Text Response: Animal Farm

Comprehension questions serve a purpose in education, but they do not always challenge or inspire. The questions below have proved successful in engaging productive discussion, and encouraging students to attempt to understand complex systems, historical events and conflicting political ideologies/realities.

Animal Farm is an excellent allegory; it makes that which appears complicated very simple. These questions appear difficult but their answers are in many cases very straight-forward. Of course, a simple and accurate answer, like “42”, can fail to realise the question….

Last point: when answering be specific and use evidence.

1. Does Snowball (Trotsky) represent a morally legitimate political alternative to the corrupt leadership of Napoleon? What was his vision for the farm?

2. With whom does Orwell place the responsibility for the misfortunes of Stalinist Russia?

3. How specifically do the leaders work to control the population of the farm? What are the weapons of a dictatorship?

4. What, in your opinion, was the greatest threat to the security of the farm after the revolution?

5. How specifically does Orwell present the corruption of socialist ideals in his allegory? What is the essence of a socialist democracy, and how can we observe its failure in Animal Farm?

6. As in 1984, how is it apparent to the reader that the author is concerned about political spin?

7. Why has this novel, as well as 1984, continued to capture the consciousness of the Western World?

Leave a Comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.