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Only Donkeys Survive Tyranny and Dictatorship: Was Benjamin George Orwell’s Alter Ego in Animal Farm?

Crook, Tim. 2016. Only Donkeys Survive Tyranny and Dictatorship: Was Benjamin George Orwell’s Alter Ego in Animal Farm? George Orwell Studies, 1(1), pp. 56-72. ISSN 2399-1267 [Article]

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Abstract or Description

This paper examines the representation of Benjamin, the donkey in Orwell’s Animal Farm – the novel and later radio and dramatic adaptations. It places this study in the context of Orwell’s ambivalent fascination with animals and his handling of animal themes in many of his writings. In addition, the paper considers the position of the donkey in the broader culture and whether Benjamin served as Orwell’s alter ego in the novel. George Orwell constructed the original prose of Animal Farm with an omniscient voice writing in the third person. When he had the opportunity to adapt the novel for BBC Radio in 1946, with transmission in early 1947, he chose not to focalise the narrative structure through any of the characters. This paper argues that this was the correct decision in terms of style and the representation of Orwell’s politics.

Item Type:

Article

Departments, Centres and Research Units:

Media, Communications and Cultural Studies

Dates:

DateEvent
1 December 2016Published
25 August 2016Accepted

Item ID:

19164

Date Deposited:

16 Nov 2016 15:22

Last Modified:

05 Sep 2019 13:03

Peer Reviewed:

Yes, this version has been peer-reviewed.

URI:

http://research.gold.ac.uk/id/eprint/19164

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