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4. What sort of story is Animal Farm?
About this Lecture
In this module, we think about what kind of story Animal Farm is, focusing in particular on: (i) the original subtitle to the novel: 'a fairy story'; (ii) Orwell's description of the novel as an 'allegory'; (iii) what an 'allegory' actually is, and the difference between (mere) 'applicability' and (actual) 'allegory'; (iv) the extent to which the characters and events of Animal Farm can be mapped onto historical reality and personages; and (v) the extent to which Animal Farm is more than 'just' an allegory of the workings of Soviet Russia.
In this course, Dr Nathan Waddell (University of Birmingham) explores George Orwell's Animal Farm. In the first module, we think about Animal Farm in the context of Orwell's life and career, before turning in the second and third modules to consider the novel in the context of the Spanish Civil War and Soviet Russia, respectively. In the fourth module, we think about what kind of story Animal Farm is, while in the fifth module, we consider the novel's narrative voice. In the sixth module, we think about the themes of tyranny and circularity in the novel, before turning in the final module to consider the concept of 'decency' in Orwell's work in general and in Animal Farm in particular.
Dr Nathan Waddell is Senior Lecturer in Early Twentieth-Century and Modernist Literature at the University of Birmingham. He teaches and researches early twentieth-century literature, with a core emphasis on the life, work, and controversies of the painter and writer Wyndham Lewis (1882-1957). His recent publications include Moonlighting: Beethoven and Literary Modernism (2019) and (as co-editor with J. Greenberg) 'Brave New World': Contexts and Legacies. (2016).
Cite this Lecture
Waddell, N. (2021, May 12). Orwell: Animal Farm - What sort of story is Animal Farm? [Video]. MASSOLIT. https://www.massolit.io/courses/orwell-animal-farm/what-sort-of-story-is-animal-farm
Waddell, N. "Orwell: Animal Farm – What sort of story is Animal Farm?." MASSOLIT, uploaded by MASSOLIT, 12 May 2021, https://www.massolit.io/courses/orwell-animal-farm/what-sort-of-story-is-animal-farm