Animal Farm, by George Orwell, is an excellent example of distortion as a literary device. The story is set up as a fable using a third person objective viewpoint and personification of animals to represent historical figures and stereotypes. Distortion can also be found in much of the symbolism throughout the novel.
Similar to a fable, Animal Farm makes use of personification. In the story, farm animals are used to represent different classes of people, from the average working man to government officials and police or military personnel. This element of the novel goes deeper, when the pigs on the farm begin to resemble historical figures such as Joseph Stalin and Leon Trotsky, of Russia. Through distortion of character, Orwell brings to light the horrors and atrocities of corrupt leadership, specifically in totalitarian governments such as the Union of ...view middle of the document...
Jones and through Orwell’s objective point of view, the same feeling of insurrection is passed on to the audience. As the pigs weave an intricate web of lies and scandal, the reader gets the sense that not all is well in the same way the animals do. The difference between the animals and ourselves lies in intelligence. The author deliberately makes the characters dumber than the average person, allowing us to see through the deception of the pigs, without the use of a third person omniscient viewpoint.
Symbolically, Animal Farm itself is supposed to represent Russia and the Soviet Union under Communist control. The farm in today’s world, being a small, self-sustaining entity may relate to current conditions in North Korea. It seems that Kim Jong-il, like the pigs, is much more equal than his subjects. Kim and Napoleon seem to share the paranoia of being attacked by more powerful rivals, and both it seems, have a desire to keep their respective nations in the dark. Perhaps less specifically, the farm could represent human society as a whole. As mentioned earlier, the characters display an entire spectrum of human classes and stereotypical personalities.
The way the pigs altered the seven commandments of Animalism directly reflects the way governments in many countries have rewritten their own histories in attempt to better control the masses.
George Orwell’s representation of society through Animal Farm is meant as a warning to the general population of earth. It is a deterrent example of the way the world turns when the government is not kept in check. The story uses many distortions to change the audiences perception of reality, or more specifically, society. Everything in the book, from the caste system of the characters to the third person objective point of view, is well thought out and planned to give the best possible representation of a civilization turned on its head. Really, in layman’s terms, the message of the book is to educate yourself, or you could be headed to the knackers.