animal shall kill any other animal.
7. All animals are equal.

When Animalism rules, there will come far more horrible situations for the animals in the farm. While the leader Snowball is organizing, the other leader, Napoleon, manipulates the small animals for his own devil purposes. Soon the rumours of the revolution are spread on the different farms, the rumours for humand will be news of tortures and cannibalism, a place where human beings had been been turned out, but for the animals on other farms will be rumours about a farm where animals manage their own lives. This shows de misinterpretation and falsification of truth.

Then, conflicts between both leaders will start, it is the major theme of the book, the corruption of power and the rivalry between leaders. Soon Napoleon startds to poison the mind of animals to become the only leader, he will betray the commandments to be the only manager of the farm. Satirically, the human being that was present in the animals will soon developed into the animalism humans have.

“The evening Squealer explained privately to the other animals that Napoleon had never in reality been opposed to the windmill. On the contrary, it was he who had advocated it in the beginning, and the plan which Snowball had drawn on the floor of the incubator shed had actually been stolen from among Napoleon’s papers… He had seemed to oppose the windmill, simply as a maneuver to get rid of Snowball, who was a dangerous character and a bad influence.”

After Snowball leaves the farm and Napoleon consolidates himslef as the leader, the real tyranny starts. The corruption of power will become the main element of the plot. George Orwell wants to show us the decadence of characters, especially the ones that took the control of the farm, that is, the pigs. They betray their ideals and after the revolution, they badtreat, as humans used to do, the rest of animals, practising the same hard tyranny as Napoleon as the head of this dictatorship.

Power corrupts minds, gradually Napoleon takes control ver every word and action the rest of animals do, as politics do when they have reached power, they forget their ideals and they change history in order to justify the change in the commandments. Animals, like society, will be afraid of new changes and they will accept any rule that power imposes as they are frightened of an worsening of their lives if they react.

In the story, the windmill will become the mean by which Napoleon exerts the control on the rest of animals, and while they are concentrated on the building of the mill, they won´t notice his tyranny as all their efforts are concentrated on the mill. But it is about this time when the animals start to notice the difference between then as animals and the pigs. The pigs had abandoned the nature of the commandments: they sleept in beds, they refused to eating in company of other animals, etc… and one of them notices that  one commandment had been changed.

“No animal shall sleep in a bed with sheets.”

Beginning with this change in the commandment, the animals of the farm will live the most significant change, an alteration of history through the change of commandments. When a commandment is changed, they think they had remembered it wrong, so they accept the change one by one of all commandments. As years pass, most of the animals involved in the revolution were forgotten, and the only commandment that remains in the wall is:

” All animals are equal, but some are more equal than others”

Pigs were not distinguished from humans any more, that shows the terribly condition of humans, there have always been pigs on society and they have always died for a little more of power. To be a”pig” is in human nature.

Animalism was only an illusion cretaed by the pigs to control their society, while they get more power and wealth, and trough the change and manipulation of history, animals will not be able to control the present nor the future.


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Posted by saformo on 15th octubre 2012

George Orwell’s final novel Nineteen Eighty-Four was published in 1949, becoming an instant best-seller and critically-regarded as a modem classic. The author had just recently become a world literary figure thanks to the amazing little book Animal Farm, which very nearly never made it into print. He was also mortally ill.

‘The tragedy of Orwell’s life is that when at last he achieved fame and success he was a dying man and knew it,’ his friend since their preparatory school days, Cyril Connolly, wrote. ‘He had fame and was too ill to leave his room, money and nothing to spend it on, love in which he could not participate; he tasted the bitterness of dying.”1

Animal Farm was written in the final years of World War 11 and Nineteen Eighty-Four immediately afterwards. Orwell conceived both masterworks as components of a thematic series concerning abuse of political power. Such radically different fictional equipment was incorporated within each book though that their mutuality can be lost as one becomes absorbed by the sheer power of the writing. Orwell’s brilliance created two works of intellectual continuity which stand separately, alone.

In fact Nineteen Eighty-Four may not have been written at all without its tiny (thirty thousand-words) zoomorphic predecessor about the Russian Revolution then the sorry aftermath of idealism corrupted and betrayed by totalitarianism. The idea for Animal Farm came innocently enough. Orwell wrote: ‘On my return from Spain I thought of exposing the Soviet myth in a story that could be easily understood by almost anyone and which could be easily translated into other languages. However, the actual details of the story did not come to me for some time until one day (I was then living in asmall village) I saw alittleboy, perhaps tenyears old, driving a huge cari horse along a narrow path whipping it whenever it tried to turn. It struck me that if only such animals became aware of their strength we should have no power over them, and that men exploit animals in much the same way as the rich exploit the proletariat.

‘I proceeded to analyze Marx’s theory from the animals’ point of view…”2

Orwell also said that by writing Animal Farm he entered a new realm of creative invention, thus settling the table for everything which followed: ‘Animal Farm was the first book in which I tried, with full consciousness of what I was doing, to fuse political purpose and artistic purpose into one whole.”3 Not only was it his first novel written exclusively for political purpose, however, but in retrospect Orwell himself considered it as his preeminent work.4

Animal Farm was written in just a few months, from November, 1943, to the end of February, 1944. The Allies had already entered into their non-aggression pact with Soviet Russia. Orwell was a committed Socialist but politically cynical and distrustful. Time spent in Spain fighting for the Republicans in the Spanish Civil War, documented in Homage to Catalonia (I 938), had shown him first-hand how peoples’ hopes could be perverted against them by leaders who were not so much interested in political philosophy as in ultimate power.

For most of his adult life he was troubled by a political paradox: Socialism seemed necessary to eliminate poverty and economic imperialism yet once established, by its very egalitarianism, Socialism was especially vulnerable to exploitation by ruthless power seekers. This was a driving force behind Animal Farm. Global tyranny beyond the revolution and dehumanization, perpetuated forever by an elite intelligentsia, became the world of Nineteen Eighty-Four.

Considering Orwell’s obsession with prosaic precision and his hallmark style of plain, straight forward English, it’s a wonder how misrepresented and misunderstood the little book became. Orwell’s primary theme, of course, was condemnation of tyranny. Yet beyond that, some Socialists saw a message that the Russian Revolution could have been successful if not for betrayal. Others, Connolly included, said Russian-style revolution was doomed to failure because its violence gave licence to violence afterwards, in the name of preserving the new status quo. In some quarters, especially in the United States, the book was heralded as proof that Socialism could never work. To the consternation of Orwell it was used as anti-Communist propaganda.5

The book’s political motives aside, however, it may of course be read on an entirely differentplane altogether. Both of this writer’s daughters read it before they were teens, enjoying it immensely without knowing a scrap of the politics behind it. Surely that was an acid test to determine the greatness of any satire.

With relevance, controversy and exceptional artistic merit, was it incomprehensible then that Animal Farm barely made it into print? Numerous British and American publishing houses rejected it. One, Dial Press, New York, returned the manuscript and, according to Orwell, told him that it was ‘…impossible to sell animal stories in the U.S.A.”6

Faber and Faber, London, rejected the book despite it being termed a ‘…distinguished piece of writing’, according to T.S. Eliot, one of the firm’s directors and managing partners. ‘The fable is very skilfully handled … the narrative keeps one’s interest on its own plane – and that is something very few authors have achieved since Gulliver.’

Eliot added: ‘It is certainly the duty of any publishing firm which pretends to other interests and motives than mere commercial prosperity, to publish books which go against the current of the moment; but in each instance that demands that at least one member of the firm should have the conviction that this is the thing that needs saying at the moment. I can’t see any reason of prudence or caution to prevent anybody from publishing this book – if he believed in what it stands for.”7

All of Orwell’s previous books had been published by Victor Gollancz, London, who held right of first refusal for Animal Farm. Gollancz was a left-wing Socialist who found the book’s indictments too disagreeable. As a matter of policy and principle he decided not to publish it, agreeing to surrender rights.

The book began making the rounds but at that time British publishers were nervous about the ‘Ministry of Information’, the Churchill govemment’s euphemistically-titled public relations bureau which was also involved in subtle censorship. With cooperation from publishers the MOI was scrutihizing all politically-sensitive manuscripts under consideration for publication.

Publisher Jonathan Cape’s prestigious firm was apparently ready to take on Animal Farm but backed out at the last moment. In a letter to Orwell’s agent, Leonard Moore, Cape said: ‘My reading of the manuscript gave me considerable personal enjoyment and satisfaction, but I can see now that it might be regarded as something which it was highly ill-advised to publish at the present time.’

Citing’…an important official in the Ministry of Information’ whose name has now been lost, Cape wrote that the book was too specific in its allegory: ‘The fable does follow, as I see now, so completely the progress of the Russian Soviets and their two dictators, that it can apply only to Russia, to the exclusion of other dictatorships. Another thing: it would be less offensive if the predominant caste in the fable were not pigs.’8

At this same time Orwell was writing a regular column for The Tribune newspaper, London. He contributed seventy-nine pieces in all and in one published July 7,1944, he deplored the servility of publishers and the insidiousness of their quiet cooperation with the government.

‘The MOI does not, of course, dictate a party line or issue an index expurgatorius,’he wrote. ‘Itmerely’ advises”. Publishers take manuscripts to the MOI and the MOI “suggests” that this or that is undesirable or premature, or “would serve no good purpose”. And though there is no definite prohibition, no clear statement that this or that must not be printed, official policy is never flouted. Circus dogs jump when the trainer cracks his whip, but the really well-trained dog is the one that turns his somersault when there is no whip.’9

It was after Animal Farm had been rejected by Cape’s that Orwell sent it to Faber’s. Eliot’s rejection letter must not have come as any real surprise as Eliot had, in 1932, also rejected Orwell’s graphic account of life on the bum: Down and Out in Paris and London, influenced in idea and technique by Jack London’s People of the Abyss (1903).

The manuscript Orwell sent to Faber’s was ‘…decidedly too short’, said Eliot, ‘…and particularly for such a book of such length it seems to me too loosely constructed, as the French and English episodes fall into two parts with very little to connect them. I should think, however, that you should have enough material from your experiences to make a very interesting book on down-and-out life in England alone.’10

The manuscript was-reworked by Orwell and it made an interesting book for sure, despite finding limited success after publication by Gollancz in 1933. It was remaindered and out of print until a 1940 Penguin paperback release of fifty-five thousand copies, which gave the author a modicum of renown. Its fame grew with the author’s subsequent reputation and it is now regarded as a classic of the polemical/documentary genre.

Following Faber’s rejection of Animal Farm, Orwell was trying to raise money to self-publish when the then-modest London firm of Secker & Warburg agreed to issue a limited printing, which appeared shortly after the war ended. That printing sold out immediately. Animal Farm went to re-print and translation and has never been out of print since. It has become one of the world’s most widely-read novels originally written in English.

Animal Farm made me as a publisher,’ Frederic Warburg wrote. It also transformed Orwell from a minor British writer into a world figure.11 By then though the chain-smoking, consumptive Orwell, who had done much of his writing in dank rooms, became stricken by lung hemorrhages. His condition was exacerbated by the gruelling schedule kept while working on Nineteen Eighty-Four, completed while he was bed-ridden nonetheless typing the final draft himself because of a post-war scarcity of good typists for hire.

George Orwell died, alone, in hospital of tuberculosis at forty-six. During his relatively short writingcareerhecreated arich legacy ofpolitical writing as art unmatched since Jonathan Swift. ‘If liberty means anything at all it means the right to tell people what they don’t want to hear,’


The Antagonish Review 111.Pyle, Steve. Last update 1:41 PM 23/02/99. St. Francis Xavier University. 12-10-2012


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Posted by saformo on 14th octubre 2012

In the years since the publication of Animal Farm and 1984, both of which conjure visions of modern government’s dangerous power, critics have studied and analyzed George Orwell’s personal life. Orwell was a man who had a reputation for standing apart and even making a virtue of his detachment. This “outsider” position often led him to oppose the crowd.

Orwell began life as Eric Arthur Blair (George Orwell was a pen name he adopted later for its “manly, English, country-sounding ring.”) He spent his early years in India as a lonely boy who liked to make up stories and talk with imaginary companions. He began to “write” before he even knew how, dictating poems to his mother, and perhaps saw this outlet as an alternative to the human relationships he found so difficult.

Refuge in words and ideas became increasingly important when Orwell’s parents sent him, at age eight, to boarding school in England. Later, instead of going on to university, he decided to take a job in Burma with the Indian Imperial Police. Orwell wrote about this experience in Burmese Days (1934) and in the essay “Shooting an Elephant.” At odds with British colonial rule, Orwell said he “theoretically—and secretly, of course . . . was all for the Burmese and all against their oppressors, the British.” Returning to England to recover from a bout of the chronic lung illness that plagued him all his life, Orwell began his writing career in earnest. Over the next two decades, he wrote newspaper columns, novels, essays, and radio broadcasts, most of which grew out of his own personal experience.

Orwell’s beliefs about politics were affected by his experiences fighting in the Spanish Civil War. He viewed socialists, communists, and fascists as repressive and self-serving. Orwell patriotically supported England during World War II, but remained skeptical of governments and their willingness to forsake ideals in favor of power. With each book or essay, Orwell solidified his role as the outsider willing to question any group’s ideology. Orwell spoke his mind with Animal Farm, in which he criticized the Soviet Union despite its role as a World War II ally of Great Britain. At first, no one would publish the novel, but when Animal Farm finally appeared in 1945 it was a success. It was later adapted both as an animated film and as a play.

In explaining how he came to write Animal Farm, Orwell says he once saw a little boy whipping a horse:

It struck me that if only such animals became

aware of their strength we should have no

power over them, and that men exploit animals

in much the same way as the rich exploit

the [worker].

Orwell said it was the first book in which he consciously tried to blend artistic and political goals. Orwell’s final novel, 1984, continued that effort with a grim portrayal of a world totally under government control. Orwell pursued his writing career faithfully, although it was not always easy. In his final days he made the statement, “Writing . . . is a horrible, exhausting struggle . . . One would never undertake such a thing if one were not driven . . .”

Animal Farm is written on many levels. It is

already a children’s story in its own right. . . .

[It] is also a lament for the fate of revolutions

and the hopes contained in them. It is a moving

comment on man’s constant compromise with

the truth.

John Atkins, George Orwell

On the publication of Animal Farm in 1945, George Orwell discovered with horror that booksellers were placing his novel on children’s shelves. According to his housekeeper, he began traveling from bookstore to bookstore requesting that the book be shelved with adult works. This dual identity—as children’s story and adult satire—has stayed with Orwell’s novel for more than fifty years.

Animal Farm tells the story of Farmer Jones’s animals who rise up in rebellion and take over the farm. Tired of being exploited solely for human gain, the animals—who have human characteristics such as the power of speech—vow to create a new and more just society. Though the novel reads like a fairy story, and Orwell subtitles it as just that, it is also a satire containing a message about world politics and especially the former Soviet Union in particular. Since the Bolshevik revolutions of the early 1900s, the former Soviet Union had captured the attention of the world with its socialist experiment. Stalin’s form of government had some supporters in Britain and the United States, but Orwell was against this system.

In a satire, the writer attacks a serious issue by presenting it in a ridiculous light or otherwise poking fun at it. Orwell uses satire to expose what he saw as the myth of Soviet socialism. Thus, the novel tells a story that people of all ages can understand, but it also tells us a second story— that of the real-life Revolution. Many critics have matched in great detail the story’s characters to historical persons––for example, linking the power struggle between Napoleon and Snowball to the historical feuding between Joseph Stalin and Leon Trostky for control of the Soviet Union. Critics also believe that Old Major represents Karl Marx, who dies before realizing his dream. Other comparisons include Moses as the Russian Orthodox church, Boxer and Clover as workers, the sheep as the general public, Squealer as Stalin’s government news agency, the dogs as Stalin’s military police, and Farmer Jones as Czar Nicholas II. The farm’s neighbors, Pilkington and Frederick, are said to represent Great Britain and Germany, while Mollie suggests the old Russian aristocracy, which resists change. A tremendous success when published, Animal Farm has since become part of school curriculums and popular literary culture. Readers and critics alike have enjoyed its imaginative premise and the engaging charm of its animal characters. Orwell’s straightforward language draws readers into the farm’s world, while the witty underlying satire invites serious analysis. In George Orwell: A Personal Memoir, T. R. Fyvel writes:

Orwell] turned the domestic animals on the

farm into immediately recognizable and

memorable and sometimes lovable characters.

Animal Farm is more than a fairy story. It is a commentary on the the relevance of independent thought, truth, and justice.


An allegory is a narrative that can be read on more than one level. Critics often consider Animal Farm to be an allegory of the Russian Revolution. In the early 1900s, Russia’s Czar Nicholas II faced an increasingly discontented populace. Freed from feudal serfdom in 1861, many Russian peasants were struggling to survive under an oppressive government.

By 1917, amidst the tremendous suffering of World War I, a revolution began. In two major battles, the Czar’s government was overthrown and replaced by the Bolshevik leadership of Vladmir Lenin. When Lenin died in 1924, his former colleagues Leon Trotsky, hero of the early Revolution, and Joseph Stalin, head of the Communist Party, struggled for power. Stalin won the battle, and he deported Trotsky into permanent exile.

Once in power, Stalin began, with despotic urgency and exalted nationalism, to move the Soviet Union into the modern industrial age. His government seized land in order to create collective farms. Stalin’s Five Year Plan was an attempt to modernize Soviet industry. To counter resistance (many peasants refused to give up their land), Stalin used vicious military tactics. Rigged trials led to executions of an estimated 20 million government officials and ordinary citizens. The government controlled the flow and content of information to the people, and all but outlawed churches. Orwell initially struggled to find a publisher for

Animal Farm. Many liberal intellectuals in Europe admired the Soviet experiment with socialism. They believed socialism would produce a society in which everyone—workers and employers—was equal, and in which there were no upper, middle, or lower classes. In Orwell’s words “they want[ed] to believe that, somewhere, a really Socialist country does actually exist.” Also, British publishers were hesitant to publicly criticize their Soviet allies as World War II came to a close. The book was published in 1945, after Germany surrendered. Orwell believed that the basis for society was human decency and common sense, which conflicted with the ideals for society that were prevalent at the time: socialism, capitalism, communism, and fascism, to name a few. As an individualist who believed that his own experiences should guide his philosophy, he was often at odds with these popular ideas. He believed that governments were encroaching on the individual’s freedom of choice, love of family, and tolerance for others. He emphasized honesty, individuality, and the welfare of society throughout his writings.


A study guide for Animal Farm. The Glencoe literature library. 12-10-2012

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Posted by saformo on 14th octubre 2012

To Leonard Moore
9 January 1944

Dear Mr Moore,

… I am overwhelmed with work. I am getting on with my book [Animal Farm] and unless I get ill or something hope to finish it by the end of March. After that I have contracted to do one for the “Britain in Pictures” series, but that shouldn’t take long.

This thing I am doing now will be very short, about 20,000 to 25,000 words. It is a fairy story but also a political allegory and I think we may have some difficulties about finding a publisher. It won’t be any use trying it on Gollancz nor probably Warburg, but it might be worth dropping a hint elsewhere that I have a book coming along. I suppose you know which publishers have paper and which haven’t?

Yours sincerely Eric Blair

To Leonard Moore
19 March 1944

Dear Mr Moore,

I have finished my book [Animal Farm] and will be sending you the MS in a few days’ time. It is being typed now. I make it about 30,000 words. To avoid wasting time I think we ought to decide in advance what to do about showing it to Gollancz. According to our contract he has the first refusal of my fiction books, and this would come under the heading of fiction, as it is a sort of fairy story, really a fable with a political meaning. I think, however, Gollancz wouldn’t publish it, as it is strongly anti-Stalin in tendency. Nor is it any use wasting time on Warburg, who probably wouldn’t touch anything of this tendency and to my knowledge is very short of paper. I suggest therefore that we ought to tell Gollancz but let him know that the book is not likely to suit him, and say that we will only send it along if he very definitely wants to see it. I am going to write to him in this sense now. The point is that if Gollancz and his readers get hold of it, even if they end by not taking it, they will probably hang onto the MS for weeks. So I will write to him, and then he will know about it before you get the MS.

As to what publisher to approach, I think Nicholson and Watson might be the best. I told one of their men I had a book coming along and he seemed anxious to get hold of it. Or else Hutchinson, where I have a contact in Robert Neumann. Or anyone else who (a) has got some paper and (b) isn’t in the arms of Stalin. The latter is important. This book is murder from the Communist point of view, though no names are mentioned. Provided we can get over these difficulties I fancy the book should find a publisher, judging by the stuff they do print nowadays.

I am going to send two copies. I think we might have a try at an American publication as well …

Yours sincerely Eric Blair

To Victor Gollancz [Orwell’s publisher]
19 March 1944

Dear Mr Gollancz,

I have just finished a book [Animal Farm] and the typing will be completed in a few days. You have the first refusal of my fiction books, and I think this comes under the heading of fiction. It is a little fairy story, about 30,000 words, with a political meaning. But I must tell you that it is—I think—completely unacceptable politically from your point of view (it is anti-Stalin). I don’t know whether in that case you will want to see it. If you do, of course I will send it along, but the point is that I am not anxious, naturally, for the MS to be hanging about too long. If you think that you would like to have a look at it, in spite of its not being politically O.K., could you let either me or my agent (Christy & Moore) know? Moore will have the MS. Otherwise, could you let me know that you don’t want to see it, so that I can take it elsewhere without wasting time?

Yours sincerely
[Signed] Eric Blair

To Leonard Moore
29 August 1944

Dear Mr Moore,

I have just seen Warburg. He has definitely arranged to publish “Animal Farm” about March 1945, so perhaps you can get in touch with him about the contract. He is willing to pay an advance of £100, half of this to be paid about Christmas of this year.’ I shall give him an option on all my future books, but this can be arranged in such a way as not to tie me down if for some special reason I want to take a book elsewhere.

Yours sincerely E. A. Blair


Charles´George Orwell links. 1995 – 2012 Netcharles. 10-10-2012

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