Born Eric Blair in India in 1903, he was the son of a minor colonial official. Orwell was educated at Eton, in England where he began to develop an independent-minded personality, indifference to accepted Victorian values, and professed atheism and socialism. After college, he started to work for the Indian Imperial Police in Burma but he returned to England because he hated to see the domain and the power that the British had on the Indians, so he decides to “escape from every form of man’s dominion over man”. Here, he devoted himself to writing; living poorly; attending prisons and lodging-houses; and publishing his works with the pseudonym of George Orwell.
In 1936 Orwell went to Catalonia with his wife Eileen to report about the Spanish civil war and he fought in the trenches where he understood the values of brotherhood and equality. Instead, in 1941 he worked for the BBC like broadcasting in India. From Orwell’s life and works is evident the conflict between middle-class education and his emotional identification with the working class. In fact, he rejected his English background. The role of the artist was to inform and to reveal facts, so literature had a social function. He was influenced by Dickens about social themes, realistic language and the ideas that society was formed by deprivation, misery and poverty.
He based his ideology on the criticism of totalitarianism, the violation of freedom and tyranny in all its forms.
Animal Farm is Orwell’s reaction to his disillusionment about totalitarianism on the occasion of Stalin’s Purge Trials (1930) and Stalin’s signature of the non-aggression pact with Hitler (1939). It is an anti-utopia fable influenced by Swift’s Gulliver’s Travels especially in the comparison between animals and men.
It is set in a farm, where a group of oppressed animals, led by Napoleon, overcome their cruel master and set up a revolutionary government. Obviously, Napoleon’s leadership becomes a dictatorial regime. The life of animals is guided by seven commandments based on equality but whit Napoleon, all the Seven Commandments are abandoned and only one remains: “all animals are equal but some animals are more equal than others”. The tone is sarcastic and humorist. The animals are an allegory to represent the political people of history. Animal farm stressed the willingness of men to have power over the world and others.