A Comparison Between Swift? s? Gulliver? s Travels? AndA Comparison Between Swift? s? Gulliver? s Travels? And Orwell? s? Animal Farm? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? In many ways? Gulliver? s Travels? is a unique work. There is little to compare it to in world literature and at first glance, ? Animal Farm? appears to be a very different kind of book. ? The authors are separated by over two centuries, yet there are a surprising number of similarities between? Animal Farm? and? Gulliver? s Travels? . Some of the most intriguing similarities can be found when you examine the two authors, George Orwell and Jonathan Swift. ? They are perhaps the most prolific political writers of their time and? share likenesses that occur throughout their upbringing, to the publication of their books.
Orwell, like Swift, felt a deep sense of isolation throughout his childhood especially in 1911, at a preparatory boarding school. ? There he was distinguished among the other boys for his poverty and intellectual brilliance. ? Orwell grew up a morose, withdrawn, eccentric boy, and told of the miseries of these years in his autobiographical essay, ? Such, Such Were The Joys? (1953). ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? Orwell and Swift both received an excellent education, Orwell at Eton and Swift at Trinity College, and found themselves as editors later in their lives. ? In 1943-45, Orwell became the literary editor of the Tribune, having contributed several articles to the Observer and Manchester Evening News. ? Swift (as noted in? Swift and his Satire In? Gulliver? s Travels? And? A Modest Proposal? ? ), had been editor of The Examiner two hundred and fifty years earlier.
The authors? backgrounds heavily influenced their purpose for writing their novels. ? Jonathan Swift was Irish and, in? Gulliver? s Travels? , satirised George I? s court and the English landowners in Ireland. ? George Orwell was English and satirised political power including Communism, in the Russian revolution and its aftermath. ? Animal Farm? is also an attack and analysis of the search for power and the ways in which corrupt figures can gain and manipulate power for their own purposes.
? Lord Acton observed that: ? Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely? . Orwell stated that? Totalitarianism has abolished freedom of thought to an extent unheard of in any previous age? . ? He believed that this was achieved not only by preventing or forbidding certain thoughts or ideas but also by telling people exactly what to think. ? This is demonstrated from the beginning of? Animal Farm? when Snowball simplifies Major? s ideas into slogans, in an effort to make the less intelligent animals understand the principals of animalism.
? For example, Major? s statement that? Whatever goes upon two legs is an enemy? is reduced to the slogan? Four legs good. ? Two legs bad? . ? This simplification can lead to a loss of meaning and become dangerous as we see when the sheep use the chant to drown any opposition to Napoleon in the meetings. ? Both Orwell and Swift made their intentions in writing their novels clear in the preface, which created great difficulties for their publication namely because of the controversial satire within them. ? ? Animal Farm? , for instance, was veiled a criticism of the regime in the Soviet Union at a time when the regime was Britain? s ally. ? In order to avoid any further delays in the publication of the two books, they were subtitled? fairy stories? to obscure the true purposes behind the writing of the two books.
? In? Animal Farm? , however, this also drew the readers? attention to the artificial nature of the story line. ? ? Animal Farm? and? Gulliver? s Travels? are both political allegories and can be read on different levels. ? ? Gulliver? s Travels? can be read as a travel book, diary, fantasy and satire of the time. ? ? Animal Farm, however, can be read on fewer levels: as a fable and a satire of general human nature and the Russian Revolution.
Besides satire, ? Gulliver? s Travels? can be considered as having many genres whereas? Animal Farm? has been classed as a fable. ? These works (such as Aesop? s Fables) utilise animal characters to make serious moral points. ? Characters do not behave in a naturalistic or realistic way but are symbolic of certain attitudes or view points e. g. Anthropomorphism as seen in? Animal Farm? and? Gulliver? s Travels? . ? George Orwell? s novel satirised ways in which power can be abused by individuals, whereas Jonathan Swift targets all human foibles and institutions.
? I have ever hated all nations, professions and communities, and all of my love is towards individuals: for instance I hate the tribe of lawyers, but I love councilor such a one, judge such a one? but principally I hate and detest that animal called man, although I heartily love John, Peter Thomas and so forth? . This is one of the principal differences between the two authors and the two novels. The structure of? Animal Farm? helps to clarify the theme of the betrayed revolution through repetition of certain key images or phrases. ? It follows a conventional narrative structure, written in the third person in contrast to? Gulliver? s Travels? which is written in the first person. The story is divided into ten chapters, which have the decline of the high ideals of the anomalistic revolution. ? The book is also structured in a more subtle way.
? Once the revolution had happened, several chapters open by referring to the suffering of the animals or the harsh winters (Chapters 5, 6 and 7 all open in this way) and end with the gradual perversion of one of the commandments. The repetition of various ideas and images forms a pattern in the text and links events together. ? In particular, Major? s speech at the start of the novel is echoed and referred throughout the novel, to provide a standard by which the pigs? actions are judged. ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? The recurrent appearance of the menacing dogs ensures that the reader never forgets the terror and violence that underpins Napoleon? s rule: the sheep? s mindless and repetitive bleating is used in a similar way. ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? The repeated breaking of the commandments and the animals? continual checking of the wall, makes clear to the reader, the gradual distortion of Major? s ideals. ? This reaches a shocking climax, when all pretence of following the commandments is abandoned by the pigs, in favour of open terror and oppression, signified by the whips.
In contrast to? Animal Farm? , the structure of? Gulliver? s Travels? has often been criticised. ? It has been suggested that the neat balance between Lilliput and Brobdingnag is not maintained in Books 3 and 4. ? Book 3 lacks a single imaginative design such as links the opening Books together and returns in the 4 th. ? Book 3 was written last, and it seems to consist of many loose ideas that Swift wanted to squeeze in without spoiling the climax.
? ? ? Gulliver? s Travels? consists of long sentences, which are heavily punctuated and full of intricate descriptions. ? His features are strong and masculine, with an Austrian lip, and arched nose, his complexion olive, his countenance erect, his body and limbs well proportioned, all his motions graceful, and his deportment majestic? . ? This quote, taken from? Gulliver? s Travels? , represents only a very small portion of the description of the Emperor. ? Animal Farm? has a simplistic style composed of a simple storyline and straightforward characters. ? He was twelve years old and had lately grown rather stout, but was still a majestic-looking pig, with a wise and benevolent appearance in spite of the fact that his tushes had never been cut? . ? This quote, taken from? Animal Farm? , describes Old Major.
We see the pigs make use of the word? equality to mean its opposite. The style of writing has enabled Orwell? s comments to be transmitted to the widest audience in its most readable form. ? Orwell suggested that writers simplify their words, use straightforward language rather than foreign or technical words, which could mislead the reader and fail to make the meaning clear. ? Orwell also suggested that language had to try, as far as possible, to reflect the truth of an issue rather than be distorted or relay false sentiments or feelings. ? In? Animal Farm? , language is used to cover up meaning.
? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? Despite the large time span separating the two authors, it has been possible to find many similarities and contrasts in the two novels. ? However, the main factor that has ensured the novels? success over the years, is their appeal and popularity among adults and children alike. ? Chance Knights April 1998.