Malcolm Bradbury has called Animal Farm “the most important work of fictional political satire to be written in twentieth-century Britain”. When it was first published in in 1945, it caused a sensation. More than a million copies were sold in the 1940s and 1950s alone, and it quickly became a classic of 20th century literature. No two books by a single author have sold more copies than Animal Farm and the Orwell novel which shortly followed it, Nineteen Eighty-Four. In this short guide Zachary Seager looks at why Orwell struggled to have it published and what makes his devastating attack on Soviet communism so popular, so special, and so controversial.
Paperback ISBN: 978-1-911187-19-6
A summary of the plot
What is Animal Farm about?
Why did Orwell write Animal Farm?
Is Animal Farm an allegory?
Why did Orwell have trouble publishing the novel?
Why are Napoleon and Snowball enemies?
How close are the parallels between the characters in Animal Farm and real historical figures?
How do the events of Animal Farm relate to the history of the Soviet Union?
How does Orwell use satire in Animal Farm?
What does Orwell think about revolution?
What is special about the style of Animal Farm?
Perspective and dramatic irony
What are we to make of Benjamin?
Orwell and Hobbes
Five facts about Animal Farm
Orwell on socialism
A short chronology
Eight quotes from Animal Farm
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