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A Critique of Ideologies: Orwell’s “Animal Farm”

Date: Monday, Aug. 9 | 7:00–8:15 PM EDT

George Orwell, one of the most prolific authors of his age, produced some of the most brilliant satirical fiction of the 20th century with such works as Animal Farm and Nineteen Eighty-Four. Orwell famously said that a writer’s subjects “will be determined by the age he lives in ­– at least this is true in tumultuous, revolutionary ages.” Animal Farm is a creative and powerful allegory about the ideals and realities that emerged from the Russian Revolution of 1917 told through a cast of farm animals. It is also a careful critique of Capitalism, Communism, Marxism, revolutions, the nature of life and work, the abuse of unchecked power, and the corresponding loss of personal freedoms at the altar of group demands. This seminar will focus on the first chapter of Animal Farm and Old Major’s speech on the need for revolution. We will consider Orwell’s use of rhetorical and literary devices to make a powerful and persuasive appeal to readers.

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Cohen, Stephanie (12)