The events and characters in the book are based on those of the Russian Revolution. Orwell wrote
to criticise Stalin’s regime.
Language, Form and Style
Animal Farm (Grades 9–1)
The novel is a beast fable: animals behave like humans in a story that has a clear moral purpose.
Irony is the use of words to suggest the opposite of their usual meaning. Work on Sundays is ‘strictly voluntary’ (Chapter 6, p. 37) but the animals’ rations depend on it.
The novel satirises the ways political figures justify their actions. Orwell makes serious moral points about power by ridiculing the hypocrisy of the pigs.
Characters and events in the novel clearly represent real-life figures or issues. For example, Boxer represents the working classes or proletariat.