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social criticism in literature

             Many authors receive their inspiration for writing their
             literature from outside sources. The idea for a story could come from
             family, personal experiences, history, or even their own creativity.
             For authors that choose to write a book based on historical events,
             the inspiration might come from their particular viewpoint on the
             event that they want to dramatize. George Orwell and Charles Dickens
             wrote Animal Farm and A Tale of Two Cities, respectively, to express
             their disillusionment with society and human nature. Animal Farm,
             written in 1944, is a book that tells the animal fable of a farm in
             which the farm animals revolt against their human masters. It is an
             example of social criticism in literature in which Orwell satirized
             the events in Russia after the Bolshevik Revolution. He
             anthropomorphises the animals, and alludes each one to a counterpart
             in Russian history. A Tale of Two Cities also typifies this kind of
             literature. Besides the central theme of love, is another prevalent
             theme, that of a revolution gone bad. He shows us that, unfortunately,
             human nature causes us to be vengeful and, for some of us, overly
             ambitious. Both these books are similar in that both describe how,
             even with the best of intentions, our ambitions get the best of
             us. Both authors also demonstrate that violence and the Machiavellian
             attitude of "the ends justifying the means" are deplorable.
             George Orwell wrote Animal Farm, ". . . to discredit the Soviet
             system by showing its inhumanity and its back-sliding from ideals [he]
             valued . . ."(Gardner, 106) Orwell noted that " there exists in
             England almost no literature of disillusionment with the Soviet
             Union.' Instead, that country is viewed either with ignorant
             disapproval' or with uncritical admiration.'"(Gardner, 96) The
             basic synopsis is this: Old Major, an old boar in Manor Farm, tells

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