Satire in Animal Farm
The book Animal Farm by George Orwell is filled with satire. Satire is the use of irony, sarcasm, or wit used to attack or expose folly, vice, or stupidity. The folly that Orwell is attacking is the idea of Communism. There are three types of satire: parody, caricature and burlesque. Parody is created to mock, comment on, or make fun of an original work. Caricature exaggerates or distorts the characteristics of a person or group. Burlesque makes light of or darkens a situation. Caricature is the type used the most in Animal Farm.
The sheep, which are so stupid that they only know the phrase “Four legs good, Two legs bad,” are a caricature of the people of Russia. Orwell was telling them that they were blindly accepting this idea, when it was going to make them miserable. Of course, he did not think they were as dumb as the sheep, but the exaggeration helped the author get his point across. All of the characters in Animal Farm represent people or ideas, making the book an allegory.
Napoleon is a caricature of Joseph Stalin. He was more clearly evil than Stalin, though they shared many traits. Here, Orwell was sending a message to the people of Russia. He wanted them to see how tyrannical their leader was and wanted them to know that the fate of the animals could quickly be their own. Hidden in characters and a plot was an effective way to expose what was happening to them. Satire is a stronger way to let your thoughts be heard than to merely say what you mean.
The dogs, which would kill an animal the moment Napoleon told them to, were a representation of Stalin’s soldiers. They frightened the people into compliance. However, the dogs were not a caricature. Their characteristics were already so terrible that the author did not need to exaggerate or distort them. The military killed indiscriminately, they would shoot entire families. Men, women, and children.
Satire is a unique genre that can be comedic, but can also be...