Animal Farm/V for Vendetta

Topics: V for Vendetta, Nineteen Eighty-Four, Totalitarianism Pages: 7 (2485 words) Published: September 30, 2014
_Cross-Comparative text study_

V for Vendetta - Animal Farm

In many great texts concerning the politics, it can be observed that the context in which the piece was created greatly influences the ways in which values and themes are presented and the form in which it is produced. Major ground shaking events have the power to transform paradigms of individuals and whole societies, and in turn morph and influence the themes a text created in the same time period implores. Warner Brother's 2005 film "V for Vendetta" and George Orwell's 1945 novelette "Animal Farm" both deal with concepts present in the political climates of their times and the problems associated with them; the cost of apathy towards injustice, propaganda and its influence, and the crippling aspect of fear. The representation of the themes present in the two texts contrast and compare in many ways due to the diversity in the contexts under which each was created and the universal continuity of the themes present. Orwell's 1945 text was created at the end of the Russian social revolution that left the once optimistic Russian people in tatters and under the boot of a brutal fascist regime, while the Hollywood movie was created post 9/11 in a time where people turned to their government for protection from unknown threats, willing to sacrifice their liberty for safety. It was situated in a future dystopia as opposed to Animal Farm's historical setting and warned of what could be the outcome of choosing to blindly follow the neo-conservative politics of film's time such as Bush's and Thatcher's parties. Both texts make political statements that are influenced by the historical and personal context of their creation and contrast and compare greatly in form and values.

Primarily, the theme of apathy, and the cost of silence is explored similarly in the two cross-generational texts. Written after the solemn failure of socialism when applied to a practical setting, Orwell pessimistically recounts the outcome of the apathy that Russian citizens expressed in the face of blatant corruption in his fable, "Animal Farm". Orwell's novel is written in the form of an allegory, which recounts the events of the Russian revolution as though it took place on a British farm, and uses various types of animals to symbolize the different classes of the soviet union (Molly the horse represents the bourgeoisie, Boxer, the proletariats). Animal farm sets out to become a utopia where "all animals are equal"; working together under the inspiration of a Marxist boar named major (who represents the revolutionary leader Lenin), the animals drive out their human oppressors in a violent rebellion. The pigs take power on the farm due to their "superior knowledge" and leadership qualities. Though as the pigs become corrupted by their power, it soon becomes clear to the animals smart enough to comprehend the concept of corruption, that things aren't as they should be. They become aware of the pig's greed; they hoard food that should be shared evenly amongst all animals, they twist the truth to better suit their political motives, and they change the constitution of animal farm without public consent. Few animals possess the ability to comprehend that the pigs do not wish to help the public, and Benjamin the donkey comes to be the most prominent advocate for apathy in the novelette. He is one of the smartest animals on the farm and is not fooled for a second by any of the pig's ruses that work so effectively on the others. He remains neutral to any conflict seen in animal farm; when the hens stage a coup to stand up against their oppression and are subsequently executed, not a word of protest is spoken, and when asked for his opinion on any debate only replies "donkeys live a long time" to cryptically cynical way of saying "it all ends up the same". Benjamin is passive to any change whether it is good or bad; in the honeymoon phase of the revolution in which the pigs express plans for...
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