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T.S. Eliot and "Animal Farm"

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Valerie Eliot has released a rejection letter from her husband, writing in his capacity as publishing executive, to George Orwell regarding “Animal Farm.”

In the letter, Eliot argued that Orwell's "view, which I take to be Trotskyite, is not convincing." He took particular umbrage with Orwell's characterisation of the pigs on Animal Farm. Napoleon, a Berkshire boar thought to be based on Stalin, triumphs, despite being the novel's baddie. He battles with Snowball, a much nicer pig modelled on Leon Trotsky, who genuinely works for the good of the other animals. It is Napoleon's bully boy tactics which seem to win the day, while Snowball is chased off the farm by dogs. This mirrored Trotsky's deportation from the Soviet Union after he criticised Stalin.

What do you think, BTers? Was Eliot right or wrong, and what do you think of the grounds he chose?

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With the benefit of hindsight, Orwell looks like THE best guide to how to think about everything.

And his essay "Politics and the English Language" is even more true than it used to be....

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