Is a positive utopia possible at all? What is it that we are to offer to our youth as an alternative, if just any system can degenerate into its own version of totalitarianism? Should we offer them a ready made system or is it better to impart values to them and just keep warning them of the possible mistakes?
George Orwell’s novel Animal Farm, which was successfully published
by the author after several failed attempts only in August 1945, has
been read for quite a long time as a harsh critique of Stalin’s
totalitarianism, although its model actually suits any kind of
totalitarianism, and even the plutocracy we are witnessing today. So,
the questions at hand are: Is a positive utopia possible at all? What is
it that we are to offer to our youth as an alternative, if just any
system can degenerate into its own version of totalitarianism? Should we
offer them a ready made system or is it better to impart values to them
and just keep warning them of the possible mistakes? And, if they do
recognise the present in the past and learn for the future, will we
indeed be hitting the paved road to the better future?
»The actual details of the story did not come to me for some time until
one day (I was then living in a small village) I saw a little boy,
perhaps ten years old, driving a huge cart-horse along a narrow path,
whipping it whenever it tried to turn. It struck me that if only such
animals became aware of their strength we should have no power over
them, and that men exploit animals in much the same way as the rich
exploit the proletariat.«
(George Orwell in his Preface to the novel’s Ukrainian publication in 1947)STARTING
POINTS FOR THE DISCUSSION PRECEDING AND FOLLOWING THE PLAY
the novel Animal
Farm before seeing the play.
different totalitarian regimes, social utopias and futuristic
Essays, Mladinska knjiga, 2001, p. 253) by Alenka Puhar read the essay
»Orwell's smuggling to Carniola«; the novel has an interesting
connection with the Slovenian history, having been presented at the
most famous political process in Slovenia in 1947 (the so called
Nagode process) as aggravating material against one of the
defendants, Franc Snoj.
upon the differences between the novel and the play, and find
connections with the current Slovene politics.
attention to the visual aspect of the play (think about the
materials the puppets are made of, different puppet techniques and
their animation, connections between puppets and video …).
website (YouTube) see the first British animated cartoon – Animal
made by John Halas and John Bachelor in 1954.
the international strip anthology Workburger (Stripburger / Forum Ljubljana, December 2012), and find the
depiction of the popular story in the strip, titled Animal
Farm #33 by young Slovenian strip and visual artist Kaja Avberšek.
how the Animal
Farm inspired the album Animals (1977) by the legendary music band Pink Floyd as well as the hit Disturbance
At the Heron House by the also famous music band R.E.M.