Orwell’s Paradox: Equality in Animal Farm

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Publication details

JournalEnglish Literary History
DatePublished - 2012
Issue number3
Number of pages29
Pages (from-to)655-83
Original languageEnglish


Animal Farm presents itself as a simple fable, but it raises profound questions about one of our most cherished political concepts, namely, equality. Initially viewed as a solution to the problem of injustice on Animal Farm, equality soon presents itself as part of the problem. It is a radically open-ended ideal that lends itself to different and contradictory interpretations. This article shows how George Orwell's "fairy story" puts equality on trial and forces readers to reexamine some of their most fundamental moral and political commitments.

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