The provenance of allegory in literature links to the past of human history far more than imaginative novels. Allegory and ridicule to intend truths are simplified in society for which myths and spoken texts have integrated an all-embracing function for nonhuman animals and for that reason enclose a large collection of hidden relations involving the animal and specific personality traits. Animal Farm is an allegory through which Orwell exhibits the emotional process of revolution; its course of action and the satire as a source of dislocation by a tyrannical government lead by the latest radical movement, “All men are enemies. All animals are comrades”, (Orwell, 2006, p. 6). Orwell uses allegory to demonstrate a shared censure efficiently. Seeing that in the novel Orwell constructs a distortion of Soviet totalitarianism highlighted by Animal Farm’s unruly dictatorial rule, it upstages and capitalises the workers, and the pigs’ advancement into the moneybags they originally opposed.
The actions of the animals allude to human negligibility and cruelty. Animal farm also portrays the stereotype that pigs are selfish, horses are physically powerful and loyal and sheep act as herds, exclusive of human inventiveness. This is evident when Boxer quotes, “”I have no wish to take life, not even human life,” repeated Boxer, and his eyes were full of tears (Orwell, 2006, p. 28). Therefore it could be stated that Animal farm exemplifies the idea that what is animal becomes human and what is human becomes the animal. This illustrates that Orwell’s novel can be interpreted as a metaphor revealing human characteristics through the use of animals, that is the animals are depicted through the use of emotion.
Animal farm is an allegory, open to multiple interpretations in which the calamities of animals depict human absurdities. From the viewpoint of the reader who does not read the novel as an allegory for soviet totalitarianism it can be simply interpreted as a novel about defiant animals on a farm. On the other hand Orwell’s novel can also be interpreted as a narrative about animals alluring the reader to react empathetically to the sufferings of helplessness. As readers we recognize with the sufferings and subjugation of the animals. Animal farm also functions to highlight the idea that if animals are aware of their strength then humans will have no power over them.
Accordingly, animal farm can also be interpreted as a political declaration that proposes instruction about power, tyranny and revolution. The seven commandments illustrated in the novel depict the ways in which power can cause a hierarchy where the pigs have the authority, which is also experienced by humans in their society. From this interpretation Orwell’s novel has a much broader historical and political message, one that is not limited to the allegory of soviet totalitarianism. Contrastingly animal farm can also be interpreted universally about the animalistic nature of humans. This is depicted in the quotation, “The creatures outside looked from pig to man and from man to pig. And from pig to man again: but already it was impossible to say which is which”, (Orwell, 2006, p. 95).
The Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka is an existential text that exhibits a hierarchical structure to convey ideas about what is human. The idea of a hierarchy emphasises the fundamental alienation that can be experienced by humans in their life. Kafka reinforces this concept by portraying the evolution from man to vermin. Furthermore this is exemplified in the quotation, “When Gregor Samsa awoke one morning from troubled dreams he found himself transformed in his bed into a monstrous insect” (Kafka, 2010, p. 76). The Metamorphosis exposes the shift in the viewpoint of animals and the circumstantial eruption in natural history. The novel conveys evolutionary relationships between human and nonhuman animals. Ultimately it could be argued that the Metamorphosis supports the idea that texts should remain open to multiple interpretations. Kafka’s novel can be interpreted as allegorical, metaphorical or symbolic.
The Metamorphosis represents a realm lacking realistic and extensive ambitions. The absence from life is literally what Gregor is suffering, by nature and its society. From this interpretation it could be stated that Kafka represents Gregor as a helpless animal that fumbles about, apparently because he is oblivious to the fact that one must create a level of significance for their own existence. This interpretation is evident in the form of a metaphor to highlight the break down of a relationship between members of a family. The metaphor alludes to the idea that animals are seen to be inferior by humans due to the unfeasibility of conversation between the vermin and his family. For that reason Gregor can react as a vermin but he is unable to communicate his feelings in words, “In order to make his voice as clear as possible for the crucial discussions that were now imminent he coughed a little, though he took care to do very quietly, just incase his coughing too, might not sound quite human” (Kafka, 2010, p. 86). Gregor losses his connection with his family he projects the idea that he is mistreated as both human and animal.
The Metamorphosis can be interpreted as suffering that exists between animals and humans. As a human Gregor was suffering emotionally and psychologically this continues as a vermin. His life exhibits the slaughter of his own self, in many ways Gregor feels brutalised like an animal. As readers we identify with animal suffering in the metamorphosis because Gregor is neglected, his life is not valued and he eventually fades away like the animal inside of him, “He was still just conscious of the first signs of the general brightening outside his window. Then his head sank fully down. Of its own accord, and his last faint breath ebbed out from his nostrils” (Kafka, 2010, p. 122). Contrastingly, Gregor’s animalistic characteristics do not restrict him from being mentally aware of his situation.
Previous to and following the transformation, Kafka conveys Gregor Samsa as a human being deficient in his own self. The recollections of his past are neither melancholic nor touching. To a certain extent it is the opposite, his human life is shown as based exclusively around financial debts whilst his social life is inactive. The Metamorphosis can also be interpreted as symbolic of the self; change in Gregor’s capacity to observe humankind external from his room signifies his level of seclusion from other people, “For in a room where Gregory reigned in solitary state over the bare walls it was unlikely that anyone save Grete would ever dare to set foot” (Kafka, 2010, p. 104).
This interpretation is a symbolic one signifying the animalistic nature of his non- existence. The animalistic nature of his non-existence connotes the idea that his life is representative of an animal, a life that lacks value and reason according to human mentality. Vermin is considered to be a low, unclean creature, thus there is a hierarchy structure evident. This is further emphasised by his slow reaction to his actual metamorphosis. Gregor’s character is a tool used for illustrating Kafka’s understated message about the relationship between vermin and human as one that can be made anthropomorphic, in which animals appear like humans and humans appear like animals. On another level the metamorphosis can be interpreted as the dehumanisation of man. “And it was like a confirmation of their new dreams and good intentions when at the end of their journey their daughter was the first to rise to her feet and stretch her young body” (Kafka, 2010, p.126) Gregors incarnation exposes the crucial effect of non human consciousness. The transformation results in the heightened awareness of guilt and as readers we witness the vermin experiencing human feelings and emotions. For his transformation into vermin requires the insensitive form of parasitical mistreatment. Gregors revolution and new bodily appearance may appear to be the for the most part important in the novel, but they are purely the impulse for human existence that is conveyed as inexplicable in Kafka’s novel.
In conclusion, Animal Farm by George Orwell and The Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka support the idea that literary texts should remain open to multiple interpretations. The reader discovers that although Orwell’s novel alludes to the allegory of soviet totalitarianism it can merely be interpreted as a text that manifests the discontented lives of animals on a farm. This novella takes the relationship between animals and humans to the extreme, and exemplifies what could happen when animals create their own governed world. On the other hand, in the Metamorphosis there is a chance that Gregor has not transformed in any way and is simply tormented from a figment of the imagination. Nevertheless, the idea of hallucinations is fragmented. If the reader assumed that no real transformation took place, then one could interpret Kafka’s novel as manifested in an animalistic way. As a final point it could be stated that Gregor’s transformation throughout his life changed his perspective, behaviour and the way he viewed others.
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