My favorite book is a classic novel written by George Orwell: Animal Farm.
Animal Farm is considered as a dystopian novel. And while it is set in a hypothetical future , I believe that Animal Farm is more of a utopia than a dystopia.
In Animal Farm, the animals of a particular farm are personified as humans to depict a ‘dystopian’ society. These farm animals are immensely tired from the way they are treated by their owner, a rude farmer; so they decide to escape the farm and establish their own society. This society, in its process of development, starts to resemble a lot like a corrupt and dysfunctional democracy.
These animals, who eluded human oppression, got stuck in a cycle of oppression from their own species. They tried to create a utopia for themselves that slowly turned into hell on earth.
Through this satirical tale, Orwell managed to convey the futility of human beings in trying to establish a society that is free from any sort of corruption. He criticized the incessant need of humans to be in control of everything by portraying them in the form of animals.
Animal Farm set the trend for dystopian and utopian novels in contemporary literature. While there have been dystopian novels before Animal Farm, like Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, the concept of dystopia was never as widely analyzed as when Animal Farm was released.
Most of Orwell’s works contain a satirical narrative of human tendencies, but Animal Farm stands out form the rest of his works because of the absolute prominence of an extended metaphor. This had a versatile effect on contemporary literature, as an extended metaphor dissolved in a satire had never been exploited in the past. Joseph Heller’s Catch-22 and Soseki Natsume’s I Am a Cat, wouldn’t have been plausible without the influence of Animal Farm.
So while Virginia Woolf brought a poetic stance in prose and F. Scott Fitzgerald popularized the Jazz Age, George Orwell’s Animal Farm brought a completely new angle through which contemporary literature could be manipulated and written.