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Social Critique

Social Criticism in Literature Many authors receive their inspiration for writing their literature from outside sources. The idea for a story could come fromfamily, personal experiences, history, or even their own creativity. For authors that choose to write a book based on historical events, the inspiration might come from their particular viewpoint on the event that they want to dramatize. George Orwell and Charles Dickens wrote Animal Farm and A Tale of Two Cities, respectively, to express their disillusionment with society and human nature. Animal Farm, written in 1944, is a book that tells the animal fable of a farm in which the farm animals revolt against their human masters. It is an example of social criticism in literature in which Orwell satirized the events in Russia after the Bolshevik Revolution. He anthropomorphises the animals, and alludes each one to a counterpart in Russian history. A Tale of Two Cities also typifies this kind of literature. Besides the central theme of love, is another prevalent theme, that of a revolution gone bad. He shows us that, unfortunately, human nature causes us to be vengeful and, for some of us, overlyambitious. Both these books are similar in that both describe how, even with the best of intentions, our ambitions get the best ofus. Both authors also demonstrate that violence and the Machiavellian attitude of "the ends justifying the means" are deplorable. George Orwell wrote Animal Farm, ". . . to discredit the Soviet system by showing its inhumanity and its back-sliding from ideals [he] valued . . ."(Gardner, 106) Orwell noted that " there exists in England almost no literature of disillusionment with the Soviet Union.' Instead, that country is viewed either with ignorant disapproval' or with uncritical admiration.'"(Gardner, 96) Thebasic synopsis is this: Old Major, an old boar in Manor Farm, tells the other animals of his dream of "animalism": " . . . Only getrid of Man, and th...

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