In both novels Nineteen Eighty-Four and Animal Farm there are many similarities. Three main topics, which will be discussed in this essay, are: control, isolation, and rebellion. The governing powers in each society of the two novels use control and isolation as tools for suppressing rebellion to ensure their reign of the social authority for future years to come.
In Nineteen Eighty-Four, the government, also known as “the Party”, controls the society Winston lives in. This takes place near the eastern side of the world and it is separated into three areas: Eurasia, Eastasia and Oceania. These three lands are constantly at war with each other and are controlled by different governors. Winston lives in Oceania and the Party’s leader is someone named “Big Brother”. No one has ever seen this person before, but is said to exist. The Party abolishes every type of art including the art of having free will. These abilities were destroyed, smothered, and obliterated through careful means, and anyone having them was stated insane, dangerous, and antisocial. To prevent these laws from being broken, the Party brainwash people and have “Telescreens” that can monitor everyone’s actions and a security task force called “Thought Police” to enforce these laws with torture and pain.
“The Thought Police would get him just the same. He had committed, even if he had never set pen to paper, the essential crime that contained all others in itself. Thoughtcrime, they called it. Thoughtcrime could not be concealed forever. You might dodge successfully for a while, even for years, but sooner or later they ware bound to get you” (pg. 166)
The Thought Police are so feared that even Winston is afraid to break any of the laws. He knows he wants to write, but is already afraid before he even starts. This is how the Party suppresses the society.
Likewise, in Animal Farm, “control” is involved with its society as well. The animals portrayed in this novel represent human beings. The pigs are the smartest animals in the farm and they take control and manipulate the other animals to do their dirty work. One of the pigs, Napoleon, has taken the throne of power with force and he controls the farm by using all the animals for his own benefit. Like Nineteen Eighty-Four, there are laws in Animal Farm, but as time goes by they are changed and shaped to his liking. To enforce Napoleon’s way of life, he uses savage dogs (which he raises from birth) to suppress the society (the animals). The dogs are just like the “Thought Police” in Nineteen Eighty-Four.
“All that year the animals worked like slaves. But they were happy in their work; they grudged no effort or sacrifice, well aware that everything they did was for the benefit of themselves and those of their kind who would come after them, and not for a pack of idle, thieving human beings.” (pg. 51)
Napoleon and the Party are the same. They both control the society with manipulation or control and anyone who does not follow their rules, are dealt with.
Isolation in Nineteen Eighty-Four, is displayed by the whole society itself. It can be seen through the laws of each land and how the wars between them. The Party constantly tells the society false information to keep them where they are. It tries to keep the population from leaving their land and moving to another, even though it is impossible since every other land is equally isolated. The society is constantly given false information about their land being in war with this one to frighten the people. The Party tries to keep the society separated from other ones to ensure that no other power can overthrow them. For example, if another land were to gain a higher population, they would have more power and more control. Thus, showing the Party’s isolation.
“Once when he happened in some connection to mention the war against Eurasia, she startled him by saying casually that in her opinion the war was not happening. The rocket bombs which fell daily on London were probably fired by the Government of Oceania itself, “just to keep people frightened”.” (pg. 154)
Just the same, Animal Farm, is isolated. The animals take over the farm and they keep themselves away from the humans. They even change the original name of the farm to “Animal Farm” once they have taken it over. The farm is isolated from the rest of the society. The animals in the farm are separated and even have their own governors. In the farm, the animals believe that all animals are comrades and the only enemy against them is “man”. They believed that they were better off without the humans and that they would live even better lives than the humans.
“The animals were happy as they had never conceived it possible to be. Every mouthful of food was an acute positive pleasure, now that it was truly their own food, produced by themselves and for themselves, not doled out to them by a grudging master” (pg. 24)
The animals are isolated from the humans and now that they are, they believe that they are truly happier and productive than they were in the past.
Many of the people in Nineteen Eighty-Four are brainwashed and are made to believe that they are living a prosperous life. The people have no idea that the world they live in is actually a lie, except for Winston, who believes otherwise. Inside his heart, he hates the Party even though he works for them. His work is to produce false information and deliver it to the society. Winston hates this, thus leading him to rebel. To fight against the Party, there is a group led by a man named “Goldenstein” and the only purpose of the group is to stop the Party. In the end the rebellion is useless and nothing actually comes good out of it. Nothing can change the Party and nothing will.
“He was walking down the white-tiled corridor, with the feeling of walking in sunlight, and an armed guard at his back. The long-hoped-for bullet was entering his brain? He loved Big Brother” (pg. 300)
Even though Winston has joined the rebellion, it is shown that it won’t succeed. The rebellion is proven that it won’t succeed in this quote. Winston represents the rebellion in general and the bullet represents the Party. The bullet has entered Winston’s brain and has killed him, just like how the Party will kill the rebellion.
Similarly, Animal Farm has a rebellious group. Like Nineteen Eighty-Four, the animals represented the rebels and that “man” represented the Party. “Man”, just like the Party, had complete control over the farm. Then the animals decided it was time, and raged war with “man”. The difference is that the animals did actually overthrow the government unlike the rebels in Nineteen Eighty-Four, but the rebels in both novels still have the same goal.
“Man is the only creature that consumes without producing. He does not give milk, he does not lay eggs, he is too weak to pull the plough, he cannot run fast enough to catch rabbits. Yet he is lord of all the animals. He sets them to work, he gives back to them the bare minimum that will prevent them from starving, and the rest he keeps for himself” (pg. 7)
The animals rebel for same reasons as Winston did. They are living in a world where they are all mistreated.
To sum it up, there are many similarities between Nineteen Eighty-Four and Animal Farm. Both powers in each novel have complete control of the society, and use isolation and force to subdue them. This never-ending fight for control will never stop and any change will just result in a large cycle leading back to the same problems.
Courtney from Study Moose
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