W. John Campbell



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The Book of Great Books: A ...

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Monarch Notes on F. Scott F...

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Cliffs Notes on Aristophane...

liked it 3.00 avg rating — 5 ratings — published 1983 — 3 editions
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The Essential Hieronymus Bosch

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Cliffs Notes on Sartre's No...

4.75 avg rating — 4 ratings — published 1983 — 2 editions
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Barbara Kingsolver: Her Lif...

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Quick & Easy Notes on Willi...

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Quick & Easy Notes on Willi...

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Cliffs Notes on Shakespeare...

liked it 3.00 avg rating — 1 rating — published 1988
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Toni Morrison: Her life and...

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More books by W. John Campbell…
“I cannot but conclude the bulk of your natives to be the most pernicious race of little odious vermin that nature ever suffered to crawl upon the surface of the earth.”
W. John Campbell, The Book of Great Books: A Guide to 100 World Classics

“STYLE & STRUCTURE LANGUAGE Simple, clear; effectively creates the atmosphere of a world that, on the surface, is down-to-earth and unsophisticated, but that on a deeper level is complex and contains many conflicting forces. NARRATOR Invisible, third-person narrator who emphasizes the thoughts, feelings, and actions of animals. FABLE (Short tale that teaches a moral lesson, with animals as characters.) The animals act in accordance with their animal nature, but their ideas and emotions are those of human beings: Benjamin is skeptical about the chances of improving his lot and feels just as disillusioned about their new society as a human would; Clover, the gentle, patient elderly mare, reacts to tragic events with the compassionate tears of a human being. It is obvious that Orwell sympathizes with the plight of the animals, whether they are ruled by Jones or Napoleon. His treatment of animals makes them believable as individuals, not just as types. IRONY (Use of words to express a meaning opposite to the literal meaning.) Orwell sees the animals’ flaws as well as their positive qualities; treats circumstances of their lives with persuasive irony: the Rebellion occurs not merely because of a bloodthirsty desire for revenge on the animals’ part, but also because Jones has forgotten to feed them and they are desperately hungry. STRUCTURE Ten chapters. Rising action: First five chapters tell of the animals’ Rebellion. Crisis (turning point): Napoleon launches the surprise attack that drives Snowball into exile, thus eliminating a rival for the position of power. The novel’s second half tells how Napoleon firmly establishes his power by making clever use of propaganda and terrorist tactics. Several unexplained events are cleared up as the story develops: why Napoleon took puppies (he raises them as a police force); what happened to the cows’ milk (it is reserved exclusively for the pigs’ use); the reason for the pigs’ moving into farmhouse (they are secretly learning to acquire human habits); the strange negotiations with Foxwood and Pinchfield Farms (Napoleon attempts to deal with humans on terms advantageous to him).”
W. John Campbell, The Book of Great Books: A Guide to 100 World Classics

“CRITICAL OVERVIEW POLITICAL MEANING The political message of Animal Farm is inspired by the events of the Russian (Bolshevik) Revolution (1917–21), when Russian peasants overthrew the monarchy in favor of socialism, a political system in which land, business, property, and capital are owned by the community as a whole. In Animal Farm, Orwell (a Socialist) shows the animals’ efforts to overthrow human dictatorship and to establish a socialist community in which everyone contributes to the common gain. During the course of the novel, Napoleon takes control, moves socialism in the direction of communism (Stalinism), a political system in which all economic and social activity is controlled by a “totalitarian” state (dictatorship) dominated by a single political group or party that keeps itself in power. Orwell’s intent in writing this fable was to destroy the Soviet (communist) myth of the perfect society and to restore genuine socialist principles. He wanted to show how the original intentions of revolution have all too often been corrupted and perverted by one person or group who, for selfish reasons, seizes power, exploits people, and eliminates all opposition.”
W. John Campbell, The Book of Great Books: A Guide to 100 World Classics



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