Animal Farm: Banning Controversy

Should Animal Farm be Banned (or censored)?

Banning vs. Censoring

Banning: defines as legal or official prohibition. This is a term often associated with books across the world, for which have content that are seen as threatening or against government policies in a particular country.


Censoring: defines as material that is reviewed and suppressed in particular parts that are considered to be obscene, politically unacceptable or a threat to security. This term is often used with a negative connotation in literature, however is typically the first step in the process of banning a specific novel.

Communism and World War II - BANNED

In the mid-1940's in the midst of the second World War, no publisher seemingly would print the book, according to Orwell. This was due to the heavily alluded criticism to the USSR, in which was a significant ally of Britain (where Orwell lived at the time). Once Orwell had found a publisher (Penguin Corp.), it was immediately banned by countries a part of the USSR and communism such as modern-day Russia, China, Korea, Germany, Poland, Albania, Romania, and Hungary. Ever since, all countries have lifted the ban and began teaching the novel in schools with the exception of North Korea, Russia and Germany.

Islamic Religion and Culture - BANNED

In 2002, after the Afghanistan war had erupted in the middle-east, countries like Afghanistan, Pakistan, United Arab Emirates, Egypt, and other high-Muslim populated areas had banned Animal Farm. The countries announced this all within two months of another all similarly for the same reason: the novel had contained text or images that had controversially denounced Islamic culture of not coming ion contact with pigs. The novel to the countries had an "anthropomorphic, talking pig" for whom Muslims find offensive and see it as a form of mockery against their culture. Schools still are under the ban of this novel.

Politics and Government - CENSORED

In more modern times, governments have become overly intrigued with the concept of having power over the people and being able to change or hide words of a novel. In particular, countries like the United Kingdom and Vietnam, two countries with completely different governments both come to the agreement that the depicted government in the novel is no model for the young generation to be taught in schools. A "totalitarianistic, animal-run government on a fictional farm is no good way to teach the youth of today. What are they learning from this? How to believe that animals are capable of ruling over us? It's silly, and absurd. Sure, they can still read it in their houses, cars, but not one child will be reading this novel in our schools. We have much more integrity in our education system than that" - Cameron, UK, 2010 when asked why he had voted on censoring the novel in the United Kingdom.
Animal Farm - Banned Book Week

My Opinion...

Animal Farm should not be banned in the United States nor should it be censored. The novel was originally written during one of the most historically relevant and impacting time periods, and I believe that the youth of today will not be able to fully capture the essence of the time if novels like this are no longer permitted in schools. He had written this novel in such a stylistic way that it should not directly offend any group of people, more so make the reader become creative and think about what he is really trying to say: communism and dictatorship will never work in a society. The book should also not be censored because if a book is censored that not only offends the author of the novel, but also loses it's true meaning. Changing the words or content of a novel no longer provides the real book, it is an altered version of a true work of literature, all for what? to be politically correct? There are appropriate times in society to be correct, polite and cordial towards all people. Though in terms of literature, that is one thing that should not be touched just because a talking pig rules over a bunch of farm animals in a fictional novel based in times of war.