"Social Criticism in Literature, As Found in George Orwell's Animal Farm and Charles Dickens' A Tale of Two Cities." Many authors receive their inspiration for writing their literature from outside sources. The idea for a story could come from family,
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, overly ambitious. Both these books are similar in that both describe how, even
with the best of intentions, our ambitions get the best of us. 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) The basic...
Works Cited Coles Editorial Board. Coles Notes: Animal Farm. Toronto: Coles
Publishing Company, 1996. Dickens, Charles. A Tale of Two Cities. London: Orion
Publishing Group, 1994. Gardner, Averil. George Orwell. Boston: Twayne
Publishers, 1987. Kaplan, Fred. Dickens: A Bibliography. New York: William
Morrow & Company, Ltd., 1988. King, Martin. Students' Guide to Animal Farm.
Scotland: Tynron Press, 1989. Lucas, John. The Melancholy Man: A Study of Dickens'
Novels. London: N.P., N.D. Orwell, George. Animal Farm. London: Penguin
Books, 1985. Shelden, Michael. Orwell: The Authorised Biography. London:
Mandarin Paperbacks, 1992. Written in Toronto, 1996.