In Animal Farm, the corrupt leaders, the pigs, live a lavish life while the other animals are struggling to survive. Alev Yemenici said in his article, “In a society where people have no voice, if the ruling body with privileges such as special education, luxury and titles, has absolute power, this will lead to total corruption and disintegration of values. ” This “total corruption and disintegration of values” is seen with the pigs. The pigs are more intelligent; they are able to read books and comprehend “human” ideas.
They also have the dogs for protection. At a point in the story, the pigs move into the farmhouse. The farmhouse is warm, full of food, and has nice beds for the pigs to sleep on. While the pigs are enjoying lavishes, the other animals are fighting over food and have to sleep on dirt beds. The only way the pigs got to live this way was through the sacrifice and hard work of the animals. This situation is similar to what George Orwell lived through. Orwell believed that there was no difference between the classes.
Carlyle King said, “Their [liberal-minded Englishmen] standard of living, the standard of living of all Englishmen, was possible only by the organized robbery carried on in the colonial empire” (80). George Orwell felt so strongly about this belief that he devoted “all his literary powers to persuading his fellows to line up on the side of justice and decency” (King 83). What the pigs were doing was wrong. The corruption of the pigs destroyed the animals’ freedom and independence. In Nineteen Eighty-Four, corruption is also seen through the different parties which leads to the dehumanizing of the lower class.
Bornedal explains the parties: “Orwell’s society has three classes, the ‘Inner party,’ which are the privileged closest to the power center; the ‘Outer party’; which are living a shabby existence, employed mostly in the huge bureaucracy, in various kinds of service functions; then there is finally the Proles (the Proletariat), which is so declassed that the Inner Party does not bother about repressing them. They live in an almost animal existence. ” The idea that the wealthy live off the poor goes back to Orwell and his experiences that influenced his writings.
Gregory Claeys in his article, “Industrialism and Hedonism in Orwell’s Literary and Political Development” says, “Orwell was also taken with the thought that there was a connection between the degrading life of the plongeur and his associates and the attempt to provide luxuries for the wealthy” (221). Through the class division in Nineteen Eighty-Four, Orwell wanted to highlight the corruption of the wealthy. In both Animal Farm and Nineteen Eighty-Four, Orwell used political writing. George Orwell’s style was a “clear, racy, supple style, fluent and readable, forceful and direct, with a colloquial east of expression” (Meyers 94).
This style set Orwell apart from many other writers. Orwell wanted to “make political writing into an art” (“Why I Write”). Orwell used this style to “engage his readers” (Meyers 95). In the article, “George Orwell and the Art of Writing”, Meyers describes Orwell’s political writing: “Orwell saw political writing not only as a powerful tool for conveying ideas, but also as a demanding and enthralling art with a moral imperative to search for truth. Orwell wrote to expose the truth. The truths Orwell believed in were based off of his past experiences in Burma and Spain.
George Orwell’s past experiences greatly influenced his writing. From 1922 to 1927, Orwell served in the Indian Imperial Police in Burma (King 79). During this time, Burma was an imperialist state of Britain. After Orwell’s time in Burma, he learned about imperialism and the effects it had on the people. Orwell later recalled: “Imperialism… not only makes a man a tyrant, it makes him a liar. It makes him incapable of honest thinking, it stifles the free play of mind, it forces him to play a crooked part so constantly that in the end he becomes crooked” (King 79).
After Burma, Orwell felt guilty for taking away the Indians individualism. Orwell’s time in Burma started his interested in political writing. However, Burma was not the only place that influenced Orwell. The Spanish War in addition influenced Orwell and his view of individualism. George Orwell joined the P. O. U. M. (Anarchist) militia in Aragon to fight against Franco. He was then seriously wounded and sent to Barcelona where he was accused of being a Fascist spy and traitor by Communists; barely escaping Spain (King 85).
This brutal and horrify experience turned Orwell into a Socialist. Everything Orwell believed before the Spanish war was destroyed. However, he later declared that Spain “left me with not less but more belief in the decency of human beings” (King 86). This strong belief prompted Orwell to use a technique of political writing in his writings. After the Spanish war, George Orwell had a stronger belief in the dignity of life. In Orwell’s essay “Why I Write,” Orwell told his transformation before and after the Spanish War.
Although Burma affected Orwell greatly, it did not compare to the effect the Spanish War had. “Every line of serious work I have written since 1936 has been written, directly or indirectly, against totalitarianism and for democratic socialism, as I understand it” (“Why I Write). George Orwell also explains the four motives for writing in his essay, “Why I Write”. The first motive is that writers are “determined to live their own lives to the end. ” He explains that humans are selfish unless they are surrounded by things or people that force them to be selfless.
He then explains that writers are ultimately selfish no matter their surroundings. The second motive is the “desire to share an experience which one feels is valuable and ought not to be missed. ” This is seen in Orwell’s writing with his experiences in Burma and Spain. The destruction of individualism in the animals and citizens of Oceania are similar to the dehumanization of the people in Burma. The third motive is similar to the second motive. It is the “desire to see things, as they are, to find out true facts and store them up for the use of posterity” or “historical impulse.
The fourth one is what most critics say is the reason why Orwell wrote Animal Farm and Nineteen Eighty-Four: the “desire to push the world in a certain direction, to alter other peoples’ idea of the kind of society that they should strive after. ” However, Orwell never fully comes out and says that is the official reason. Events like World War II during the time Nineteen-Eighty Four was published suggested that Orwell wanted to warn the future. Things have not changed very much. Human are still being dehumanized like they were in the twenties.
Meyers explains in his article “George Orwell and the Art of Writing”, that “though he [Orwell] died in 1950, Orwell’s ideas about the language and style of politics, expressed in witty how-to-do-it essays are well as in his weekly political commentary and literary journalism, are not merely relevant to this moment, but more desperately needed than ever. ” Meyer expresses in his article that events today are closely related to the events Orwell predicted. While George Orwell’s novels were written decades ago, they are still relevant to the events and problems humans face today.
Animal Farm and Nineteen Eighty-Four were effective due to the enormous experiences Orwell went through and his unique style. His beliefs and views of imperialism influenced his writings greatly. George Orwell wanted to send a message to the world about individualism and he did that through his writing. In these two novels, the individual is destroyed through propaganda, corruption and control. The thirst for power takes control of a man and creates corruption. The problems humans face today are similar to the problems Orwell saw. When will dehumanization end?