ANIMAL FARM

1) About George Orwell:  When Orwell returned to England he wrote about his experiences of the Spanish Civil War in Homage to Catalonia (1938). In the book Orwell attempted to expose the propaganda disseminated by newspapers in Britain. This included attacks on both the right-wing press and the Daily Worker, a paper controlled by the Communist Party. Although one of the best books ever written about war, it sold only 1,500 copies during the next twelve years. Orwell published Coming up for Air in 1939. In August 1941 Orwell began work for the Eastern Service of the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC). His main task was to write the scripts for a weekly news commentary on the Second World War. Orwell's scripts were broadcast to the people of India between the end of 1941 and early 1943. During this period Orwell also worked for the Observer newspaper.  Eric Blair was born in Bengal, India, in 1903. Educated in England at Eton, he moved to Burma in 1922 where he joined the Indian Imperial Police for five years. He eventually resigned because of his increasing disillusionment with British imperialism. After a period doing a variety of jobs in France he returned to England where he opened a village shop. Using the pseudonym, George Orwell, he began writing articles for magazines. His first book, Down and Out in Paris and London (1933) described his experiences as a struggling writer. This book was followed by three novels, Burmese Days (1934), A Clergyman's Daughter (1935) and Keep the Aspidistra Flying (1936).  Orwell's final book was influenced by his failing health and his disillusionment with a Labour government that had been elected with a large majority in the 1945 General Election but made little attempt to introduce the kind of socialism that he believed in. In 1945 Orwell reviewed the anti-Utopian novel We by Yevgeni Zamyatin for Tribune. The book inspired his novel, Nineteen Eighty-Four. Published in 1949, the book was a pessimistic satire about the threat of political tyranny in the future. The novel had a tremendous impact and many of the new words and phrases used in the book passed into everyday language. George Orwell died of tuberculosis in 1950.  In 1943 Aneurin Bevan, the editor of the socialist journal Tribune, recruited Orwell to write a weekly column, As I Please. Orwell's plain, lucid style, made him highly effective as a campaigning journalist and some of his best writing was done during this period. Orwell next book, Animal Farm, was a satire in fable form of the communist revolution in Russia. The book, heavily influenced by his experiences of the way communists behaved during the Spanish Civil War, upset many of his left-wing friends and his former publisher, Victor Gollancz, rejected it. Published in 1945, Animal Farm became one of Britain's most popular books.  In 1936 Orwell was commissioned by Victor Gollancz to produce a documentary account of unemployment in the north of England for his Left Book Club. The Road to Wigan Pier established Orwell as one of Britain's leading writers and marked a high point in literary journalism. Orwell, a committed socialist, went to Spain in December 1936 to report on the Spanish Civil War. He soon decided to join the struggle against the Nationalist Army and became a member of the Lenin Division in Barcelona. Soon after arriving at the front he was hit by a sniper's bullet which passed through his neck. As a result of the wound, Orwell's left side was paralyzed and he temporarily lost his voice. While in hospital Orwell heard that the Workers Party of Marxist Unification had been declared an illegal organization. Orwell was now in danger of being murdered by communists in the Republican Army. With the help of the British Consul in Barcelona, Orwell was able to escape to France.

Answer the questions! What was George Orwell’s real name? ____________________________________ What was his first book about? __________________________________________ In which war did Orwell fight? ____________________________________________ On whose side did he fight? _____________________________________________ What is the name of Orwell’s last book? ___________________________________ How old was he at the time of his death? ___________________________________ 2) The books of George Orwell: Coming Up For Air   This novel is set in the 1920s. 1984   This early novel is about Dorothy. whose father is a priest. 3) Reception of Animal Farm: In 1998. held by TIME Magazine. A similar voting. Burmese Days   This book is an autobiographical account of Orwell’s experiences in the Spanish Civil War. has complete control over every single citizen. A Clergyman’s Daughter   Orwell’s most famous book is set in a miserable future. a man returns to his hometown. it is about the collapsing British Empire in its Indian colonies. and who suffers an attack of amnesia. Orwell’s Animal Farm was ranked at 34th position. in which a dictator. Big Brother. the publishing company Modern Library compiled a list of the 100 best books of the 20th century. also put Animal Farm on the list of the 100 best English-language novels. but has to find out that everything has changed – for worse. a) Do you think that this ranking is justified? (=gerechtfertigt) Discuss with your partners! b) Create a list with things you liked and disliked! . Homage to Catalonia   In this novel.

and while the Czar lived in great luxury. It was a system of absolute monarchy. in the end. he soon turned out to be a power-hungry dictator who perverted Lenin’s ideals and. Read the text and the fill in the questionnaire! For centuries. however. In the west. which now were under Communist rule. and the United States. creation of the Soviet Union quarrel of Napoleon & Snowball  expulsion of Snowball  Stalin traded with Germany and the USA/UK clash between Stalin and Trotzky power struggle between the USA and the Soviet Union Napoleon and Pilkington play the Ace of Spades (=Pik-Ass)  banishment of Trotzky trade with Frederick & Pilkington  . was worse than the Czar Empire. Stalin drove the Germans back and occupied several countries in Eastern Europe. replaced the Czar with a new government. After Lenin’s death. until the Union’s downfall in 1989. However. but Hitler turned against him in 1941 and tried to conquer Russia – without success. the Soviet Union was born. was killed by Stalin’s spies. in many respects. step by step. led by Vladimir Lenin.4) Interpretation of Animal Farm Animal Farm is commonly seen as a metaphor for the rise of Communism in the young Soviet Union. which. who. the new superpower was seen as the enemy of capitalism. Russia has been ruled by the Czars. Stalin co-operated with the Germans in the beginning of World War II. a) Events: the rebellion of the animals       the Russian Revolution. there were continuing frictions – the Cold War – between the Soviet Union. the common people had to survive in miserable circumstances. created a regime of terror. even after Stalin’s death in 1954. there was an uprise against the Czar Empire – the Russian Revolution: the Bolsheviks (Communists). especially Leo Trotsky. More than 6 million people died under Stalin’s rule. In 1917. symbol of communism. He was soon fighting against his former companions. flagship of capitalism. Joseph Stalin came to power as the new leader.

Jones Mr.b) Characters: Old Major Napoleon Snowball Boxer Mollie Mr. loyal workers the intellectual people Leon Trotzky Joseph Stalin Czar Nicolas II. . the bourgeoisie (=Bürgertum) George Orwell the State Police the Western powers (USA. Frederick Mr. Britain) Vladimir Lenin the simple. Pilkington Benjamin Muriel Moses the dogs the sheep                           Adolf Hitler the church the uneducated people Russian nobility.

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