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This literary work is on Maxwell’s criticism in animal farm and nineteen eighty four. Animal Farm was written to warn of the dangers of a totalitarian regime in the practical application of communist ideology. George Orwell novel reflects his experience of, and response to, momentous events occurring in Europe in the first half of the twentieth century. Animal Farm was written to reflect the terrible experience of Orwell and many of his contemporaries, its message is in many ways limited by his efforts to adhere to a parody of the events in Soviet Russia. While George Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty Four reflects the paranoia that prevailed in Europe during the interregnum of the two World Wars of the twentieth century society. George Orwell was of the opinion that justice and freedom are the two important aspects of every issue, raised by the problems of society. In this present research, Orwell’s political and personal standpoints are examined and the books are analysed from a Marxist criticism perspective.



                                           Chapter One

1.0   Introduction

George Orwell novels are written in prose style like the novels of Hardy or those of Dickens, his novels does not carry the sound of music of poetry. His unemotional expression in Animal Farm, Burmese Days, and Nineteen Eighty Four is a clear indication that although he was a political thicker, he was also a sadist. George Orwell’s novels express a powerful satire on the political and social hypocrisies. By the quality of his writing, he achieved international fame and recognition. He wished to identify himself with the poverty-stricken people and to equate his sufferings with theirs. Orwell established a relationship between literature and politics (Menard, 2003).

Many of Orwell’s other values, freedom of expression, privacy, and individual autonomy, are part of liberalism. He attacks Marxist forms of socialism which threaten liberal values, and becomes committed to socialism where it promises to protect or fulfil them, although such a form of socialism remains only a possibility. He is best described as a liberal committed to socialism. In Animal Farm there is a bitter disillusion with political revolution which involves savage suppression of individual liberty. His Nineteen Eighty-Four is, in some ways, an extended metaphor of Animal Farm which witnesses a gradual suppression of the individual’s personality.

The plot of Nineteen Eighty-Four (Orwell 1949) is of course far more intricate and involved than that of Animal Farm (Orwell 1946). Animal Farm was written by George Orwell between 1943 and 1944, and was published in 1945. It is an allegorical novella that centres mainly on the author’s political opinions of Stalin and Russian politics of the time. The book’s plot mirrors the chain of events that started with the October Revolution of 1917 and culminated in the total usurpation of power by the charismatic Stalin (Orwell, 1993).

George Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty Four reflects the paranoia that prevailed in Europe during the interregnum of the two World Wars of the twentieth society. The two World Wars and the Great Depression cast a sense of shock, horror and disillusionment. The rise of Fascism and Nazism left the people terrified and confused. The existing political institutions could not cope with this situation. According to Satyabrata Das, “with the prevailing social and economic chaos and in the face of the menacing rise of Fascism, it was Marxism and Socialism that emerged as some benign and promising God.” (Das, Satyabrata. 1996).

1.1   Theoretical Frame work  and Methodology

The Marxist theory will be adopted for the critical analysis of the novels under investigation, out of all the theory, Marxism is a modern theory where dialectic materialism is emphasized. When literature began to be recognized as a weapon for social change, as a struggle of the individual for economic and political power.

Marxists tell us about past and present social relations and implications of an author’s work; what they should have been or ought to be.

The ideological aspects are of interest to Marxists who operate on the theory of political economy. Attention is paid in the main to the struggle of opposites (dialectics) and to the examination of social contradictions in the society. These is an emphasis on class propaganda and revolutionary didacticism as well as the ideological specification of the total state. There is also emphasis on the deterministic origin of art, the economic and social status (proletarian, pseudo-bourgeois or aristocratic) of artists and artisans in various past eras.


Marxist literary criticism is keen to observe how the classes are represented in literature and what is more, how the class distinctions are reinforced. In the light of this logic, a knowledge of the background of the author, who he was and what motivated him will be instrumental in the analysis of this study. Marxism was originated by Karl Marx in 19th century, a political thinker. Hence this text aims at an analytical application of the traditional mode to indicate the ideological exegesis of the various schools indicated, (Ibrahim & Akande, 2000,21).

The central thesis of Animal Farm and Nineteen Eighty Four will be explored from a Marxist point of view, as Orwell himself saw it, and in the context of the parallel with the events in Soviet Russia. It follows then, that much attention will be devoted to Marxist theory, teaching and ideology. In order to further examine the effectiveness of such “criticism” endeavours as described in above novels, it will be necessary to evaluate the way in which the Marxist approach is perceived by different historical figures and the difference between socialism and communism, or of different individual’s ways of using these terms. With Marx in focus, no analysis would be complete without an evaluation of the author, based on Marxist literary criticism. Consequently, this study will define Marxist theory and Maxwell literary criticism in such a way as to facilitate its coherent application to Animal Farm and Nineteen Eighty Four. Investigation will be made into the person of George Orwell in order to create a picture of who he was and what he stood for.

1.2   Statement of Research Problem

The research problems are areas relating to George Orwell’s views on political underpinning of the state in the novels “Animal Farm and Nineteen Eighty Four”. The questions to be focused on, in order to overcome this problem therefore, are these research questions:

  1. What is Maxwell’s criticism in Animal Farm?
  2. What is Maxwell’s criticism in Nineteen Eighty Four?
  3. What is Orwell’s stance and motivation in writing his book and what does he hoped to achieve?

Despite the number of critiques on the novel Animal Farm and that of Nineteen Eighty Four, none has been able to outline why the author chooses to make his work politically oriented. It is crystal clear that Animal Farm was the turning point in Orwell’s career, a novel which single-handedly transformed him a minor novelist and local polemicist to one of the best-known political writer globally. This study take cognisance of the fact that criticism only took off after Orwell’s death, after seven months following the publication of his last novel Nineteen Eighty Four. The present study empirically investigate Maxwell’s criticism in Animal Farm and Nineteen Eighty Four.

1.3   Authorial Background

George Orwell, was a child of the middle class raised at the height of the British Empire. Orwell was a British journalist and author, who wrote two of the most famous novels of the 20th century ‘Animal Farm’ and ‘Nineteen Eighty-Four’. Orwell was born Eric Arthur Blair on 25 June 1903 in eastern India, the son of a British colonial civil servant. He was educated in England and, after he left Eton, joined the Indian Imperial Police in Burma, then a British colony. He resigned in 1927 and decided to become a writer. In 1928, he moved to Paris where lack of success as a writer forced him into a series of menial jobs. He described his experiences in his first book, ‘Down and Out in Paris and London’, published in 1933. He took the name George Orwell, shortly before its publication. This was followed by his first novel, ‘Burmese Days’, in 1934.

Between 1941 and 1943, Orwell worked on propaganda for the BBC. In 1943, he became literary editor of the Tribune, a weekly left-wing magazine. By now he was a prolific journalist, writing articles, reviews and books.

In 1945, Orwell’s ‘Animal Farm’ was published. A political fable set in a farmyard but based on Stalin’s betrayal of the Russian Revolution, it made Orwell’s name and ensured he was financially comfortable for the first time in his life. ‘Nineteen Eighty-Four’ was published four years later.



1.4 Purpose of the Study

The purpose of this research is to examine Maxwell’s criticism in Animal Farm and Nineteen Eighty Four. The study also aims at investigating the elements in the novels that arouse such a number of critics from writers around the globe.

1.5 Scope of the Study

The scope of the study is very wide, as it covers the review of two world record breaking novels in interrelation with each other, but the research limits its scope to the criticism of Maxwell in the works of Orwell which is adopted for this study


1.6 Justification of the Study

The justification of this research is that both Animal Farm and Nineteen Eighty Four is straight forward and simple to study and according to the findings these novels both dealt with political issues. Orwell’s life experiences “made him a better and more empathetic writer, in that his sense of human suffering made his writing more universal.

Orwell firmly believes that if totalitarianism is allowed to grow unchecked, it would swallow the freedom and dignity of the individual. After experimenting with different set-ups e.g. imperialism, capitalism etc, he realizes that socialism is the only remedy for the intolerable conditions he has described in these two books under study.

So, whether Animal Farm or Nineteen Eighty-Four, Orwell’s works expose clearly the evils of exploitation, authoritarianism and totalitarianism. That is why, there is continuous controversies in his works against oppression, tyranny, injustice and inequality. In Animal Farm there is a bitter disillusion with political revolution which involves savage suppression of individual liberty. His Nineteen Eighty-Four is, in some ways, an extended metaphor of Animal Farm which witnesses a gradual suppression of the individual’s personality. The above justified the frame work of this study.








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