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Making Connections

ANIMAL
FARM AND
V FOR
VENDETTA

Why choose these


texts?
Ideal preparation for the HSC Module A

Advanced Course: Comparative Study of Texts


and Context
O Preliminary Course Module A: Utopia and
Dystopia
O Both texts are relevant to the students world in
that they contain clear relevance to modern
political and cultural contexts, as well as each
other.
O Both texts contain the dystopian nightmares of
Frankenstein and Blade Runner.

Making Connections
Students

World

O Rebellious

O Post 9/11 world

O Distrust authority

O Terrorism

O More media and tech

O Gay Marriage?

savvy
O Visually influenced
O Strong sense of
justice

O Awareness of Media

Distortions/Cropping
O Global Revolutions
O 24/7 News Cycle

What are we seeing today


that matches the texts?
O Dictatorships

and Democracy
O Oppression and war crimes Sri-Lanka, Libya, Syria
O Fear of other- asylum seekers, migrants
O Revolution- Egypt, Tunisia, Libya
O Removal of liberties in a post 9/11 climate- terrorism
O Surveillance culture monitoring 24/7
O The distrust and critique of authority- Wikileaks
O The threat of restriction- food resources, high inflation
O Satire reflects our cynical world and the world view of teens
O Censorship China using internet blocks to maintain control
of information
O Media as an ambiguous tool of power- perpetuating
blindness/ignorance, propaganda, distortions OR promoting
truth?

Satire is Sexy
O Students respond to satire

because it mocks authority.


It looks at the hypocrisy of
traditional institutions in a
post-modern world.
O Satire is the text adults and
children share with regards
to humour- speaks to both
audiences
O The Chaser, Chris Lilley,
Zoolander, spoofs, etc.
O Both texts draw on satire
because they are critiques of
governments and society

The Importance of Context and Form in


Module A

O MODULE A: Comparative Study of Texts and

Contextstates:
This module requires students to compare texts in order
to explore them in relation to their contexts. It develops
students understanding of the effects of context and
questions of value.... Connections may be established
through the use of language forms and features.

George Orwell: Context


Source: McGraw Hill

O Outsider
O Spent early years in India as
O
O
O

a lonely boy
Took a job in Burma with the
Indian Imperial police
He became at odds with
British colonial rule
He viewed socialists,
fascists and communists as
repressive and self-serving
Remained skeptical of
governments and their
willingness to forsake ideals
in favour of power

Inspiration for Novella


Orwell says he once saw
a little boy whipping a
horse:
It struck me that if only
such animals became
aware of their strength
we should have no
power over them, and
that men exploit animals
in much the same way
as the rich exploit the
(worker).

Orwell: John Atkins


Animal Farm is written on many
levels. It is already a childrens story in
its own right(It) is also a lament for
the fate of revolutions and the hopes
contained in them.
It is a moving comment on mans
constant compromise with the truth.

Orwells Historical Context


Source: McGraw-Hill

O Russian Revolution
O Orwell attacked the myth of

Soviet socialism
O Power struggles between
Joseph Stalin and Leon Trotsky
for control of the Soviet Union
after the Czars government
was overthrown
O Once in power, Stalin engaged
in despotic rule and moved the
Soviet Union into the Industrial
Age
O His government controlled the
flow of information to the public
and he rigged trials and
executions

Characters- Russian
Revolution Allegory
O Old Major

O Karl Marx

O Napoleon

O Joseph Stalin

O Squealer

O Media/Propaganda

O Snowball

O Leon Trotsky

O Moses
O Farmer Jones
O Pilkington and Fredrick
O Mollie
O Boxer
O Puppies

O The Church
O Czar Nicholas
O Great Britain and

Germany
O Bourgeoisie
O Proletariat
O Military/Secret Force

Form of Animal Farm


1945 Novella- brief but rich in
thematic concerns
O Fable a narration intended to
enforce a truth- political
strategy?
O Satire anthropomorphism is
used as a satiric device
O Initially considered childrens
fable and shelved that way
O Allegorical- Russian Revolution
O Hypocrisy weaved into
characterisation rather than
direct authorial intrusion. Apathy
is the true villain.
O Unpleasant ending sense of
realism
O

Anthropomorphism
O Animals function as the

satiric device to point


out the follies of
humankind. Orwell
capitalises on the
typical traits of animals:
O Sheep- followers, the
public
O Dog loyal, ruthless
O Pigs greedy
O Horses workers

V for Vendetta: Context


O Post 9/11
O Directed by James

McTeigue
O Set in England but
mirrored American
politics Bush
O Based on Alan Moores
comic- comment on
Thatcherism and her
regimented approach to
the populace
O Moore unhappy with the
film

Alan Moore- Comic Creator


O Comics Brittania on YouTube

V for Vendetta- Form


O Film symbolism is visual and auditory
O Post-modern flawed superhero- moral

authority is ambiguous
O Post-modern pastiche
O Science Fiction
O Dystopian
O Allegorical
O Loaded with intertextual references

Guy Fawkes

O Catholics had to pay recusancy


O

fines and Protestants feared them


Catholics started to radicalise as a
result of their rights and freedoms
being taken away
As a result, a group of Catholics
plotted treason against King James
(Protestant). The group wanted to
blow up the King, the nobility and
the Bishops but their plans were
discovered.
Guy Fawkes was tortured King
James changed the law to allow
Fawkes to be tortured in the hope
that he would reveal other
conspirators
Terrorist or freedom fighter? Had
Catholics become radicalised and
used violence in reaction to the
abuse of their rights?

Amin Malak
Dystopias deal
with power. They
show power
functioning
efficiently and
mercilessly to the
point of
totalitarianism.

Paralleling thematic
concerns in Animal Farm
and V and linking it to a
modern context:
O Dictatorship/Tyranny
O Lack of Freedom
O Oppression through fear/violence
O Repressing Individuality
O Propaganda and Exploitation
O Disunity and Rebellion

Dictatorship/Tyranny
Animal Farm
O Socialism is the opening form of government but the

farm soon assumes a tyrannical leader


O Economic system- capitalism regains favour because
it ensures wealth in the hands of a few- the pigs
O Napoleon assumes the role of dictator once he removes
Snowball from the farm through duplicitous means
O Napoleon maintains control of the resources- milk, extra
apples
O Distances himself from the rest of the animals in a bid to
raise himself to a god-like, authoritative position
O Creation of the Ode to Napoleon
O Epithets are used to lionise and glorify Napoleon

Tyranny Animal Farm


O Positioning of pigs shows hierarchy pigs are on a

raised platform, the dogs are in a semi-circle around


them and the rest of the animals sit facing the pigs.
O Napoleon: Frequently he did not even appearbut
issued orders through one of the other pigs
O Tyranny is cyclical as seen in Napoleons control of
the dogs (military police)- It was noticed that they
wagged their tails to him in the same way as the
other dogs had been used to do with Mr Jones.
O Benjamin (donkey) believes all leaders are the
same: he said, life would go on as it had always
gone on- that is, badly.

Dictatorship occurs
when:
O People do not think

Boxer and Clover had great difficulty in thinking anything


out for themselves and Benjamin could read as well as
any pig , but never exercised his faculty.
O There is a lack of transparency
The pigs now revealed that during the past three months
they had taught themselves to read and write.
O People are content with basic comforts/repetition
or simple messages /mottos
Four legs good; two legs bad and I will work harder
O People do not challenge assumptions
The pigs were so cleverwith their superior knowledge it
was natural that they should assume leadership.

Dictatorship/Tyranny in V
O Adam Sutler surname rhymes with Hitler
O Frequent extreme close ups of the screen face of Sutler he is

juxtaposed against the five smaller men all representing


branches of the government.
O Sutler always uses a menacing or mocking tone when speaking
to others
O He organised for the removal of all political opposition
O He is hiding underground suggests distancing from the public
O Controls the resources and uses them for his own personal
needs V steals butter that was supposed to be heading to
Sutler
O Sutler has links to the pharmaceutical company which made
corrupt leaders rich and ultimately led to the deaths of
hundreds of citizens

Modern Dictators
O Kim Jong-Il
O He claims that North

Korea is a paradise,
where nobody ever
experienced poverty,
and where everybody
leads a happy life. In
real life, people are
regularly tortured, and
nearly all of them work
in collective farms.

Rupert Murdoch
Absolute Ruler?
Who is more powerful Murdoch or Parliament? Robert
Peston
He does not see why he should
abandon his dream of owning all of
the UK's largest broadcaster,
unless and until the Competition
Commission and the Culture
secretary Jeremy Hunt rule that
the deal represents an
irremediable attack on the
healthy plurality or diversity of
British media - or unless and until
News Corp is found by Ofcom, the
media regulator, to be not fit and
proper owners of BSkyB.

Corporate Power
AARON BERNSTEIN
Yet amid the good times, Americans
feel uneasy. BUSINESS WEEK's poll
shows that nearly three-quarters of
Americans think business has
gained too much power over too
many aspects of their lives. In a
response that surprised the pundits,
the public seemed to rally around the
sentiment expressed at the
Democratic convention, when Al Gore
declared that Americans must
''stand up and say no'' to ''Big
Tobacco, Big Oil, the big polluters,
the pharmaceutical companies,
the HMOs.'' Gore sensed the
frustration of many voters and their
desire to blunt some of the power of
business, crafting a new campaign
strategy that so far is working.

Lack of Freedom- AF
The Cost of Silence/Apathy
O The removal of Snowball ends all opposition to

Napoleon and it is from here that Napoleon ends


any form of debate; essentially, he is paving the
way for his dictatorship.
O The animals notice/sense that the pigs
behaviour is not entirely right but are unable to
vocalise their instincts. By remaining silent and
by conforming to the farms apparent sense of
order, they remain impotent and their situation
worsens.
O Is settling for an artificial sense of order
enough?

Lack of Freedom:
Animal Farm
O Irony of poem which idolises Napoleon: Thou

watchest over all- safety versus surveillance?


BEIJING is considering plans to launch a mobile phone tracking
system that will put the day-to-day movements of 17 million
residents of the Chinese capital under 24-hour, 'Big Brother'
surveillance.
Since the Sept. 11 attacks, the Justice Department has asked
for, and largely received, additional powers that allow it to
perform an unprecedented amount of surveillance of American
citizens and visitors. (Bruce Schneier)
O Read more:

http://news.cnet.com/2010-1028-5150325.html#ixzz1S2KiJ4I3

Benjamin Franklin
"Those who would
give up essential
liberty for
temporary safety
deserve neither
liberty nor safety."
O Read more:

http://news.cne
t.com/2010-1028
-5150325.html#i
xzz1S2KH2Dk0

Lack of Freedom V
O Audio sweepers monitor the community and look out

for subversive elements


O Vs speech to the populace: You now have censors
and surveillance coercing your conformity and
soliciting submission. How did this happen? Who is to
blame? If youre looking for the guiltyyou need
only look into a mirror.
O Removal of any form of religious opposition Gordon
keeps a version of the Koran (which is banned) in his
home- he relishes it for its beauty and difference
O Gordons homosexuality must be repressed and he
must act normal in order to avoid disorder to his life

Lack of Freedom- V
O The news is censored and fabricated in some

instances ;even the bastions of credibilitymedia organisations have let the people down.
The spin and propaganda is used to further
restrict the masses and keep them ignorant.
O The public is characterised as apathetic and
silenced- their lives appear hopeless and
conformist. This is similar to the animals in
Orwells novella.
O Both texts connect the idea that apathy is also a
choice!

Lack of Freedom: V
O The community has a curfew- robotic womans

voice projects- A yellow-coded curfew is now in


effectThis is for your protection.
O Black bagging is used to silence any opposition
to the leader.
O Satirical portrayals which ridicule the leader are
met with a swift retribution. Traditionally, the
ability to be satirical suggests the notion of
being a free country.
O Inspector Finch: I just want the chance to talk to
her before she disappears into one of Creedys
black bags.

Modern Images of Loss of


Freedom

Australia- Nanny State?


Ben Groundwater- Backpacker
Blog
Australia is a nanny state. You
only realise how much of a nanny
state it is, however, when you go
overseas and find that not
everyone lives with the same
amount of rules as we do.
That's when you see the irony of
our various wars in the name of
"freedom". Can you really call
yourself free in a country that will
fine you for walking across the
road incorrectly? Or that has a
proud democratic process that it
forces you to take part in?
Read more:
http://www.smh.com.au/travel/blogs/the-backpacker/australia-th
e-great-nanny-state-20110503-1e6hf.html#ixzz1S2FEiZJx

And yet we Australians go along


our merry way here, not taking to
the streets to protest these
injustices, not blocking off traffic
to make ourselves heard, happy
for the most part to live in our
nanny state with all of its rules.
Why? Because, to quote my mate
Nick again: "In Australia,
everything works." The
advantage of being in a country
with so many rules, and so many
people who obey those rules, is
that it's relatively safe, and
things generally run the way
they are supposed to.

Oppression

Oppression Through Fear/Violence:


Animal Farm
Napoleon and Squealer work to propose that
anybody that shows opposition must be
siding with Snowball and is immediately
designated a threat and executed without a
proper trial.
Squealer repeatedly warns that, should the
animals challenge any proposals, Mr Jones
will return as leader. The animals, having cast
off a ruthless master, become fearful that
their lives will worsen. Ironically, they are
worse off under Napoleon.

Fear Animal Farm


O Squealer characterises leadership as a burden and

plays on the publics insecurity: You might make the


wrong decisions, Comrades, and then where would
we be?
O To silence opposition and end debate, Napoleon uses
his personal military: enormous dogswearing
brass studded collarsdashed straight for Snowball.
O Farmers tried to stop revolutions on their own farms
by upping propagandist messages. They were
anxious to prevent their own animals from learning
too much about it so they spread the belief that the
animals there practised cannibalism, tortured one
anotherand had their females in common.

Oppression Through Fear/Violence:


V for Vendetta
O The emotive language/demonic labelling- terrorist- is

used to portray V as a threat to society despite


Norsefire being the real terrorist.
O English news reports point to America being in a civil
war because it did not have the same conservative,
religious base that Sutler created for this community
O The Secret Police (Creedy) and the Fingermenruthless divisions of the government and represent
the physical power of the government.
O The implementation of curfews suggests the need to
limit the potential for rebellion- the government plays
on the belief that only deviant people will be out on
the streets.

Evey in V
O Parents were activists
O Keeps a low profile- representative of public
O Moves from a state of fear to a state of

liberation after having been tortured and


accepts that integrity is more important
than physicality
O First woman to accept personal power Eve
O Her name is linked to V in sound and
purpose- freedom

Oppression Through
Fear/Violence
O Eveys mock interrogation scene suggests

that it is fear that incapacitates us and,


once the individual removes that fear,
freedom and a conviction in ones beliefs
will empower them.
O Vs message to the populace: I know why
you did it..Fear got the best of youAnd in
your panic, you turned toSutler. ..He
promised you order. He promised you
peaceand all he demanded in return was
your silent, obedient consent.

Amin malak
Dystopias dramatise
the conflict between
individual choice and
social necessity. Much
of the tension
revolves around
uniform decisions
made by an
impersonal
bureaucratic
machinery.

Repressing Individuality?
Or Ensuring Equality?
O George Orwell was censored by the

government and publishers because of


Englands relationship with the Soviet Union
at the time political pressure.
O Initially, even the rats, commonly
represented as outsiders, are considered
equal on this farm. Is this a good thing?
Removal of hierarchy?
O The hens, who refuse to give up their eggs
as a form of trade for farm profits, are
treated as enemies and starved.

Repressing Individuality- AF
O Irony All animals are equal but some animals

are more equal than others


O Mollie is forced to conform to the rest of the
farms ideals; allegorically, she represents the
materialistic bourgeoisie of the Russian
Revolution. Mollie is not allowed to wear ribbons
and is reprimanded when she is lured by these
capitalist symbols. Her desire to be an individual
lends a divisive tone to the farms community.
O Mollie is not allowed to speak to the other
farmers: He was talking to you and you were
allowing him to stroke your nose.

Repressing Individuality- V
O Everything is regimented and conformist in

architecture- there are no elaborate styles. All


prominent artwork has been removed by the Ministry
of Objectionable Materials, serving to disempower
individuals and the community. Art is commonly used
to inspire, provoke thought, provoke rebellion and
reflect diversity but this is restricted in this society.
O Norsefire wants a homogenised society where there
are no homosexuals and migrants are rejected- this is
a fundamentally religious society that breeds
xenophobic and extremist views. Lewis Prothero:
Immigrants, Muslims, homosexuals, terrorists,
disease-ridden degenerates. They had to go.

Repressing Individuality
O Removal of artistic individuality Vs shadow

gallery is an accumulation of past literary work


that had previously inspired or challenged
people . Gordon has his own gallery with the
poster of the Coalition of the Willing (Bush
Era); this is placed next to a satirical
representation of Sutlers face superimposed
on the face of the queen. POV shot of Evey
looking at Gordons pictures of naked men.
Gordon explains his homosexual identity: You
wear a mask for so long, you forget who you
were beneath it.

Repressing Individuality- V
O Vignette on Valerie reflects the repression of

individuals who are different. The favourable


characterisation of these individuals suggests that
Sutlers government is corrupt, inhumane and ultraconservative.
O The sequence of frames which show the emaciated
bodies of subjects being tossed into a mass grave are
reminiscent of the Holocaust. This highlights the
consequences of discriminating against people due to
differences in beliefs, ethnicity or sexual preference.
O The director is promoting his own ideology- pluralistic
communities are more realistic and compassionate
than insular, discriminatory ones.

Modern images of repressing


individuality- Iran
O A man paints over

campaign slogans near


the headquarters of
presidential candidate
Mir Hossein Mousavi in
Tehran on June 13, 2009.
Mousavi's name is
written in green while
Ahmadinejad's name is
written on top of it (left)
in black. (OLIVIER
LABAN-MATTEI/AFP/Getty
Images) #

Propaganda and Exploitation


Animal Farm
O The pigs are crafty and manipulative and manage to

subdue the animals the underclasses- through fabrication


and appealing visual rhetoric. The use of animalism and the
tokenistic symbols such as the flag, the rituals and
the patriotic songs promote the image of unity and a
common purpose but the reader is fully aware of the
dramatic irony the powerlessness of the animals.
O Squealers persuasive speeches convince the animals that
the pigs need to be well fed because they make important
decisions that dictate the farms future. (Political rhetoric).
The use of exaggerated statistics lends belief to the idea
that the farm is producing more and more and that the
animals have never been better off. The deliberate
propaganda is clear to the reader who is aware of the
historical context that frames this work.

Propaganda in AF
O The others said Squealer could turn black

into white ability to distort reality


O Orwellian voice throughout: The animals
believed every word of it.
O False sense of unity: There were more
songs, more speeches, more processions
O At the end, all of the propagandist symbols
of the initial revolution are removed- skull
of Old Major, horn and hoof to supress any
future rebellion.

Propaganda and Exploitation


V for Vendetta
OV

slashes his initial through the government posterStrength through Unity/Unity through Faith. V subverts
the government propaganda in order to force people to
question faith in the government and redirect that
faith/strength to him/the people.
O Gordons satirical sketch reflects how he desired to
break through the illusion of propaganda that Sutler
sold to the public. Gordon emphasises the ambiguous
terms freedom fighter and terrorist and shows how
they are used subjectively and interchangeably
by people wanting to assume power. The twin
images of Sutler as V and as the Chancellor suggests
how Sutlers elevation to leader and his judgment of V
as a terrorist is hypocritical.

Propaganda and Exploitation


V for Vendetta
O Sutler encourages incessant news

reporting of the world (outside England)


which is falling apart. He wants his society to
believe that England, because of its
controlled and regimented nature, is
singularly progressive. This false reporting is
intended to placate and delude the masses.
O When V blows up the Old Bailey, the
media/government feign culpability for the
destruction and enter into spin mode: We
are calling it an emergency demolition.

Propaganda in V
O This text is appealing to an external audience

that is becoming increasingly critical of the


media as a bastion of credibility; in addition,
religion has become tarnished by the actions
of deviant individuals who have transgressed
against community expectation . The
demolishing of these grand narratives
are applicable to our modern world,
suggesting that our modern society has
dystopian elements that need to be
assessed.

Modern Propaganda
Iraq/Afghanistan
O Claims that the
major news
corporations
swallowed the
weapons of mass
destruction story
without critiquing the
intelligence.
O Doco The War You
Dont See

Rebellion in Animal
Farm
O The animals feel oppressed by Farmer Jones

and envision a utopian society where


Almost overnight we could become rich
and free. Images of liberation are weaved
through the Beasts of England song; these
images instigate rebellion, Rings shall
vanish from our noses/Cruel whips no more
shall crack. The animals rebel only when
their basic necessities- like food- are
removed, but they seem content to give up
their humanity.

Disunity and Rebellion


Animal Farm
O Beasts of England- the song is symbolic of unity and

the overthrowing of the capitalist system which is to


be replaced by socialism. When the pigs assume
control, they replace the song because they are
fearful that it may trigger a rebellion. They are
aware of how ritualistic or tokenistic elements can
contribute to rebellion.
O Also, the pigs seek the return of Moses, symbolic of
the Church, to sedate the masses. Moses promises
the animals hope of life after death in the form of
Sugarcandy Mountain. The claim here is that
religion has often been used to reinforce apathy,
ignorance and oppression.

Disunity/Rebellion
V for Vendetta
O Although the masses are unified in their apathy, V urges the

masses to conform and rebel against their morally corrupt


leaders Church, Government and the Media- in order to reorder
society and achieve justice. The allusion to Guy Fawkes
represents a rebellion against a rigid authority, an authority that
seeks to repress individuality and choice. The masks are symbols
of this rebellion.
O The sequence of frames that show the dominoes falling
metaphorically represents the domino effect that V has had on
society when he starts to utilise the tools of propaganda to
awaken the populace. He makes the criticism that people are
just as culpable as governments. People must take accountability
for being duped and take action to recover their freedom. His
leadership is inspiring rather than demoralising.
O No real rebellious leader in Animal Farm- community stays
oppressed.

Rebellion: Music
O Music is often seen as a form of rebellion. V

plays the 1812 Overture as he blows up the Old


Bailey (law courts), the act symbolising an
overthrowing of tyranny. The people marvel at
the sounds because the Norsefire party has
prohibited anything that can fire up the
emotions of the masses. The one emotion the
party instils is fear. Sutler: I want it blacklisted.
O Historical context of overture- a piece written to
commemorate Russias defence of Moscow
against Napoleons army in 1812.

Rebellion in V
O Sutler aims to quell rebellion through

instilling fear: The security of this nation


depends on complete and total
compliance.
O When V is asked, Why wont you die? he
replies: Beneath this mask there is an idea
and ideas are bullet proof. This points to
how Vs mission/ the peoples mission is a
reflection of the need to not only overthrow
people/dictators but ideologies as well.

Modern Images of Rebellion

Violence
O V has become representative of an idea so,

when he murders various government and


church leaders, is the audience meant to
see their deaths as a metaphorical
destruction of traditional
narratives/traditional ideas?
O Both texts show how violence is necessary
for revolution but not all violence results in
the revolution we want. In many ways, it is
what happens after the revolution that is
the measure of liberty.

In Conclusion
O Animal Farm is a reflective text having been after the event which

inspired it. It is cynical in its view of humanity and acts as a critique


of the Russian revolution and thus a warning against the pursuit of
revolutionary utopian ideals. It offers a clear morality.
O V for Vendetta, via its Hollywood medium, is a far more hopeful
and immediate text having been written at the time of the event
which inspired it. It offers an optimistic view of humanity and its
pursuit of a utopian vision. It is a post 9/11 text suggesting the
dangers of surrendering our democratic values in exchange for
safety ; advocates revolution as a vital vehicle to achieving a
utopian society. It offers a more ambiguous morality.
O In contrasting these texts, audiences reflect on alternative pathways
to revolution as they assess the pros and cons of action and
inaction.
O Both texts are embedded firmly in their context through their
medium and message. The novella, through its traditional fable
structure , offers a clear message of good and evil whilst V for
Vendetta, with its pastiche of genres, offers a more postmodern and
fragmented view of good and evil.

Questions Raised By The


Texts
O What is life? If we have to repress who we are and what we

enjoy, are we dead anyway?


O Do we actually possess the power to move governments?
O Can one person make a difference?
O Do we actually have choice? Are we merely cogs in a
machine?
O Do we need to use violence to achieve a revolution?
O Who are the real terrorists?
O Are we deliberately ignorant because it is harder to be
active?
O Do we deserve the governments we have?
O How dangerous/powerful is the community? Can it actually
affect change or does it reinforce powerlessness?
O Why arent revolutions always successful?
O Is humanity too idealistic?

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