Although the two books The Pilgrim's Progress by John Bunyan and Animal Farm by George Orwell are very different in content and what they represent they are very alike in the techniques used by the authors. Both authors use the technique of Allegory with symbolism to make their books powerful and interesting to read. Allegory is a form of narrative expression used by many authors, it conveys a symbolic meaning parallel to but also distinct from the literal meaning. Animal Farm has an allegorical use of animals to represent types of humans and their characteristics and The Pilgrim's Progress uses people and things to represent human behaviour and characteristics. The symbolic meaning is mostly expressed through personifications and other symbols. Related forms of allegories are fables and Parables, which are comparatively short and often simple allegories.
The Pilgrim's Progress is one of the greatest allegories of all times, published in most of the world's major languages, and sometimes said to be the most popular book in the world after the Bible. The Pilgrim's Progress, a prose narrative symbolically concerned with the search for spiritual salvation, was written by Bunyan while he was imprisoned for illegal lay preaching. John Bunyan was born in El stow, near Bedford in 1628. After being taught to read and write he became a lay preacher in the Baptist movement where he attracted large audiences. There were many experiences in Bunyan's life that must have strongly affected him and the things in which he believed. Bunyan lived through one of the most turbulent periods in modern history.
Before being sent to prison for his beliefs he had lived through the experience of Civil War, fighting on the Republican side. He had seen the raise of Cromwell's dictatorship and the rebel's dreams of a democratic society disappear. He had lived through the restoration of the monarchy and a time where people were given very little religious freedom. This book became popular for its anti-establishment socio-religious message and has become an inspiration for many political radicals. Animal Farm like The Pilgrim's Progress is a very powerful book with many messages. Orwell, the author of the book was one of the great English satirists; Satire is a very intellectual type of writing.
Orwell was from a middle-class background and in an effort to push him up the class system, which was very apparent in his time, his parents had sent him to a preparatory school. Orwell later won a scholarship to Eton and on leaving he joined the Indian police and went to Burma. Orwell served the police for a further five years, learning about life. He later came back to England with his mind made up that he wanted to be a writer. He lived in poverty striving to be a writer for several years, living in Paris and then London. He joined the Republican forces in the Spanish civil war.
He then resigned from his position in Burma, and decided to speak out about against the domination of people over others. This is when he came up with Animal Farm. Orwell saw himself as the exposer of unpleasant truths about society, he saw himself as the voice of the English moral conscience. He had lived through the time of the Russian revolution when the Russian masses had taken over the running of the country, led by Joseph Stalin.
He wrote this book as a parallel to this, showing his views on what happened. Orwell shows in the book that he thought there was something fundamentally wrong with human nature, he thought that idealistic political systems tended to overlook this. Unlike Bunyan in The Pilgrim's Progress Orwell's writing involved politics. This is because Orwell thought that good writers should see things as they are, not as someone else might like them to be.
Animal farm is an interesting book that allows the reader to enjoy what they are reading as well as get a political message. Orwell cleverly adds descriptions that are unnecessary in the symbolic aspect of the story, but keep the interest of the reader and make the book more entertaining. For example on page 23: Mr. Pilkington, was an easy going gentleman farmer who spent most of his time in fishing or hunting according to the season The basic outline of the book is quite simple. Jones, the owner of Manor farm comes home drunk, he is a careless farmer that does not think about the animals well being. After he has locked up the farm and gone to bed the animals go into one of the stables to listen to a speech by Old major, the oldest animal on the farm. They decide that one-day they are going to rebel and overthrow Jones.
This day comes quite quickly, the animals have not been fed, and when Jones gets home they knock down the stable door and run him off the farm. They are left to run the farm themselves, the pigs being the cleverest take charge. Napoleon and Snowball become the head of the pigs, constantly fighting between themselves. In the end Napoleon has Snowball run off the farm by some dogs that he has raised from puppies. Napoleon then took over the running of the farm.
Making the animals build a windmill to power the farm, he tells them that they will be able to work less and have more food when it is finished. While they are building it they are working hard for virtually no food, while the pigs are living in luxury in the farmhouse. Jones and his men come back twice to try and re-capture the farm but both times are chased off by the animals. By this time Napoleon has convinced the animals that everything that he did was right. By the end of the book the pigs have completely taken over the farmhouse, making all the animals work for nothing. The farm becomes a worse state than it was before the revolution and the animals are sad.
It is as though the pigs have turned in to humans, the things for the mess in the first place. 'The Pilgrim's Progress however is more of a religious fairytale. In the story Evangelist comes to Christian and tells him to leave the city of Destruction that he lives in and make his way on the path of righteousness to the Celestial city. Here he will find eternal life and happiness. Christian sets off on his journey with a burden on his back, he is chased from his home country by people begging him to stay. However Christian carries on, meeting with people on the way, people like Help, Worldly Wiseman, Pliable, Hopeful and Faithful, all of these people either help or hinder him on his journey.
The reader travels with Christian on this journey, being caught in the slough of despond, passing through Vanity Fair, where he looses a dear friend. We see him take advice from Worldly Wiseman, the interpreter and Evangelist. We see him captured by Giant despair and imprisoned in Doubting castle. He learns things on the mountain and we see him develop from his mistakes.
At last we see him lose the burden from his back and reach the Celestial City, where he re-joins the dear friend that he lost at Vanity Fair. Although very different in content these two books are both excellent pieces of literature that have been read, and enjoyed by people from all cultures and languages. Both books being Allegories means that people are able to read these books without having to understand the political or religious ideas behind them. They can also pass on very valuable lessons to people, Animal Farm for example allows people to look back at the Russian Revolution and see how it happened, the book could stop something that terrible from happening again.
Animal Farm can cause people to think about human behavior, our need for power, how power can be a bad thing and can cause a great deal of misery and pain which could be avoided. He is saying that power can be taken advantage of and that power corrupts, the more power that people have the more they ultimately want. The Pilgrim's Progress is aimed at teaching the Christian way of life as well as giving enjoyment. In spite of it being an allegory the book has a very straight forward and to the point theme. It is undecorated in its glory, there to serve the purpose of telling people about religion, and is not just for the entertainment of the reader.
This method of allegory is widely used especially in the work of Poets such as Geoffrey Chaucer and William Langland. The method is also used in Aesop's fables where he personifies different things in order to get certain morals and cautionary points across to people. One of these is when he uses the sun and the wind to represent good and evil he personifies them in a way that people find the story fun but also get the important moral hidden behind it. One of Aesop's most famous fables is The Boy Who Cried Wolf, where a boy cries wolf as a joke so many times that when there really is a wolf nobody believes him.
Apart of using allegories both Bunyan and Orwell use strong parallels to real life in order to get their messages across. In the case of animal farm each of the animal groups represents a particular human type. The pigs for instance represent the educated classes of Russia, the leaders and the dictators. In particular Napoleon representing Stalin.
Napoleon is described as a fierce looking boar with a reputation for getting his own way. Stalin was a very fierce leader who led Russia into a worse state than it was in before the revolution. Snowball, another of the pigs on the farm represents Leon Trotsky, who was a brilliant and energetic revolution aire, who was deprived of power by Stalin. In the same way Snowball was deprived of power by Napoleon.
Other pigs in the chapter that are linked with humans are Squealer and Old Major. Squealer represents all of the propaganda that was around at the time of the revolution. Squealer does everything to make Napoleon look good; he twists things to make the pigs sound good. The animals said that he could turn black to white And all of the animals seemed to trust Squealer: They accepted his explanation without further question and The animals were satisfied that they had been mistaken Old Major, the pig that came up with the idea of Animalism in the book was there to represent Karl Marx, the author of Das Kapital the book all about communism. Old Major originally came up with the idea of Animalism as Marx had devised Communism. The sheep in Animal Farm represent the laborers, the uneducated masses of Russia that just went along with whatever they were told to do, the easily fooled and the easily led.
This is shown through many of their actions in the book, learning the alphabet for example, they could not get past the letter A. They could not learn the seven commandments either. Also at the end of the book the sheep, led by Napoleon and Squealer sing Four legs good, two legs better They did not realize that they were going against the animals they just did what they were told to do by the pigs. The cows like the sheep just went along with what happened, and did not question what was said. For example they did not protest to their milk being taken by Snowball and Napoleon, and they did not moan about their rations being reduced. They represent the unheard masses of Russia, the ones that realized what was going on but just kept quite because they were too scared to say anything. Moses the raven represents the Church and the whole religious system.
Boxer represents the normal working people of Russia the ones who did not see any wrong in the country and just did what they were told all of the time this is shown by the way that he is always working hard and never complaining. Mollie the horse represents the Aristocracy in Russia the people that wanted a better way of life, this is shown by the way that she leaves the farm when she is not allowed to wear ribbons in her mane or have an easy life. The chickens in the story are parallel to the Tulum of Russia; the people that would not accept the way Stalin was running the country. They would not give up their farms to the state. This is represented in the book when the chickens refuse to give the pigs their eggs. Jones, is presented as a very careless farmer, who does not take his duties seriously.
He represents the Tsar of Russia who at the time was not making a very good job of looking after Russia and thought by many people at the time not to be taking his duties seriously. There is a lot of symbolism used in this book, to represent certain things that went on at one point in time, the animals are there to represent certain human groups from the time. Personification in this way is used to widen the understanding of the reader, while at the same time making the book better and more interesting to read. The Pilgrim's Progress also uses a lot of symbolism, but not in the same way as Animal Farm. The whole book represents a person's search for salvation.
The people in The Pilgrim's Progress represent certain Human characteristics rather than a type of person. Also the things that happen to Christian on his journey represent things that happen to humans during their lives, feelings and emotions they have, and problems that the come across. Some of the people he comes across during the book are Help, Pliable, Hopeful, Ignorance, Worldly Wiseman and Faithful all of these are represented in the book exactly as their names suggest the would. For example Help comes to help Christian during his journey when he is stuck in the Slough of Despond. Pliable is the type of person who changes his mind a lot, he decided to join Christian on his journey at the beginning of the book.
But he soon changes his mind when they meet with the first danger, which happens to be the Slough of Despond. Ignorance is portrayed as a person who is oblivious to what is going to happen to him. He joined the path late and when Christian explains to him that he will not be allowed into the Celestial City he is ignorant. He does not understand what Christian is telling him and just keeps going any way. Faithful as you would expect is very faithful with what he does during the book; he does not do anything to hurt people and is a very good friend to Christian throughout the time they are together. There are many other examples of names of people whose characteristics are exactly what you would expect from their names.
Characters like the interpreter, who helped Christian at the very start of his journey and gave him advice before he set off on the main part of the journey. He helped Christian and taught him lots of lessons, Christian is able to use these in order to decide what to do and how to get along in the story. Also Piety, she helped Christian a great deal in his search for salvation. When Christian was desperate and needed somewhere to sleep then she gave him a place to rest. She, along with her sisters gave him lots of advice as to the best way to go about his journey. However there were people along the journey that also hindered Christian.
For example Obstinate, at the start of the book, who tried to stop Christian from even beginning the journey. He is seen to be very set in his ways and did not really want to change his mind no matter what Christian said to him. There was also Napoleon who wounded him on the way. The characters are like puppets with label names, they play assigned parts tending to a pre-determined end. The things that happen to Christian also represent things that happen to most humans in their lifetime. The Slough of Despond for example is representing sorrow, a time in our lives when we are swamped by despair.
The Burden on Christian's back is there to represent all of his troubles and problems that he carries with him, all of his stresses, he gets rid of his Burden as he comes towards the Celestial City, this is because all of his problems and stresses of life have disappeared. The City of Destruction is supposed to represent life and the society in which we live. The idea expressed in this book is that if a person chooses to be a Christian then they are coming out of the City Of Destruction, which is their life at the time. They will then be starting to make their way towards Salvation. The Celestial City is supposed to represent heaven. This is where Christian reaches the end of his journey.
He at last able to receive the reward of entering the Celestial city for all of his efforts to get to the end of the path and not give up. As a conclusion to this essay we can say that these two books are very different, in what they represent, when and the reasons that they were written, the language, the style and the content. They are both trying to get different messages across to the readers, but are both able to use Allegory to help them do this. They both use symbolism well, they both allow the readers to imagine things which therefore make the books more exciting to read. The symbolism allows us to create a picture in our minds, and widen our understanding.
These books are both excellent pieces of literature that convey things to the public that the authors, at the time thought that people needed to hear about. So in this way we can say that these books are alike. 3 a 2.