70 pages 2 hours read

George Orwell

Animal Farm

Fiction | Novel | Adult | Published in 1945

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Essay Questions

Use these essay questions as writing and critical thinking exercises for all levels of writers, and to build their literary analysis skills by requiring textual references throughout the essay.

Differentiation Suggestion: For English learners or struggling writers, strategies that work well include graphic organizers, sentence frames or starters, group work, or oral responses.

Scaffolded Essay Questions

Student Prompt: Write a short (1-3 paragraph) response using one of the bulleted outlines below. Cite details from the text over the course of your response that serve as examples and support.

1. Animal Farm is an allegorical novel in which Orwell explores the history of Soviet communism.

  • According to you, does Orwell posit that the Bolshevik Revolution was a good idea betrayed by bad leaders, or that the communist system is bad at its core? (topic sentence)
  • What are the communist ideals that find parallels in Animalism, in the book? How are these ideals executed, and why do they fail? Illustrate with examples from the text.
  • In your conclusion, succinctly summarize your argument and present your position regarding your chosen side of the question in the topic sentence.

2. Through Animal Farm, Orwell reimagines the classic beast fable in a 20th century context.

  • Why might Orwell have chosen the format of an animal fable for his satire of the Soviet Union? (topic sentence)
  • What elements of the novel make for effective satire? Are there places it fails? Why or why not? Substantiate with examples from the text.