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					Animal Farm
Study Questions & Essay Topics

Study Questions
   1. Compare and contrast Napoleon and Snowball. What techniques do they use in their struggle for power?
       Does Snowball represent a morally legitimate political alternative to the corrupt leadership of Napoleon?
   2. Why do you think Orwell chose to use a fable in his condemnation of Soviet communism and
       totalitarianism? Fiction would seem a rather indirect method of political commentary; if Orwell had written
       an academic essay, he could have named names, pointed to details, and proven his case more systematically.
       What different opportunities of expression does a fable offer its author?
   3. From whose perspective is Animal Farm told? Why would Orwell have chosen such a perspective?

Suggested Essay Topics
   1. How does Orwell explore the problem of rhetoric in Animal Farm? Paying particular attention to the
       character of Squealer, how is language used as an instrument of social control? How do the pigs rewrite
       history?
   2. Discuss Boxer. What role does he play on the farm? Why does Napoleon seem to feel threatened by him? In
       what ways might one view the betrayal of Boxer as an alternative climax of the novel (if we consider
       Napoleon’s banishment of Snowball and the pigs’ initial consolidation of power as the true climax)?
   3. Do you think Animal Farm’s message would come across effectively to someone who knows nothing about
       Soviet history or the conflict between Stalin and Trotsky? What might such a reader make of the story?
   4. Of all of the characters in Animal Farm, are there any who seem to represent the point of view of the author?
       Which of the animals or people do you think come(s) closest to achieving Orwell’s perspective on Animal
       Farm?




Animal Farm
Study Questions & Essay Topics

Study Questions
   1. Compare and contrast Napoleon and Snowball. What techniques do they use in their struggle for power?
       Does Snowball represent a morally legitimate political alternative to the corrupt leadership of Napoleon?
   2. Why do you think Orwell chose to use a fable in his condemnation of Soviet communism and
       totalitarianism? Fiction would seem a rather indirect method of political commentary; if Orwell had written
       an academic essay, he could have named names, pointed to details, and proven his case more systematically.
       What different opportunities of expression does a fable offer its author?
   3. From whose perspective is Animal Farm told? Why would Orwell have chosen such a perspective?

Suggested Essay Topics
   1. How does Orwell explore the problem of rhetoric in Animal Farm? Paying particular attention to the
       character of Squealer, how is language used as an instrument of social control? How do the pigs rewrite
       history?
   2. Discuss Boxer. What role does he play on the farm? Why does Napoleon seem to feel threatened by him? In
       what ways might one view the betrayal of Boxer as an alternative climax of the novel (if we consider
       Napoleon’s banishment of Snowball and the pigs’ initial consolidation of power as the true climax)?
   3. Do you think Animal Farm’s message would come across effectively to someone who knows nothing about
       Soviet history or the conflict between Stalin and Trotsky? What might such a reader make of the story?
   4. Of all of the characters in Animal Farm, are there any who seem to represent the point of view of the author?
       Which of the animals or people do you think come(s) closest to achieving Orwell’s perspective on Animal
       Farm?

				
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