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2. Orwell and the Spanish Civil War
About this Lecture
In this module, we think about Animal Farm in the context of the Spanish Civil War (1936-39), focusing in particular on: (i) what the Spanish Civil War, how it started, and who was fighting on each side; (ii) Orwell's writings on the clash between socialism and fascism in The Road to Wigan Pier (1937); (iii) his decision to fight with the socialist forces in Spain, and his experiences there between late-1936 and mid-1937; (iv) what Orwell learns in Spain: the vulnerability of the human body, the information/the truth, and the power of propaganda; (v) Orwell's account of his time in Spain: Homage to Catalonia (1938); and (vi) the emergence of these themes in Animal Farm: the role of the sheep, the pigs' attempt to silence Moses, etc.
In this course, Dr Nathan Waddell (University of Birmingham) explores George Orwell's Animal Farm. In the first module, we think about Animal Farm in the context of Orwell's life and career, before turning in the second and third modules to consider the novel in the context of the Spanish Civil War and Soviet Russia, respectively. In the fourth module, we think about what kind of story Animal Farm is, while in the fifth module, we consider the novel's narrative voice. In the sixth module, we think about the themes of tyranny and circularity in the novel, before turning in the final module to consider the concept of 'decency' in Orwell's work in general and in Animal Farm in particular.
Dr Nathan Waddell is Senior Lecturer in Early Twentieth-Century and Modernist Literature at the University of Birmingham. He teaches and researches early twentieth-century literature, with a core emphasis on the life, work, and controversies of the painter and writer Wyndham Lewis (1882-1957). His recent publications include Moonlighting: Beethoven and Literary Modernism (2019) and (as co-editor with J. Greenberg) 'Brave New World': Contexts and Legacies. (2016).
Cite this Lecture
Waddell, N. (2021, May 12). Orwell: Animal Farm - Orwell and the Spanish Civil War [Video]. MASSOLIT. https://massolit.io/courses/orwell-animal-farm/orwell-and-the-spanish-civil-war
Waddell, Nathan. "Orwell: Animal Farm – Orwell and the Spanish Civil War." MASSOLIT, uploaded by MASSOLIT, 12 May 2021, https://massolit.io/courses/orwell-animal-farm/orwell-and-the-spanish-civil-war