Satire is moral outrage transformed into art
How do the novel you read and another satirical text support this statement? Eric Blair, pen name, George Orwell, was a British political essayist and novelist. Along with this he was a passionate socialist, although did not consider the Soviet Union a good representation of what socialism truly is. It is the Soviet Union/Russian Revolution that acts as the general bases of moral outrage Orwell has transformed into art. Leadership in particular is questioned, along with the greed that comes with a corrupt leader.
Joseph Stalin is this leader, and Orwell’s strong anti-totalitarian views are expressed in the novel through the satirical technique of an animal fable. To represent this art form, a pig – Napoleon, acts as Stalin. The fable technique is the technique used to transform the outrage into art. More specifically, the outrage Orwell expresses is the benevolent dictatorship of Napoleon. Although Napoleon is based on Stalin, over time he has been taken to represent any political leader corrupted with power. We see Napoleon’s dictatorship in full swing after Snowball, (representing Leon Trotsky) is ousted from power.
Napoleon sends orders here, there, everywhere to get what he wants. A previous commandment written by Snowball stated, “All animals are created equal,” this changed to, “All animals are created equal, but some are more equal than others. ” Napoleon brainwashes the working class into thinking their life is great, while behind the scenes selling sick animals for liquor and training a pack of killer dogs. Those animals who confess to shocking crimes that they may or may not have done are killed immediately, and Napoleon’s dictatorship is not questioned. This capital punishment is another outrage expressed by Orwell in the novel.
In terms of a communist regime, Orwell was outraged at this injustice. It was not true communism at all. Unlike Animal Farm, Summer Heights High does not express a political view, but a more minor outrage in schooling systems. A second segment in Summer Heights High shows Jonah Takalua, an underachieving 8th grader from Tonga. He sums up his class mates as either, “rangas” “homos” or “mad”. This is a classic outrage for many people in society – that of school bullies. Lilley uses mainly crude humor for Jonah to express his view and transform it into art. Along with this, teacher Mr.
Greg Gregson, or Mr. G, is more interested with the amount of money that comes in for his performance, rather than a show for the students and by the students. Hence, the main outrage in this case is the teaching system. Summer Heights High underlines the truth that the best-learnt lessons from our school days are not always the most helpful, but they still shape the way we look at life. Ignorance is another indignation expressed in Animal Farm. It is the ignorance of the working class on the farm, and their inability to question authority that Orwell is outraged about.
The reader gets a feeling of frustration too, particularly with that of Squealer. Squealer is Napoleons propagandist, which brings up another feature of the Russian Communist regime that Orwell has expressed in the novel. With comments like, “production efficiency has doubled in the last year! ” and other somewhat confusing stats and figures, the working class has no other option but to agree and continue with their unfair hard labour. The 1930’s oppression of the working class by Stalin’s regime showed the same ignorance represented in Animal Farm, and Orwell has clearly demonstrated this to us.
Similarly, Chris Lilley’s Summer Heights High shows other examples of moral outrage, though this time through the school yard of Summer Heights High. This anger is of the public school versus private school battle. We see Ja’mie King, a student from a Hillford Girls Grammar, a private school, involved in an exchange to Summer Heights High. In this case, the outrage is against the public/private school clash. Lilley shows King with an obnoxious and arrogant view against public school people calling them, “less hot,” complaining about, “a serious lack of diet coke machines,” and saying, “Most of you come from povo families. The ignorance expressed here is the outrage, like in Animal Farm although in a different context. Summer Heights High uses many different satirical techniques in order to transform the outrage shown above into art. It is a mockumentary and parody of high school life, which is the first satirical technique. It is a spoof on documentaries, as it is not serious and takes the Mickey out of true documentaries. Lampoon is also another technique used, in particular for Jonah Takalua. He insults other students in his year to the general amusement of the audience.
Now we know the moral outrages Orwell has expressed, we can also begin to see how Orwell transforms these into art through satirical techniques. Firstly, the story in the form of an animal fable is used, as already mentioned. This anthropomorphism is used to great effect to truly show the nature of the Revolution that it is based on. Irony is the main satirical technique used in the book. The fact that a revolt was started to drive Mr. Jones, the evil farmer out of town, only to be replaced with an even crueler leader is very much ironic.
To mark the revolution of the animals, Manor Farm is renamed animal farm. With the irony already displayed in the book, it is only fitting that Animal Farm will be renamed to Manor Farm at the end. Personification is also used to clearly show the not so different nature between the animal leaders and the human leaders at the end of the book. Napoleon even learns to walk on two legs to show the true character of this shady leader. It is these techniques, plus some other minor ones that allows Orwell to accurately transform his moral outrage into art.