Comparison: Gulliver’s Travels & Animal Farm
Comparing these two novels is far from hard. There is one main similarity between the two, which any sharp person can pick out after reading the two
books, between the lines. I will follow on later explaining this parallelism, but before that I will list down a few facts about the two books.
Animal Farm is my post-nineteen hundreds book written by George Orwell. The book is about, in a brief description, a group of animals, from Manor Farm, take on a dream unfulfilled by a pig who was looked on as being the ‘wise pig’ in their own society. This dream is to revolt against the human’s rule over all animals. They are successful in doing this and create their own ideal society. Run by the pigs, they choose that everything and everyone should be equal and should never follow out actions that humans would do in their everyday lives. The people of the society (all animals apart from pigs) start to notice that even their leaders cannot abide by all the rules they write, and from then on the story kicks off. In between the lines, there is a subject of communism, which is not the subject we are looking to match with Gulliver’s Travels, but it is what this subject belongs to on a macro scale…politics. I can say that the basis of Animal Farm’s satirising is communism, because each animal represents a individual in the communist party. For example, the pigs are the actual party, the dogs that protect them are the KGB or secret police in other words, and the rest of the animals are obviously the people.
Gulliver’s Travels is my preceding 1900’s book written by Jonathan Swift. It is a satire on the pride and folly of the human race. Lemuel Gulliver, a ship's surgeon, is stranded on the island of Liliput, where is taken prisoner by six-inch tall inhabitants. Then he goes to Brobdingag, a kingdom of giants. In each land that Gulliver visits, there is a different ironic comparison to English or European politics and philosophy. Lilliput, book 1, is a rich satire of the English politics of Swift’s time. The small, but extremely immoral, Lilliputians represent the Whig party of England, whose vicious foreign policy and accusations of treason against members of the Tory party Swift despised. The small size of the Lilliputians is in inverse proportion to the amount of their corruption. Similarly, the Brobdingnagians find Gulliver’s culture to be too violent for the size of its people, and Gulliver’s pride in describing the English is ruined by his puniness. Swift characterises the giants in book two to be imperfect but extremely moral, possibly the ideal for how a society could be in Swift’s time. In book 3, Swift satirises the philosophical movements of rational thought that were popular in the 17th and 18th centuries. The overkill of geometry and other systems being used by the Laputans ridicules the idea of overthiking something. The Laputans deal in the conceptual rather than in the sensible, resulting in very, very stupid theories and ideas. The Houyhnhnms of book four likewise prize the rational, but instead of satirising them as idiots, Swift shows them to be, simply cold. The horses’ single-minded rationality ‘starves’ them of access to love, art, and other impracticalities that help to offset the heartless aspects of Swift’s culture.
As you can see, Gulliver’s Travels presents a much more detailed satire and has many different satirising points to be made, but George Orwell only ridicules one politics party, the communists of Russia. Swift goes on about the many parties operating in the British Government at the time, but in Russia there was only one. A large similarity to be noticed first off is the way both writers represent the politicians, as I’ll call them. Both writer’s use personification to this, although in Gulliver’s travels, the politicians are not personified all the way, as they are sometimes represented as a human society, but they are either small, or really big…or half human, half animal. Still, I will go with the fact that both writers have used personification anyway. I think all the differences between the two stories are there because of what the two writers are actually satirising. George Orwell is ridiculing Marxism and Swift is doing the same, but about the British Government in his time. The British government at this time would have consisted of many different parties, and politicians unlike Communism which was one party…this is why Swift’s novel is a more complex Satire. Another variance in both novels is the way that both writers’ have animals higher than humans do. In
Animal Farm, this is noticed through out the story, and in Gulliver’s Travels, in the land of the Houyhnhnms animals are higher classed than humans are. If looked close at, this could be a message, that both writer’s at the time are comparing humans to animals and may think that animals at present are more civilised and managed than humans are…and to some extent you have to agree. Animals have no wars, no unnatural tendencies unlike humans. This maybe what both writers’ want to put across, and in animal farm this point could be the main message of the story. A major difference between the two stories to be looked upon is that I think Gulliver’s travels encourages revolution, but Animal Farm says it seems like a good idea, but then at the end basically says, it doesn’t work. But I don’t think that this could be George Orwell’s view on revolution, because Marxism didn’t work in the end in reality…and he is just based his story on this, so therefore it might not be his true view.
To conclude my
essay, I can finally say with proof that Gulliver’s Travels and Animal Farm can be compared with successful results although the two do have their differences. If you look at the stories on a micro scale, the differences do split the stories apart, but when looking on a macro scale, which I primarily did then the stories are a perfect prior to-1900 and post-1900 comparison.
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